The Wyndham Championship represented the end of the regular season for the 2017-18 PGA Tour campaign.
Those who finished top 125 in the FedEx Cup standings after the event earned spots in the playoffs (which start next week). It was also a week where PGA Tour cards were in the balance, as those not already secured a 2018-19 Tour card needed to finish the tournament top 125 in the standings to get one.
Anyone not already exempt who fell short will have to go to Web.com Tour Finals to try to get that 2018-19 card. And for those who didn’t qualify for the Web.com Tour Finals … that Tour card will probably have to wait a year at least.
Anyway, here’s a look at the winners and losers from the top 125 bubble this week:
The Canadian began the week 129th in the FedEx Cup standings and needed to finish top 125 to retain his PGA Tour card. He wasn’t in position heading into the last round, but a clutch final 18 changed all that. Taylor used an eagle and a birdie in his final four holes Sunday to a fire a closing 7-under 63 that saw him jump 21 spots to a tie for eighth. With that showing, Taylor pushed up to No. 119 in the FedEx Cup standings. He will keep his PGA Tour card for 2018-19 and now has a spot in The Northern Trust, the opening event of the FedEx Cup Playoffs.
Saunders was pretty safe entering the week, but for good measure he put up a solid T-45. That ensured Arnold Palmer’s grandson would stay at 120th in the FedEx Cup standings and keep his PGA Tour card. Now he heads off to The Northern Trust.
A nervous closing day for English, but he held his nerve and his card. English was in position to lose his card at No. 132 to start the week, but he pieced together four sub-70 rounds on his way to a T-11 finish. That jumped him to 124th as held onto his card. The effort included a gutsy final-hole par.
A missed cut wasn’t what Power was looking for, but it didn’t end up biting him. The Irishman began the week No. 123 and seemed in position to lose his Tour card after missing the cut at Wyndham. But his point total for the season just held up enough, as he dropped just two spots at the end of the week. That put him exactly at No. 125 … barely what he needed to retain his card and make the playoffs, but he got it. Maybe Power didn’t pass through in style, but we bet he will take it.
A similar story to Power’s except with a much worse fate. Piller followed Power in missing the cut and dropping two spots. Only, he came in at No. 124 and could only afford to drop one spot. His drop down to No. 126 means Piller fails to grab his Tour card for 2018-19 by a single spot. He will now have to go to Web.com Tour Finals to try to get it back. Brutal.
Tyrone Van Aswegen
Another in the sad two-spot drop story. Van Aswegen began the week No. 125, but a missed cut meant he fell to 127th by week’s end. He has failed to retain his Tour card and also will need a strong showing at Web.com Tour Finals to get it back.
That was a tough Sunday to watch for Garcia fans. The Spaniard was right in position to jump from No. 131 to inside the top 125 as he sat T-8 through 54 holes. But Garcia never got much going in the final round, and three bogeys early in the back nine doomed him to a lackluster closing 70. That dropped him to T-24, a finish that saw him move up in the standings but only to No. 128. Garcia of course has his PGA Tour card on lock for a while thanks to that five-year exemption from his 2017 Masters title. So that’s of no concern. But his No. 128 finish means he fails to qualify for the FedEx Cup Playoffs for the first time. That’s a tough blow, especially for a guy looking to make some noise to get a Ryder Cup captain’s pick.
Like Garcia, Hearn can blame a poor final-round 70 for failing to get him into the top 125. The Canadian looked in line for a miracle push as he was projected inside the top 125 through 54 holes despite starting the week at No. 156. That’s because he sat all the way at T-2 after a third-round 64. But he began his final round bogey-bogey and even a late eagle couldn’t save him. His drop to T-8 by the end meant he instead finished 138th in the standings and failed to get his 2018-19 card. Web.com Tour Finals likely awaits for the Canadian.