FedExCup Playoffs Report: The Bubble Battle

Jhonattan Vegas 2017 RBC Canadian Open
Jhonattan Vegas lines up a putt on the second hole during the final round of the 2017 RBC Canadian Open at Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville, ON, Canada. Credit: Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

It has come down to this.

Nearly 40 weeks of clawing, kicking, and scratching to get into the ultra-lucrative FedExCup playoffs, and enjoy all the exemptions that come with it, the final event of the regular season is upon us. At the end of the Wyndham Championship, the top 125 in the FedExCup standings will move on to New Jersey, the site of The Northern Trust, aka the first round of the playoffs.

Jhonattan Vegas 2017 RBC Canadian Open
Jhonattan Vegas lines up a putt on the second hole during the final round of the 2017 RBC Canadian Open at Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville, ON, Canada. Credit: Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

Heading into the last event of the regular season, here is the playoff bubble:

120. Sam Saunders – 411
121. Bud Cauley – 405
122. Jhonattan Vegas – 394
123. Seamus Power – 377
124. Martin Piller – 371
125. Tyrone Van Aswegan – 364
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126. Chad Campbell – 361
127. Robert Garrigus – 353
128. Corey Conners – 344
129. Nick Taylor – 340
130. Tom Lovelady – 332

Among the notables outside the top 125 that still have a realistic shot at sneaking into the playoffs include Sergio Garcia (131), Harris English (132), Shane Lowry (139), Steve Stricker (141), Retief Goosen (147), and Bill Haas (150). Heck, Davis Love III moved inside the top 125 from the 186 slot when he won the 2015 Wyndham.

Those from outside the top 150 who would love to replicate Love’s feat include Hunter Mahan (157), Wesley Bryan (161), and Jim Furyk (171).

In regards to the bubble, it should be pointed out that No. 121 Bud Cauley will not be at Sedgefield, as he is out indefinitely, recovering from injuries (broken ribs, a collapsed lung, and a leg fracture) sustained during a serious car crash the week of The Memorial Tournament. If he stays inside the top 125 after this week, his position will not be replaced by someone who otherwise would not make the field. There would simply be one less player at The Northern Trust.

In an average year, 2.7 golfers play themselves from outside the top 125 to inside at the Wyndham Championship. Last year was above average with four players – Martin Flores, Rory Sabbatini, Harold Varner III, and JJ Henry – making the move.

While the bubble gets the most attention, it is not just the players on the periphery of the playoffs that are concerned with their position. After the first round of the playoffs, only the top 100 will move on to the second round, with similar cuts being made after the second and third round. FedExCup points do not reset until the Tour Championship, so earning more points at Sedgefield this week helps anyone hoping to make a deep playoff run.

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