With the FedExCup regular season ending in mid-August, the competition for spots in the Playoffs is nearing an end.
As of the end of July, 18 of the 32 PGA Tour players with ties to Georgia were inside the top 125 on the points list, the cutoff for qualifying for the Playoffs and retaining exempt status on the tour in 2014.
Those who finish between 126 and 200 at the end of the regular season will have to play in a four-tournament series along with the top players on the Web.com Tour for 25 spots on the 2014 PGA Tour, with those tournaments coinciding with the FedExCup Playoffs.
Here’s a look at how the Georgia contingent on the PGA Tour stood in the FedExCup race as of late July:
Matt Kuchar (Georgia Tech/St. Simons Island resident), 2: Has two wins this season in high profile events (WGC Match Play and Memorial) and almost had a third the week before Memorial, losing by a shot in the Colonial. Moved up one spot from 3rd with tie for 2nd in Canadian Open. Has relied on his putting and short game, ranking 6th in scoring average despite sub-par driving stats.
Harris English (South Georgia native/UGA/St. Simons resident), 16: Scored first PGA Tour win recently in Memphis, earning 2014 Masters invite. Had three top 10s previously this season and a T15 in British Open, with driving accuracy his only below average stat. Improved putting has been a key to success this season.
Russell Henley (Macon native/UGA), 18: Began his rookie season on the tour with birdies on his last five holes to win in Hawaii, and added ties for 6th on two respected courses (Sea Pines and Muirfield Village). Ranks in the top 25 in a number of stats – putting, driving, birdies and all-around category, and has played well on Sundays. Only disappointments were poor second round scores in Masters and Players.
Charles Howell (Augusta native), 21: Opened the season with three straight top 10s, including a playoff loss in the Humana Challenge, but hasn’t had any since, and narrowly missed qualifying for both the Masters and U.S. and British Opens as a result. Dramatic improvements in putting and overall short game have helped compensate for some struggles off the tee.
Chris Kirk (Woodstock native/UGA/St. Simons resident), 24: Started season fast with T5 in Hawaii and close runner-up finish at Pebble Beach, but has been steady since without a top 15 finish until top 10 in second tied event in Mississippi. Leads the tour in scrambling and ranks around 20th in both putting and scoring, but ball striking stats are not as good.
Zach Johnson (St. Simons resident), 29: Struggled early, but was 3rd at Colonial after decent showing in Players. Lost a playoff in the John Deere and was T6 at the British in consecutive weeks. Other than fairways hit, stats aren’t very good, but three recent top-6 finishes in six starts more than compensates.
Bubba Watson (UGA), 37: Has played respectably after 2012 Masters victory, but no wins and only one stroke play top 10 prior to recent late collapse in Hartford. Ranks 11th in greens in regulation, 8th in driving distance and 6th in birdies, but results don’t reflect those figures. Not the first player to struggle a bit after capturing first major title.
Roberto Castro (Alpharetta resident/Ga. Tech), 41: Has recorded seven top-25s, but wasn’t able to produce big final round for top finish until strong Sunday showing at Congressional resulted in runner-up performance. Accurate off tee and with irons, but has been stymied by dismal putting stats and so-so final round scoring average. which has been improving. Opening 63 at Players started run of strong efforts.
Cameron Tringale (Ga. Tech), 54: Continues to improve in fourth season on tour, with 3rd place finish in Tampa the highlight of solid showing thus far. Stats are solid across the board and has played well on weekends, a positive sign for continued success.
Scott Brown (Augusta native), 67: Won the second-tier event in Puerto Rico early in his second PGA Tour season and was T13 at Bay Hill two weeks later, but hasn’t been heard from since. Win will keep him exempt through 2015 season.
Nicholas Thompson (Ga. Tech), 71: Had chance to make move in standings in Memphis, but dropped out of top 25 after final round 75. Rebounded with a string of excellent efforts, including 4th place finish in Mississippi, where he missed a playoff by one shot. Also played well early withT6 in Humana Challenge and a few other strong showings. Stats other than putting and Sunday scoring are promising.
Stewart Cink (Ga. Tech/Duluth resident), 73: Playing better after worst season of his career in 2012. Has three top 10s, including T3 in Houston, and six top 25s despite struggling with both the driver and putter. Solid iron play has been key to improved results.
Patrick Reed (Augusta State), 75: Up-and-down rookie season includes four top 10s, including recent 5th in Memphis, T7 in John Deere and T9 in Canada. Stats not very impressive, but has knack for scoring, as he displayed last year when he kept playing his way into fields in six Monday qualifiers.
Jason Bohn (Acworth resident), 93: Saved season with recent excellent stretch of play, capped by tie for 2nd in Canada, his fifth top-25 finish in eight starts after four forgettable months to start 2013. Has made a good number of birdies despite struggling to hit greens, at least until he returned to Canada, where he once shot 58 in a Canadian Tour victory.
Lucas Glover (St. Simons resident), 95: Despite poor putting stats, has a pair of T4s (Honda and New Orleans), but hasn’t done much else other than recent T15 in John Deere. Only one victory since winning 2009 U.S. Open, with knee injury leading to career worst season in 2012.
