In the final event of the PGA Tour’s pandemic-modified regular-season schedule this weekend, the focus at the Wyndham Championship in North Carolina shifts from the top of the FedEx Cup standings to the bottom, where a handful of players are fighting to earn a spot in the upcoming 125-man playoff field.
Justin Thomas has locked up the top playoff spot – and a $2 million bonus – and will sit out this weekend’s event at the Sedgefield Country Club. But there will be plenty of scoreboard watching going on as players try to gain an invitation to the playoffs, which begin Aug. 20 with The Northern Trust at TPC Boston in Norton.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tour announced earlier this year that players who failed to finish in the Top 125 would not lose their Tour cards for the 2020-21 season. But several of the Tour’s big names still could still see their seasons come to an early end in Greensboro, N.C.
In FedEx Cup events, points are awarded to the top 70 finishers, with 500 going to the winner and 3 awarded to No. 70 finisher. In this season’s contracted schedule, even 3 points could make a million-dollar difference. In each of last five Tour seasons, at least two players have moved into the Top 125 at the Wyndham.
Four points currently separate Bo Hoag (270), Russell Knox (267), and Charl Schwartzel (266), who hold the final three playoff spots. Nipping at their heels are Bronson Burgoon (No. 126, 255 points), Chase Seiffert (No. 127, 254), and Nick Watney (No. 128, 253 ).
Watney, who was ranked No. 9 in the world in 2011, headlines a notable group of players who are on the outside looking in, including two-time major champion Zach Johnson (No. 129) and 2019 British Open winner Shane Lowry (No. 131).
Andover’s Rob Oppenheim (No. 145, 185) and New Bedford native Peter Uihlein (No. 164, 133) are in the field this weekend but are long shots to make the FedEx Cup playoffs.
Jenna Ciccotelli can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.