NORTON, Mass – The 2020 FedEx Cup Playoffs start this week at TPC Boston with the top 125 players set to tee off Thursday August 20 in The Northern Trust.
Amid the pain of a global pandemic and worldwide economic woes, the true spirit of the FedEx Cup endures: money. For the next three weeks we are going to watch the best golfers in the world slice up a $60 million pie, paid by Federal Express, the majority shareholder of the PGA Tour.
This is a bittersweet week for many players because it means that while plenty of Tour players have secured their cards for 2021, others have lost theirs and are preparing for relegation to the Korn Ferry Tour.
This year, because of the corona pandemic things are different. The PGA Tour canceled or rescheduled 13 events from the 2019-20 calendar and they extended the status of exempt members through the 2020-21 season. So the sting of missing out on the playoffs doesn’t quite mean the same thing as usual.
Still, finishing outside the top 125 has major ramifications for status next year as well as for prize money this year.
Which familiar faces will be missing from this year’s playoffs? Here are the New England players and top names not making the cut.
The 30-year old Massachusetts-native finished No. 166 on the FedEx Cup list. The 2011 U.S. Amateur champion has one career victory on the 2017 Korn Ferry Tour. In 14 PGA Tour events this season, he has made the cut 9 times earning $301,846.
The 40-year old Bay State native finished No. 138 on the FedEx Cup standings with one top-10 finish. Last week at the Wyndham Championship he finished a disappointing T-15, after flirting with the lead in Round 3. He’s made the cut in 11 of 21 events while pocketing $454,470.
Last fall Stenson won the 2019 Hero World Challenge but that event does not award FedEx Cup points. Despite his world ranking of No. 39, he finished No. 201 and won’t be making the trip to TPC Boston.
Furyk, 50, finished runner-up in this year’s Players Championship ,behind Rory McIlroy, but that doesn’t carry any weight in terms of this year’s FedEx Cup. Furyk is ranked No. 181 but the former FedEx Cup Champion is still ranked No. 4 in all-time career earnings at over $50 million and a potential dominant force on the Champions Tour.
A year ago, Matt Wallace was hovering around the edge of the world Top 25. He finished T3 at the 2019 PGA Championship, ran off a string of top-10s on the European Tour and seemed generally ascendant. He’s another guy with a schedule split between the U.S. and Europe, but his talent and public perception make it a bit of a surprise to see Wallace at No. 134, on the wrong side of the bubble.
Is there anyone else on the PGA Tour who notched two top-5 finishes in 2020 and didn’t make the playoffs, but Schwartzel did just that when he missed the cut at the Wyndham to fall from No. 125 to 128 in the standings. He finished T3 at the 3M, and he finished T5 at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am this winter.
The most surprising name to find below the 125 line is that of Sergio Garcia, the seemingly ageless Spaniard who remains No. 43 in the world but just No. 135 in the FedEx Cup. Garcia’s lackluster season finish can be attributed to a few things. He’s made plenty of weekends, surviving 10 of 12 PGA Tour cuts, but logged just one top-30 finish: a T5 at the RBC Heritage. Garcia is among the Tour’s best drivers, ranking 3rd in strokes gained off the tee and 6th in strokes gained tee-to-green. He was above average around the greens, too — until he got onto the greens themselves. His rank of 202 in strokes gained putting beat just nine players.