It’s time to pick your favorite cliché about time:
Here are a few that will come into the conversation this week as the PGA Tour heads to the Wyndham Championship, the final event before the FedEx Cup Playoffs.
- There is no tomorrow
- Go the extra mile
- Give 110 percent
No matter your choice, they aren’t cliches this week on the PGA Tour. They are the facts of life. And by facts of life, we mean Tour players’ future playing rights…at least for the next three weeks.
This week’s event, and the No. 125 spot in the rankings, will be under a microscope as players outside struggle to get into the top 125 and players inside the top 125 fight to stay in.
The prize? A trip to next week’s first playoff event, the Northern Trust. After that, there will be a cutdown to the top 70 for the second event, the BMW Championship. Then there will be a cut to the top 30 for the final event, the Tour Championship. Get to that last event and the payday for everyone goes up exponentially.
But, more on the playoff events later, after we try to figure out who steps into the winner’s circle this week.
Odds To Win The Wyndham Championship From FanDuel
|Wyndham Championship Odds||FanDuel|
The Key Is Who Needs It The Most
There’s no doubt if you’re in the top 100 or so and playing in this event you’re already guaranteed a spot in the first playoff event.
It’s when we get down to the area around No. 120 that the sweat factor starts to ramp up. If you’re No. 120, there’s no guarantee you’ll still be around. There’s certainly the chance players outside the top 125 will earn a spot with a win or even a top-10 finish. It’s going to come down to one or two points between keeping your week going and hitting the range for the next three weeks wondering what went wrong.
Many Big Names Sitting This One Out
The reason we’re talking so much about the top 125 is simple: A majority of those in the top 50 are taking time off to fine-tune their game for the playoffs. They will glide through the first week and then start taking aim at that top-30 ranking.
No. 1 in the FedEx Cup rankings right now is Collin Morikawa. He’s not here. Neither is No. 2 Jordan Spieth or No. 3 Patrick Cantlay. You get the picture. In fact, No. 11 Jason Kokrak is the highest-ranked player in the field.
That opens the door for those who have to make a move.
So we will concentrate this week on a player ranked inside the top 125 but outside of the top 70 who still needs a solid showing. We will also focus on one of those outside the top 125 who has no business being there but has this one last chance to make a move.
Watch Out For An Old Favorite
Matt Kuchar, ranked No. 120 in the FedEx Cup rankings, is way down the list at +13000 to win this week.
He’s in uncharted territory with this low ranking. He hasn’t been outside the top 100 in the rankings since 2008 when he was 115th. He missed the cut in last week’s Barracuda Classic making it three missed cuts and a WD in recent events.
Not exactly in top form. But, with the starpower down this week, this just might be the perfect storm for Kuchar. It better be or he may miss out on a playoff run for the first time since 2006.
The bad news is he hasn’t played in this event because he’s been high enough in the standings that he was one of those guys taking the week off to get ready for the playoffs.
Now, it’s time to get back on track.
Outside The Top 125 Is No Place To Be
We’ve harped on it for a couple of weeks now: No. 126 in the FedEx Cup standings is no place to wind up as the playoffs get underway.
Well, Justin Rose at +5000 now knows that feeling well. He’s No. 134 in the rankings but playing well enough to move up. All he needs is that one perfect storm week.
We’re betting this just might fit that mold. He was T-8 in the PGA Championship but then scuffled down the line heading into this week.
Rose is another one entering unfamiliar territory playing the week before the playoffs begin. And in his case, like Kuchar’s, it’s a week he’s got to perform very, very well or shut it down for a while.
He’s just got to hope it’s not too late. If he wins this week, the timing couldn’t be better.
A victory here, worth 500 points, would put him into the top 50 in the FedEx Cup race…a spot he’s more familiar with.
One More On The Bubble…Literally
Then there’s Rickie Fowler. He’s Bubble Boy right now at No. 125. He’s +4800 this week and has never missed the playoffs.
Will his goal be to win and move up as far as possible in the playoff picture or will he play it a little safer and just try to keep his foot in the door?
That’s going to be the mindset of a lot of players this week so it’s definitely going to be a guessing game when it comes to players’ mindset.