And then there was one.
It’s now grand finale week for those looking to get into the top 125 and qualify for the FedEx Cup playoffs. This week’s PGA Tour stop, the Wyndham Championship, will be held at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, North Carolina. This is the all-or-nothing event for those outside the top 125 trying to keep their season alive.
Play well enough to get in and you move on. Struggle and don’t move up the list and you’ve got a little vacation time before the fall season gets under way.
Oh, and the movement can go the other way as well: Play poorly if you’re just inside the top 125 and your season can come to a screeching halt, too.
There are a lot of big-name players looking to get into the top 125 and a few of those names are surprising. Let’s see who can keep their dreams alive and earn a coveted spot in the playoffs and a bigger payday.
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Odds To Win The Wyndham Championship
|Harold Varner III||+2500|
|Si Woo Kim||+2800|
As always, shop around the sports betting industry for the best odds on your plays.
A Word From a Former Bubble Boy
A friend of ours, Craig Barlow, spent more than his share of a solid PGA Tour career sitting precariously right around that No. 125 bubble.
But in his days (he left the pro golf game in 2016 and is now an instructor at a Las Vegas resort golf course) that No. 125 number meant the difference between getting your PGA Tour card and having to go and face the gauntlet of what was then golf’s toughest tournament: Qualifying School.
So, what’s it like having to deal with playing events when you’re right on the bubble?
“Obviously, you try to not make it different than other weeks,” Barlow said. “You practice your whole life to put things behind you and just give it your best effort.”
That being said, the outcome isn’t always a positive one.
“I’m happy to say I was able to succeed under the pressure a lot of times,” Barlow added. “But there were also times I failed. You certainly don’t want a steady diet of it.”
What advice would he give these guys around No. 125?
“You don’t get ranked this high without being able to deal with pressure,” he said. “Is it fun? No. Is it something you can be in control of? It is. These guys have practiced their whole life to put things behind them and focus on the job at hand.”
So who handles the pressure the best? Let’s find out.
Should You Be Looking Up or Down?
That is the question for those just inside the No. 125 spot. Do they keep tabs on the players below them who are trying to displace them in the top 125 or do they look at players right above them and watch their progress?
Or, because there is no defense in golf, do they just concentrate on their game and let the chips fall where they may?
Whew, so much to ponder.
We’re going to look at a guy who has been in the top 125 forever, but is trying to hang on right now–Webb Simpson at +2000 this week.
He is No. 126 (for some strange reason) and he’s got to make his move now. To say the pressure is on would be a massive understatement as a T-69 finish last week saw him drop a spot from the coveted No. 125.
But enough with the negativity. We’ve saved the best news for last when it comes to Simpson. He loves this place. The last three years he was T-7, solo third and solo second.
He knows his way around this place and knows what’s on the line. Add those two together and we expect him to perform very well and get into the top 125.
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Taking Simpson’s Place as Bubble Boy
That would be Stewart Cink who has the target on his back this week as he sits on that coveted No. 125 spot. He’s at an astounding +13000 this week.
He skipped this tournament last year because he was solidly in the playoff chase after having posted two victories.
This year, not so much. He’s got six top-25s this year but only two top-10s. He’s got to perform well this week or he’s going to get passed and likely by more than one player.
On the other hand, a win would move him into the top 70 and he could breathe a little easier as he gears up for what he hopes is a long playoff run.
Pressure? You bet.
Can he handle it? We’re betting he can.
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Around the Prop Scene
We’re going to continue with the idea Cameron Champ can somehow get into the playoffs. He’s No. 141 heading into this week so he needs a great week.
With that in mind, we’re going to pencil him in (note: we aren’t going to use ink) to finish in the top 10 at +700. A finish that high just might prolong his season at least one more week.
We’re also going to take a flier at there being a playoff at +300. After all, there was a six-way playoff last year when Kevin Kisner survived to win the tournament on the second playoff hole.
And one final prop. We’re going to look at Roger Sloan to finish in the top 40 at +350.
You might be asking: Who? Well, Sloan was one of the six players in last year’s playoff. He’s way down the FedEx Cup list at No. 176. Even a top-40 finish might not get him into the playoffs but his drive will be there to finish as high as possible.
And being in last year’s playoff here will certainly give him a boost of confidence at this course.