Although the season has just started, it’s worth an early look at the current FedEx Cup Standings.
I’ve hammered this point time and time again and will continue to do so. Getting in early points for the FedEx Cup standings can make or break a player’s season (or career), which is why I wanted to take a glimpse at the standings early in the season.
As a brief refresher, the top 120 players in the FedEx Cup standings will make it to the playoffs. It’s cut to 70 from there, and then the final 30 make it to the Tour Championship. You don’t need a ton of points to get into the top 120. Just look at last year, when Scott Stallings took hold of the final position (or at least finished there), with just 296 points.
A single SECOND-PLACE finish is worth more than that, which would net you 300 points. It’s why these early events, or events in-between the high profile ones are incredibly important. Peter Malnati and Tyler McCumber were able to take advantage of just that, and have likely already secured their place in the PGA Tour playoffs… which start next August. 10 months away, and they are already in.
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The paychecks aren’t as nice at these small events, but they are still career-changing. Taking home $400K in second place isn’t too shabby at all. Do you know how else you can earn $400K? By finishing 30th in the Tour Championship. These events matter more than you realize with all the opportunities that they grant some of the lesser-known players on tour.
The big dogs are almost always gonna eat, turning it on when it matters, winning a tournament, or putting a strong stretch together. There are plenty of players who made it to the top 70 or even top 30, by taking advantage when those guys aren’t around.
Take Hudson Swafford, the winner of the Corales Puntacana event two weeks ago. 500 points are nearly enough to already guarantee him a spot in the second playoff event. Last year, Max Homa finished in 70th place with 540 points. Swafford now has 10 months to find another 100 points to comfortably put himself in the second round of the FedEx Cup playoffs.
Sure, the points may be a bit higher this year as long as we don’t run into any unforeseen circumstances that cut the season down again. Even looking at 2019, Rafa Cabrera Bello finished in 70th with 713 points. 71st was at 650 or so though. So Swafford needs 150-250 points to make it to the second round.
If you haven’t been able to figure it out, I’ll say it again. These early events matter.