Bryce Molder (Ga. Tech), 97: Recorded top-30 finishes in six of first seven starts on West Coast and in Florida, but did little for three months before recent stretch of solid play. Remains one of the tour’s best putters, but ball striking is sub-standard. Exempt status from 2011 win ends after this season.
Erik Compton (UGA), 108: Finally made it to PGA Tour last year, but had to go back to Q-school to retain playing privileges. Played well early this season including T4 at Honda, but hasn’t done much since tour left Florida. Double heart transplant recipient has no major health issues of late.
Brian Harman (Savannah native/UGA/St. Simons resident), 117: After respectable rookie effort in 2012, has had undistinguished second season, missing almost as many cuts as he’s made. Other than putting, stats are consistently below average. Former No. 1-ranked junior still looking to achieve success some of his former college teammates have already enjoyed.
Justin Bolli (former Roswell resident/UGA), 143: Has a pair of 4th place finishes this season, most recently in Byron Nelson, shooting 66 and 65 in the final round those weeks. Has missed 15 of 20 cuts, including eight in a row after Byron Nelson. Has spent the last decade going back and forth between PGA and Nationwide/Web.com Tours, and could be headed back to golf’s Class AAA in 2014.
Vaughn Taylor (Augusta resident/Augusta State), 150: After seven straight seasons in the top 100, is heading for his third straight year outside the top 125. Best showing has been a T10 in Charlotte and three top 25s during the Florida swing, but his playing opportunities have been limited due to non-exempt status.
Brendon Todd (UGA/Atlanta resident), 154: After win on Web.com Tour in Athens, has spent most of his time on PGA Tour, notching top 20s in four of five starts. Other than one poor round at Pebble Beach, has played consistent, quality golf all season on both tours, and will earn PGA Tour status for 2014 from Web.com Tour if he falls short of FedExCup Playoffs.
Troy Matteson (Ga. Tech), 159: Played well early this season in Phoenix, but went five months without a top 50 finish, including seven straight missed cuts. Has played better since, but still well outside top 125. Has been exempt for seven seasons on the PGA Tour with two wins, but has a ways to go if he’s going to stay there.
Davis Love (St. Simons resident), 162: Has career exempt status, so current standing no concern. Missed three months this season recovering from neck surgery, but played well at Memorial and Memphis and posted his first top of the year in the Greenbrier. Eligible for Champions Tour in less than a year, but still has game to compete on PGA Tour.
Henrik Norlander (Augusta State), 167: Reed’s teammate in Augusta has played respectably as a rookie, but has only two finishes better than 40th, back-to-back top 20s in New Orleans and Charlotte. Ball striking stats are excellent, but scoring average reflects below average putting numbers.
Luke List (former Ringgold resident), 176: Disappointing rookie season with only 8 of 22 made cuts and a T16 in Charlotte his only top 30 until recent T21 in Canada. Leads PGA Tour in driving distance, but is dead last in fairways hit and not much better in other categories. Only bright spot has been his play on Sundays when he has managed to make cut.
Will Claxton (Swainsboro native), 185: Kept card after very respectable rookie season, his first at a level above the Hooters Tour, but in danger of losing it. Has made only 7 of 22 cuts, with T27 in Memphis his best finish. Near the bottom in putting stats and ball striking hasn’t been strong enough to compensate.
Jonathan Byrd (St. Simons resident), 189: After missing first three months of season with injury and playing poorly in his first eight starts back, notched a T10 in Memphis, but missed next three cuts. Will be eligible for medical extension in 2014 if he doesn’t retain exempt status.
Heath Slocum (Alpharetta resident), 190: After 10 successful seasons and three wins on the PGA Tour, lost his exempt status after struggling in 2012, and has divided his schedule between the PGA and Web.com Tours this year with similar results. Has made 10 of 17 cuts, but has just one finish better than 40th on each tour. Leads both tours in fairways hits, but putting stats have negated his accuracy.
Billy Andrade (Atlanta resident), 202: Played a handful of events to tune up for 2014 Champions Tour, but made a splash when he surprisingly tied for 5th in Mississippi, his first made cut since 2009 and first top 10 since ’06.
Paul Haley (Ga. Tech), 218: Went straight to the Web.com Tour out of Tech and won a tournament last year, but rookie season on the PGA Tour has been a struggle. Made the cut in just 2 of first 16 starts, and needs to move into the top 200 just to make the Web.com post-season series. Last on the PGA Tour in several statistical categories.
David Duval (Ga. Tech). Has played in seven events, mostly on sponsor exemptions, and yet to make a cut. Barely into his 40s, his career appears done after 13 wins between 1997 and 2001, including the ’01 British Open, his last victory.
Blake Adams (Eatonton native/Georgia Southern/Swainsboro resident) and Kris Blanks (Warner Robins native/former assistant pro at The Landings): Both players were sidelined early this season with injuries, making just three starts between them. Both will have medical extension status for the 2014 season.