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Golf Monthly
Golf Monthly
Mike Hall

9 Big Names Outside Of The FedEx Cup Playoffs Cut Off

An image featuring the FedEx Cup trophy and Justin Thomas, Billy Horschel, Shane Lowry and Joel Dahmen

The PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup Playoffs promise a thrilling conclusion to the 2022/23 season as the top 70 in the FedEx Cup standings compete in the opening FedEx St. Jude Championship before that number is whittled down to 50 for the BMW Championship, with just 30 battling it out for the trophy at East Lake Golf Club in the Tour Championship.

However, while household names including Scottie Scheffler, Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm are assured of their involvement, others find themselves on the cusp of missing out. Here are some of the biggest names currently beneath the cut off for the FedEx Cup Playoffs.

Justin Thomas

Justin Thomas may miss the Tour Championship for the first time in eight years (Image credit: Getty Images)

The biggest name in danger of missing out on the FedEx St. Jude Championship is Justin Thomas. It’s still less than 15 months since the American won the PGA Championship for a second time, but he’s endured a slump in form at just the wrong time that sees him nine places beneath the cut off with just the Wyndham Championship to salvage his chances.

There have been some encouraging results for Thomas in 2023, including fourth in February’s WM Phoenix Open, a T10 at the Valspar Championship and a T9 most recently in June’s Travelers Championship. In truth, though, encouraging performances have been few and far between for a player who finished fourth in last year’s Tour Championship.

Missed cuts in three of his last four starts, including the penultimate tournament of the regular season, the 3M Open, leave him in real danger of failing to qualify after the previous seven years had seen him reach the Tour Championship. There's more potential disappointment on the horizon, too, with a place in the Ryder Cup in the balance. 

Shane Lowry

Shane Lowry's good performances in three Majors may not be enough for him to reach the FedEx Cup Playoffs (Image credit: Getty Images)

Three places above Thomas in the standings in 76th is Shane Lowry. The 2019 Open champion failed to reach last year’s Tour Championship, but he played his part in the two FedEx Cup Playoff tournaments that preceded it, finishing T46 at the FedEx St. Jude Championship and T12 at the BMW Championship.

The Irishman has only one top-10 finish in the 2022/23 season so far, though – a T5 in February’s Honda Classic. 

Lowry accumulated useful hauls of FedEx Cup points for his finishes in three of the Majors, with a T16 at The Masters, T12 at the PGA Championship and T20 at the US Open. However, patchy form elsewhere leaves him with work to do in the final regular event of the season, the Wyndham Championship.

Adam Scott

Adam Scott won the Tour Championship in 2006, but he faces a tall order to repeat the feat 17 years on (Image credit: Getty Images)

Former World No.1 Scott has had several bright spots in the 2022/23 season, including a purple patch that included three top-10 finishes in four starts between May’s Wells Fargo Championship and June’s Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village.

The 2013 Masters champion also didn’t miss a cut until the US Open later that month, but another followed a few weeks later, at the Genesis Scottish Open, to harm his chances of reaching the FedEx Cup Playoffs.

Standing in 81st with one tournament to play, the 2006 Tour Championship winner, who claimed the trophy the year before the FedEx Cup Playoffs were established, will need to recover his best form to have a chance at repeating that achievement.

Billy Horschel

Billy Horschel is philosophical about his chances of reaching the FedEx Cup Playoffs (Image credit: Getty Images)

The American has been characteristically honest about his poor form in recent months, but there were encouraging signs of recovery in the 3M Open, where he finished T13.

At 116 in the FedEx Cup standings, the 2014 winner of the Tour Championship has a lot to do to reach the FedEx St. Jude Championship in the last tournament of the regular season, but he appears philosophical regardless of the outcome at Sedgefield Country Club.

Before the 3M Open, Horschel said: “I'm more focused on trying to get my game and get the game back to where I want it to be, get back to playing quality golf, get back to being in contention to win tournaments. If I can do that these next two weeks, hopefully I can qualify for the FedExCup Playoffs. Because obviously that still is my goal, but like a lot of guys, I'm not too stressed about it.”

