Sep
3
2013
FedExCup primer: Who’s in, who’s out for the third leg of the Playoffs
By Stephanie Wei under FedEx Cup
Via PGA Tour.com

Via PGA Tour.com

Alright, we’re two legs into the FedExCup Playoffs, which means a couple of things: 1) there are two more left and 2) there are 30 guys who were eliminated after their performance (or lack thereof) at the Deutsche Bank Championship on Monday.

This is when the fabricated post-season starts to get a little more intriguing, with “bubble boys” every week and each field getting cut down. We’re at 70 now. So, who was initially inside the top 70 in FEC points before the DBC or who was outside of it and played their way into the BMW Championship next week in the Chicago area? I touched on this in Monday’s Top 5, but let’s take a more in-depth look.

The background info:

  • The top 70 players on the FedExCup points list after the Deutsche Bank Championship advance to the BMW Championship, contested at Conway Farms GC.
  • Each playoff event offers 2,500 FedExCup points to the winner.
  • The top 30 players following the BMW Championship will qualify for the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola. Prior to the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola, a points reset will take place, giving all players in the field a mathematical opportunity to win the FedExCup title.
  • The top five players control their own destiny and would claim the FedExCup with a victory at East Lake. Below are the current FedExCup rankings heading into the BMW Championship:

No. 1    Henrik Stenson

No. 2    Tiger Woods

No. 3    Adam Scott

No. 4    Matt Kuchar

No. 5    Graham DeLaet

Bubble boys who were eliminated:

Rank     Player                           DBC                 FedExCup standing

30         Jimmy Walker               MC                   No. 45

70         Tim Clark                      MC                   Eliminated from Playoffs/No. 80

100       Camilo Villegas             T35                   Eliminated from Playoffs/No. 82

Bubble boys who played their way into advancing onto the BMW Championship:

Well, as you can see the above graphic I grabbed from the PGA Tour.com, seven players — Marc Leishman, Nicholas Thompson, Ian Poulter, Ernie Els, Brian Davis, Kevin Stadler and Brendan Steele — came through in the clutch or just chose a good week to play decent.

Steele and Els happened to be paired together in the final round and both were aware that they were on the bubble and needed to play well. There was a bit of a matchplay duel feel to it, which sometimes gives people the kick in the booty they need.

“Well, it’s almost like when you’re in the last group and it’s down to a two-horse race for the golf tournament,” said Steele, who birdied his last four holes to make a move on Sunday.

“That’s all that mattered in our group.  We’re not going to win the tournament.  We’re not going to  whatever.  We’re trying to shoot for that last spot.  And hopefully we can both get in with the result the way it is.”

Steele was pretty “angry” when inclement weather suspended play, but he was kind of saved by the horn. It allowed for him to regroup and regain the momentum coming down the stretch.

“I had a putt, it was the first shot that I hit when I came out,” he said.  “And that one went in.  And then I decided to roll the ball back in my stance, the last couple of holes, because it was too far forward.”

Steele thought he was too far out of it until the 16th when he realized still had a shot.

“I didn’t even actually think that I had much of a chance,” he said.  And then I hit it to a foot on 16.  And I was like, all right, if we can finish, three, three, I might have a chance.  And I knew I started a point in front of Ernie, so I knew I needed to at least get tied with him, maybe, for the last spot.  So I was trying to chase him down, for sure.”

Ernie ended up getting in the top 70 in FEC points on the number, 70th. He was pretty steamed when he finished his round, but I’m sure he was much happier when he found out he did well enough to advance to the BMW Championship.

Marc Leishman shot 13-under total and finished T16, which turned out to be enough for him to jump from no. 76 to no. 58 in points.

“Not really,” said Leish when asked if he was monitoring the scoreboards.  “I knew where I was.  I knew I was slipping backwards, with a few too many pars.  But when we had that rain delay I sort of had a bit of a look and saw I was still projected about a hundred points, so I knew where I needed to be, which was about two or three shots.  I had a bit of breathing room.  I wasn’t looking at going backwards.  I was looking at trying to making a few birdies and trying to get into the top 10.  Couldn’t quite do it.  But still a pretty good week.”

Kevin Stadler made the biggest jump, entering the week ranked 75th in points and then finishing at 32nd. He shot 17-under and placed T4th. Not a bad time to get your second top-three of the season!

“A little bit,” said Stadler when asked if he felt added pressure. “Starting the day today I was in a pretty good spot.  And worse case shoot around par, still wouldn’t be good enough.  I didn’t think about it today going forward.  Started out with a couple of birdies early.  And put myself in the mix, but didn’t get anything going after that.”

Brian Davis also moved up in the standings quite a bit with placing 8th at the Deutsche Bank Championship. Davis started at 80th heading into TPC Boston and then surged to no. 49.

Yeah, it’s good to know,” said Davis, referring to playing his way into the third playoff event. “I was always behind the leaders, pretty much going down into the back nine.  I felt if I could finish strong, maybe get top five, top three, maybe move on.

“But overall the week coming in I had four or five missed cuts.  A lot to take to Chicago.”

Yep, definitely not a bad time or place to break your missed cut streak! Again, it’s a “bye week” for the PGA Tour Playoffs, and the BMW Championship will take place the following week.

Deutsche Bank Championship Implications on the FedExCup

The following players entered the week ranked inside the top 70 but were eliminated from the Playoffs:

Player Deutsche Bank Final FEC Rank Prior FEC Rank
Ryan Palmer MC 71 60
Freddie Jacobson MC 72 61
Martin Laird MC 74 63
David Lingmerth MC 75 64
Kyle Stanley MC 77 66
Cameron Tringale T67 79 69
Tim Clark MC 80 70

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Oh, on an unrelated note, Presidents Cup captains are holding a press conference at 2pm Wednesday to announce their wildcard picks! Whom do you think Captain Fred Couples will choose? My bet is Webb Simpson and Jordan Spieth. As for the Internationals, I’m guessing Tim Clark and Marc Leishman will receive the two remaining spots.

(Graphic above via PGATour.com)