August 15, 2021
The Wyndham Championship, the last event of the regular season of the PGA Tour, has long been the last opportunity for professionals to play their way into the lucrative FedEx Cup playoffs and secure PGA Tour tickets for the next season. It is full of triumph and heartbreak.
The top 125 FedEx Cup ranked players at the end of the regular season will advance to the playoffs, and those 125 will be completely exempted for the next season. Some players who have won tournaments in recent years are still playing these (longer) exceptions, but for most professionals getting into the top 125 is crucial.
Take Chesson Hadley, for example, who entered the FedEx Cup standings in week 132. He had to make up seven places to get into the top 125. A difficult task, no doubt, but then he finished with an eight-under 62 on Sunday and finished in 125th place thanks to a late three-putt bogey from Justin Rose.
Final hole 3-putt sends a player into the FedEx Cup playoffs – and boots the former number 1 in the world
Rose (126) is one of the big names who couldn’t qualify for the playoffs but didn’t have to worry about keeping a card. He is good by a WGC win through 2023-24. Rickie Fowler (134th) is safe with his Players win until 2022-23, Francesco Molinari (142nd) is still good until 2024-25 with his Open Championship win and Jimmy Walker (166th) is with his PGA win good for the next season at Baltusrol.
But those who didn’t make the top 125 and have no other exceptions to fall back on – previous wins, career earnings, etc. – are given conditional status and have more to do, even though they still have the option of theirs regain full status. Those who finish 126-200 in the FedEx Cup standings will qualify for the Korn Ferry Tour Finals, a series of three tournaments in which that 75-person group made the top 75 on this year’s Korn Ferry Tour regular season scoreboard achieved.
At the end of this series, 25 PGA Tour cards will be distributed to the top 25 players; 25 were awarded to the top 25 of the regular season of the Korn Ferry Tour on Sunday evening. (Due to the shortening of the pandemic last season, no players lost tickets and no Korn Ferry Tour players were promoted at the end of the year.)
So for some players, like the ones listed below, there is still a chance that they will be returning as regular PGA Tour cardholders in no time. Here are five players who have lost their full status, at least for now.
5 players who lost their PGA Tour tickets on Sunday
Patrick Rodgers (128th) – Rodgers was exempt this season but dropped from 123rd place this week to 128th place. He was just one of three players to start the week but fold, along with Bo Hoag and Ryan Armor. Roger Sloan, Scott Piercy and Hadley were the three to jump into the top 125.
Tommy Fleetwood (137th) – Europe’s Ryder Cup star only missed four of 18 cuts on the PGA Tour this season, but only had four top 25. He has 88 starts yet to win the PGA Tour.
Ryan Moore (144) – Ryan Moore has always been on tour and will likely still be in some capacity, either with conditional status or if he can get his full ticket back through the Korn Ferry Tour Finals. He made at least a million a year from 2006 to 2019, but in the past two years he has had three top 10s out of 32 starts.
Jason Dufner (154.) – Jason Dufner finished Sunday with a 63 and finished 24th at the Wyndham, but it was only his 15th in 29 starts this season and only his second top 25 place. Dufner won the 2017 Memorial, but that exception only ran that season.
Byeong Hun An (164.) – A fixture on the Tour for the past five years – with at least 22 starts in all of those seasons – An struggled in 2021. He missed a total of 20 cuts from 2017 to 2020, but 15 this season alone.
Josh Berhow is Senior Editor at GOLF.com. Born in Minnesota, she graduated from Minnesota State University in Mankato with a degree in journalism. You can reach him at email@example.com.