For the seven-time PGA Tour winner, then, it appears qualification would be a bonus after a difficult season, with the overall aim of recovering his best form in the longer term.

Danny Willett

Despite a strong start to the season Danny Willett faces an uphill task to reach the FedEx Cup Playoffs (Image credit: Getty Images)

The 2016 Masters champion’s PGA Tour season got off to a fantastic start with runner-up at the Fortinet Championship – enough to earn him a useful 300 FedEx Cup points, but Willett has failed to scale those heights since.

Willett will need to finish comfortably inside the top 10 in the Wyndham Championship to reach the top 70 from his current standing of 83rd. 

However, since that performance at Silverado Resort and Spa in September, Willett has missed eight missed cuts with no more top 10 finishes, suggesting his chances of qualifying for the FedEx St. Jude Championship are slim.

Matt Wallace

Matt Wallace claimed his first PGA Tour victory in 2023, but he could still miss out on the season-ending Playoffs (Image credit: Getty Images)

Between Thomas and Scott in the standings is Matt Wallace, in 80th. The Englishman has enjoyed most of his success on the DP World Tour with four wins including the 2018 BMW International Open.

However, 2023 brought his first PGA Tour win, when he beat Dane Nicolai Hojgaard by one shot in the Punta Corales Championship. That came immediately after a T7 in the Valspar Championship and appeared to set up Wallace, who reached a career-high of 23rd in the world rankings in 2019, for a successful end to the season.

It hasn’t quite worked out, with six missed cuts in his last 12 starts, leaving him some way short of reaching the FedEx Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2021.

Gary Woodland

An indifferent season leaves Gary Woodland 97th in the FedEx Cup standings (Image credit: Getty Images)

The 2019 US Open winner has endured an indifferent season, with T9s in the Cadence Bank Houston Open and designated event the Genesis Invitational the best Woodland has produced.

Despite that, the American is still in with a chance of reaching the FedEx Cup Playoffs, but he’ll need to produce something special in the Wyndham Championship having missed the cut in the penultimate tournament, the 3M Open.

Woodland goes into that tournament 97th in the standings, over 150 points adrift of the current points total accumulated by Austin Eckroat in 70th. With 500 points available to the winner at Sedgefield Country Club, it’s not all over for Woodland just yet, but the four-time PGA Tour winner will need a top three finish to have a chance.

Joel Dahmen

A run of missed cuts sees Joel Dahmen 82nd in the FedEx Cup standings (Image credit: Getty Images)

Helped by a T10 in the US Open, the popular Dahmen reached the 2022 FedEx St. Jude Championship, and there were high hopes he would build on that relatively successful season in 2023.

Unfortunately, though, it hasn’t quite happened for the American, despite gaining plenty of new fans thanks to his starring role in Netflix docuseries Full Swing.

Three successive top 10 finishes in the World Wide Technology Championship, Cadence Bank Houston Open and RSM Classic towards the end of 2022 appeared to set Dahmen up for an excellent season, but his form has dropped off considerably in recent months. He has endured missed cuts in six of his last seven outings, leaving his place in jeopardy 12 spots adrift of the cut off with one tournament to play.

Alex Noren

Alex Noren is yet to translate DP World Tour success to the PGA Tour (Image credit: Getty Images)

Swede Noren has enjoyed huge success on the DP World Tour with 10 victories, but he’s yet to make a significant impact on the PGA Tour. 

At 102 in the FedEx Cup standings, it looks as though making the FedEx St. Jude Championship is a tall order. However, Noren has showed glimpses of his best form in recent weeks, including a T9 in the Rocket Mortgage Classic and a T13 in the 3M Open.

Can one last push see Noren sneak into the FedEx Cup Playoffs in his last attempt at Sedgefield Country Club? It’s not inconceivable, but is perhaps unlikely.

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