10. Harold Varner III
A guy who knows a thing or two about making a move late in the season, Varner III was 138th in the FedExCup standings coming into last year’s Wyndham Championship. With four rounds in the 60s, including a first-round 63, he finished T10 and snuck in front of the playoff cut line, at No. 123.
Not done there, a T20 the following week at The Northern Trust, the first round of the playoffs, earned him enough points to play in round 2 as well.
The 27-year-old product of East Carolina University, a 2.5 hour drive from Sedgefield, is under less pressure coming into this year’s edition, as his spot at No. 105 in the FedExCup standings have him guaranteed a spot in the playoffs, but he has his sights set further than the first round.
Varner III has bounced back nicely from a poor first half of the season, placing T7 in THE PLAYERS Championship in May, and over his last three starts he has finished T5-6-T17.
World Rank: 164
FedExCup Rank: 41
Last Six: MC, MC, MC, 21, 2, 56
9. Jason Kokrak
A seemingly anomalous name on the PGA Championship’s 36-hole leaderboard was that of Jason Kokrak, who opened Bellerive 68-67 and sat in 12th place after two rounds, tied with marquee players such as Jon Rahm, Jason Day, Adam Scott, and Francesco Molinari.
Kokrak stumbled with a 1-over 71 on Saturday, but rebounded with a Sunday 67 to finish T19, by far his best finish in a major to date (8 professional major starts). It was his third quality start in his last four outings, as the 33-year-old was T3 at A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier and T12 at the RBC Canadian Open.
His four top-10s on the season tie a career high, and he currently sits 400K short of his first $2 million season. A big chunk of that could come this weekend for the suddenly-hot Kokrak, who finished T16 last year at Sedgefield, largely off the strength of a 63 in the third round.
World Rank: 106
FedExCup Rank: 61
Last Six: 19, 12, MC, 3, MC, MC
8. Shane Lowry
With Adam Scott withdrawing from the Wyndham field, Shane Lowry is the player at Sedgefield who stayed longest in contention at last week’s PGA Championship, hitting 9-under at the Sunday turn and getting within two strokes of Brooks Koepka’s lead.
Playing the final round with defending champion Justin Thomas, Lowry was unable to keep the momentum going down the stretch, but his even-par 70 still meant a respectable T12 finish, his best PGA Championship result by 36 places. The affable Irishman now has three consecutive top-15 finishes on Tour, but a mostly-underwhelming season has him currently sitting 139th in the FedExCup standings.
Finishing T7 at last year’s Wyndham Championship, Lowry will need a similar result this week if he wants to continue his season into the playoffs.
World Rank: 81
FedExCup Rank: 139
Last Six: 12, 15, 12, MC, 28, 16
7. Daniel Berger
Brooks Koepka is not the only Florida State alum who likes the majors. After opening up the PGA Championship with a disappointing 3-over 73, Berger finished Bellerive 65-66-68 for a T12; not bad considering he was 6-over through nine holes on Thursday.
Berger also was a factor at the U.S. Open in June, making the final Sunday pairing and finishing T6. Strangely, that U.S. Open is his only top 10 in a season that has been otherwise disappointing.
A second consecutive productive week could give him tremendous momentum going into the FedExCup playoffs (he currently ranks No. 83), and greatly aid his chances of making the Tour Championship for the fourth straight year.
World Rank: 42
FedExCup Rank: 83
Last Six: 12, 15, 12, MC, 28, 16
6. Brandt Snedeker
The winner of the 2007 Wyndham Championship has had a difficult time in 2018, after an injury cost him the last few months of the 2017 season.
The 8-time Tour winner and 2012 FedExCup Champion is showing signs of his old form lately though, as his among his last seven starts are a T6, a T3, and a T8. He was a disaster at The Open Championship, but held his own at last week’s PGA Championship, finishing T42, but playing each of his last three rounds in the 60s.
He is also a true horse for the course, and in addition to the 2007 victory, he also finished T5 in 2009, T8 in 2010, T5 in 2014, and T3 in 2016, his most recent start at Sedgefield.
World Rank: 88
FedExCup Rank: 80
Last Six: 42, 8, MC, 3, MC, 48
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