Last chance for Fowler, others to make PGA Tour playoffs

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Rickie Fowler gets a final chance to keep his season going at the Wyndham Championship this week. And he’s not the only big name on the PGA Tour hoping to end up on the right side of golf’s playoff standings.

The top 125 players in the FedEx Cup make the tour’s postseason. That’s why all but one of those ranked between 104th and 151st will tee it up starting Thursday at Sedgefield Country Club.

Major champions Adam Scott (No. 121), Justin Rose (No. 138) and Francesco Molinari (No. 140) are also playing to stay or, like Fowler at No. 130, get into the chase for the FedEx Cup the next few weeks.

“Yeah, it’s pretty simple,” Fowler said Wednesday. “Back up against the wall, go make some more birdies than I do bogeys and get a tee time next week, and if not, you don’t. Yeah, it’s kind of just all on me.”

Fowler, one of the golf’s most popular players who’s seen in TV commercials galore, wishes he knew why his game has struggled the past couple of seasons. The last of Fowler’s five wins came in 2019 and his only top-10 finish this season was a tie for eighth at the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island in May.

Fowler compared it to kickstarting a dirt bike that revs for a little while and then shuts off.

“There’s been a lot of good stuff within the past four, five, six months, more and more, a little more frequently,” he said. “It’s been a bummer that I’ve been kicking this long, but we’re still here kicking.”

Fowler needs to finish 21st or better this week or miss the playoffs for the first time since he became a full-time pro in 2010. He’s not sure what he would do with the time off.

“Hopefully, it’s better than what it’s been over the last year or two and we won’t have to worry about it,” he said.

Here are some other things to watch at the Wyndham Championship:

FAVORITES

Past Wyndham winner and North Carolina native Webb Simpson is a 12-1 favorite to add another tournament title and his first this season. Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama is 14-1 while Louis Oosthuizen is 18-1, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

STAYING PUT

While Fowler must work to move up, Scott and Matt Kuchar (No. 124) are trying to hold onto their spots in the 125-man playoffs.

“It would be good to have my best week of the year, I would have to say,” Scott said.

MEDALISTS PLAYING

Olympic silver medalist Rory Sabbatini and bronze medal winner C.T. Pan are in the field. Sabbatini, 141st in the playoff standings, needs a top-six finish to play the Northern Trust next week. Representing Slovakia, Sabbatini shot a 10-under 61 in the final round of the Olympic tournament to finish runner-up to American Xander Schauffele.

“It was incredible. Every which way, every part of it was amazing,” Sabbatini said.

CHANCE AT NO. 1

Louis Oosthuizen has no worries about his playoff spot, sitting eighth in the FedEx Cup. Should he win or finish second at Wyndham, the South African would overtake Collin Morikawa for the top spot and win a $2 million bonus.

WHERE THERE’S A WILL

Will Zalatoris also needs a win to keep his season going. Zalatoris is playing on a sponsor’s exemption as a special temporary member of the PGA Tour. Although he would’ve had enough FedEx points to qualify 26th, he’s ineligible for the playoffs unless the 24-year-old Masters runner-up takes home this championship.

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