Plenty of surprising names are in trouble when it comes to FedEx points this year. Brooks Koepka, Rickie Fowler and Justin Rose are just three who might struggle to get to the Tour Championship.
With all the downtime and cancelled events on the PGA Tour this year, many players who usually shine in the playoffs and go all the way to the Tour Championship, have a diminished number of FedEx points. They will need strong finishes this week at the Northern Trust and next week at the BMW to get there.
Brooks Koepka, Rickie Fowler and Justin Rose are three top players who are definitely in trouble. They need a points infusion, and they need it in a hurry.
Justin Thomas is currently the points leader with 2,458 points, based on his three victories and many high finishes. In second is PGA Champ Collin Morikawa, in his first full season as a regular PGA Tour member, with 1,902 points. Morikawa has two victories this summer.
Webb Simpson, also a two-time winner in 2020, has 1,878 points and is third. Bryson DeChambeau, with one victory and several good finishes, accumulated 1,657 points thus far and is in fourth. Sungjae Im, the ironman of golf, played 23 events, won once and now has 1,633 points. He is fifth.
Koepka has just 360 points. Fowler has 381. Rose only has 313. They are points starved with only two weeks to make it from their current status to the top 30.
Koepka is in 97th place, which gets him into the Playoffs, but not by much. Fowler is in 88th place. And Rose, a former FedExCup champ, is in 109th.
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Since Keopka is currently 2,098 points behind Thomas, he needs to get going and quickly. Similarly, Fowler is 2,077 points behind Thomas, and Rose is slightly worse off being 2,145 points back of the leader.
Last year, guys needed about 970 points to get inside the top 30, but this year, with so many tournaments cancelled, there’s no perfect information to go on. We can only guestimate, based on points before the playoffs and what was needed to get to the top 30 last year.
In 2019, Brooks Keopka was leading the points race before the FedEx Cup playoffs started with 2,887. It’s more than Justin Thomas has this week heading into the playoffs with 2,458. Thomas has about 85 percent of Koepka’s pre-playoff total from last season.
The 30th place guy, Hideki Matsuyama, had 969 points in 2019. Currently the player in 30th place, Cameron Smith, has 807 points. But he will likely need something more like 825 points to make the top 30, if the math stays the same for all places.
In other words, the 30th man into the Tour Championship will likely need about 85 percent of last year’s 30th place to get into the tournament.
What that means for Koepka, Fowler and Rose is that they each need to find more than 550 points to be safe. A victory would likely put any one of them into the top ten since a win is worth 1500 points for the Northern Trust and also for the BMW. But after first, the points drop off precipitously. Second is worth 900. Third gets them 570, and 4th is just 405.
To reach the Tour Championship, Koepka, Fowler and Rose need, at minimum, a 4th place and someplace between 15th and 20th. finish. Or two finishes in the 8th, 9th, 10th range. That also might put them into the top 30. Of course, all of that depends on what the current top 30 players do in the next two weeks.
Certainly, Koepka, Fowler and Rose, as well as others, will have to step it up or they will find themselves on the sofa after the Northern Trust.
That means the next two weeks will prove interesting and entertaining for us and stressful for those trying to make the Tour Championship. How will Koepka, Fowler and Rose fare? We just have to wait to find out.