These 12 Players Are Among the Real FedExCup Bubble Boys at Wyndham

0
17

It all comes down to this: the Wyndham Championship, the final regular-season stop on the PGA Tour calendar.

Sure, this week is all about jockeying for a position in the FedExCup standings or playing your way into (and, on the other hand, out of) the playoffs. But for those players who don’t have the luxury of being fully exempted from Tour last season, their jobs could be at stake after this week.

Looking at the FedExCup bubble picture, which this year was affected by LIV Golf players either relinquishing their Tour membership or being removed from the points roster, not all players inside and outside that number 125 position will be sweating it out in Greensboro. For example, number 123 Rickie Fowler has his full card locked up until next season and probably longer if he has to take advantage of various waivers. The same goes for Cameron Champ (130) and Harris English (182), who had to miss much of the season this season due to injury.

But what about guys who absolutely need or risk losing most, if not all, of their Tour playing privileges for 2022-23 this week?

Here are 12 names on or near the playoff bubble that are either playing their way into the top 125 or heading to the Korn Ferry Tour Finals to hold their cards:

Kramer Hickok

Current FEC position: 122
Finish needed to crack top 125: Currently in
He is now really concerned about losing in last year’s Travelers play-offs. The Texas product, which is in its fourth year on Tour after nearly losing its card in 2019 (KFT Finals) and 2020 (pandemic), was helped in large part by his solo fourth in Houston in the fall. He should manage to make it into the playoffs and keep his card, but he also hasn’t cracked the top 60 in a no-opposite field event since March.

ALSO READ  Charles Barkley not getting LIV Golf offer: 'My number one priority is Turner'

Matt Wallace

Current FEC position: 124
Finish needed to crack top 125: Currently in
The Englishman earned his Tour card as a non-member after the 2018-19 season, in which he took third at the PGA, tied for 12th at the US Open and cracked the top 25 of the world rankings. But he still hasn’t finished better than number 111 in the FedExCup and is now at number 157 in the OWGR. He’s barely in the bubble that Wyndham is entering as he has mixed two top-10s this season with 11 missed cuts in 20 starts.

Fowler: ‘Everyone arranges their own grind’ at Wyndham

Austin Smotherman

Current FEC position: 125
Finish needed to crack top 125: Currently in
Bryson DeChambeau’s former teammate at SMU, the Tour rookie was OK in his debut season with six top-25s, including a recent solo eighth in the Barracuda. He also made 16 of the 24 cuts, so little by little he earned his 125th position in points. Another handful of points this week will come in handy as he has no margin for error.

Max McGreevy

Current FEC position: 126
Finish needed to crack top 125: 46th or better
The former Oklahoma Sooner is another Tour rookie, although unlike Smotherman, he has earned most of his points through one event, a second-place finish at the Puerto Rico Open. He is a spot outside the top 125 and is not entering Wyndham in the best shape, having missed six of the seven cuts.

Danny Willett

Current FEC position: 127
Finish needed to crack top 125: 44th or better
OK, so a bad week won’t completely kick Willett off the Tour, but if it does, the 2016 Masters champion, whose five-year exemption from that win expires this year, will have to either go to the KFT Finals or play outside next. season the Nos. 126-150 category – or return full-time to the DP World Tour. Willett will play his 21st event of the season this week, the most starts he’s had since joining the Tour, but he’s only got one top-10 left.

ALSO READ  Detroit Golf Club President Says Rocket Mortgage Classic Is Thriving Despite the Rise of LIV Golf

zero

Nick Hardy

Current FEC position: 129
Finish needed to crack top 125: 31st or better
Speaking of bad luck, Hardy got off to a slow start on his rookie Tour campaign, then missed about a month with a wrist injury. However, the promising Illinois prospect has played much better lately, leading the US Open at one point before finishing a tie for 14th, one of three top-15s in his last six Tour starts.

Kelly Kraft

Current FEC position: 131
Finish needed to crack top 125: 27th or better
It is impressive that the 2011 American amateur champion has played six consecutive seasons on Tour, although he had to keep his card last year through KFT Finals. He may very well have to do that again after coming in just 10 times this week this season, otherwise he will play out of the Nos 126-150 category.

Martin trainer

Current FEC position: 135
Finish needed to crack top 125: 18th or better
Who knew that the Puerto Rico Open victory in 2019 would still hold the Trainer to fully exempt status. Trainer’s time for that two-three-year exemption is finally over, unless of course he can crack the top 18 this week, something he’s only done three times this season and not since a T-11 at the Mexico Opened in May .

Harry Higgs (138)

Current FEC position: 138
Finish needed to crack top 125: 13th or better
If only players got FedExCup points for viral moments. A year after moving on to the BMW Championship, Higgs has amassed just three top-15s this season, although two of them came at the Masters (T-14) and CJ Cup (T-9).

ALSO READ  Career day, big lead, little consolation as Ashleigh Buhai sees first major at Muirfield
zero

zero

Rory Sabbatini

Current FEC position: 140
Finish needed to crack top 125: 9th or better
Using his career money waiver this season, the Silver Slovak took just one finish better than T-25, a T-3 at the Shriners Open in the fall. If he doesn’t make the playoffs, he will likely be out of the 126-150 category next season unless he plays well at KFT Finals.

Bill Haas

Current FEC position: 151
Finish needed to crack top 125: 4th or better
Like Sabbatini, Haas also took advantage of his career money waiver this season, so he will at least have to make the cut to have a chance of making the top 150. Cupper will have the KFT Finals and then, in the worst case scenario, have to have a decent position in the reshuffle for categories 34-39, which includes former champions and other Tour veterans. He comes in this week after missing five of his last seven cuts.

Luke Donald

Current FEC position: 159
Finish needed to crack top 125: 3rd or better
The recently named European Ryder Cup captain and former world No. 1 has only achieved one top-20 this season while playing a career money waiver this season, which was a T-16 at one of his favorite events, the Valspar . It is possible to get into the top 125 this week, and if not, he will be in a similar position to Haas, although his free time will be spent preparing for Italy in September 2023.