Suspended LIV Golf players will be replaced for the 2022 FedEx Cup

FedEx Cup sign at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, Mandatory Credit: Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports
FedEx Cup sign at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, Mandatory Credit: Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports /

So there will be 125 players  — or something close to that number – teeing it up for the FedEx Cup playoffs after all.

The PGA Tour made that number clear this week, announcing that it will accept between 10 and a dozen players outside the usual top 125  in the FedEx Cup standings to play in the first event of the Tour Championship Series, the FedEx St. Jude Classic, in Memphis on August,11th.

The exact number of starters eligible to compete for the Tour Championship has been in flux since the tour suspended players who have participated in the rival LIV Golf Tour.

At present, eight players among the FedEx Cup’s top 125 are under suspension. Three others are scheduled to play in this week’s LIV Golf event at Trump Bedminster, and those three are also expected to be suspended.

Under normal rules, that would have left the FedEx St. Jude with fewer than 115 starters. The Tour’s decision this week is great news for players who will finish the season within 10 to a dozen spots of a normal qualifying number.

The players already under suspension, and their current FedEx Cup rank, are:

Talor Gooch (20), Matt Jones (62), Hudson Swafford (63), Matthew Wolff (70), Abraham Ancer (80), Carlos Ortiz (100), Brooks Koepka (102), and Pat Perez (121.)

Beyond those eight, Jason Kokrak (41), Charles Howell III (106), and Paul Casey (135) have committed to play at Trump Bedminster. Casey obviously is outside the top 125 but would be eligible under the revised guidelines announced this week if not for his own pending suspension.

A couple of other big-name Tour stars who have defected to LIV — notably Phil Mickelson, Patrick Reed, and Bryson DeChambeau — had already either resigned their PGA Tour memberships or were outside the top 125, and in either case, were thus already ineligible.

The announcement is not only good news for the FedEx St. Jude, it is a potential season-saver for players finishing in spots 126  to 137 on the final regular season FedEx Cup points list.

Although that list is subject to change based on the results of this week’s Rocket Mortgage Classic and next week’s Wyndham Championship, here are the players currently occupying those slots.

126. Callum Tarren

127. Jason Day

128. Kevin Tway

129. Nick Taylor

130. Chesson Hadley

131. Kramer Hickok

132. Rickie Fowler

133. Stephan Jaeger

134. Austin Smotherman

135. Paul Casey (ineligible)

136. Max McGreevy

137. Danny Willett

The Tour’s announcement is potentially very good news for four of the 11, those seeking to qualify for the Tour Championship Series for the first time.

Those four “playoff rookies” inheriting a lane to the season-ending series are Tarren, Jaeger, Smotherman, and McGreevy. Of course, none of the four has a spot locked up pending the conclusion of the Wyndham Championship.

Among the 11 in position to benefit from the ruling, only Day, Hadley, and Hickok made the field of 125 last season. Taylor last played in the season-ender in 2020, Tway, Fowler, and Willett in 2019.

Next. How this week’s LIV Golf and PGA Tour fields compare. dark

The actual starting field at the FedEx St. Jude still probably won’t number 125.

Several times in recent years one or more eligible players has withdrawn due to injury. Just this week it was announced that Lanto Griffin (65) has had surgery on his spine and will miss the remainder of the season.

PGA Tour officials have not allowed replacements for those missing the field due to injury, and there is no indication they will do so this season either.