At the halfway mark of the Wyndham Championship, some players’ FedEx Cup hopes are rising, while other dreams are dashed.
The Wyndham Championship is at the halfway mark, and the nearly year-long haul is almost over. A 47-tournament slate is reduced to 36 holes. And just as the cut takes place at Sedgefield, so too are many players’ FedEx Cup Playoff hopes dashed. That is, until next season.
Of course, on the other side of the coin, there are a number of players who are on the rise. There is still plenty of golf to be played, but a glance at the top of the leaderboard shows you how hard these guys are willing to fight for their 2017-18 PGA TOUR card.
Here, we’ll take a quick look at the projected FedEx Cup standings from the Wyndham to get you ready for the weekend’s action.
Missed cuts, ended seasons at Wyndham Championship
Regardless of a player’s FedEx Cup standing entering the Wyndham Championship, the first mission was simple. Make the cut, and give yourself a shot at some much-needed points. Solidify your position, or sneak into the top 125.
Daniel Summerhays looks to be the first victim of the dreaded cut. Entering the week on the bubble at 124th in the FedEx Cup points race, he shot three-under 67 on Thursday, but gave it all back in the second round. A three-over 73 sent Summerhays packing, and he’s projected to drop to 129th, out of the Playoffs.
Cameron Tringale had a different approach this week. The true “bubble boy” ahead of the Wyndham, Tringale was ranked 126th coming in, and simply making the cut may have been enough to get him in. The Georgia Tech alum gave it a valiant effort, but at 1-under fell shy of the cut line by two shots. If you wanted proof that every stroke matters here, look no further.
A handful of other players will join Tringale and Summerhays with suddenly open calendars next week. They include Ryan Palmer (133rd), Billy Hurley III (134th), Graeme McDowell (135th), and Trey Mullinax (136th). Hurley III was actually at -2, missing the cut by just one shot.
The good news for these guys? The new season – complete with plenty of sponsor’s exemptions and Monday qualifiers – starts in seven weeks, October 5th at the Safeway Open.
Players jockeying for position through the weekend
Of the 85 players who survive to play Saturday (several won’t be around on Sunday), many have improved their sitution. Namely, three players look to be playing their way into the Playoffs, and three are on their way out.
The biggest riser, surprisingly, is Ryan Armour. The co-leader with Webb Simpson at -13, Armour
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is projected to rise a whopping 112 places, from 187th up to 75th. The 41-year-old from Ohio State graduated from the Web.com Tour in 2016, and has a legitimate chance to lock up his Tour card for 2018.
Alongside Armour in the “outside-in” club are Sam Saunders and Harold Varner III. Saunders’s path to TOUR success has been well documented, and he was an easy pick for my sleepers list this week.
Varner III, though, is a bit more of a surprise. The 26-year-old enjoyed an impressive rookie campaign in 2016, qualifying for the Deutsche Bank Championship with four top-ten finishes. He’s come back down to earth in his sophomore season; his best finish was a T-15 at the Safeway Open. Varner is projected to move up 15 spots to 123rd through two rounds.
For every rise, there must be a fall. With Varner, Saunders and Armour moving into the Playoff mix, three had to make way.
Summerhays moved out with a missed cut. Geoff Ogilvy, tied for 44th at -4, looks to drop from 125th to 128th. Seamus Power joined Saunders on my sleepers list, but he’s stuck in that massive group who made the cut on the line. If he’s not careful, he’ll drop from 123rd to 127th, and head to the Web.com Tour Finals once again.
Plenty of room for movement on the weekend at the Wyndham Championship
While the projections above are based on the player’s current positioning, there’s still a lot of golf left to be played at Sedgefield. Players with falling stock like David Hearn, Blayne Barber, and Zac Blair have two more rounds to turn things around. Likewise, the group of risers including Johnson Wagner and Richy Werenski can’t count their Playoff earnings just yet.
These next two days at the Wyndham Championship should bring out the absolute best in the field. If nothing else, guys are going to go down swinging, and that makes for an incredible closing run.
Who do you think has the best chance to play their way into – or out of – the FedEx Cup this weekend?