At Wyndham Championship, playoffs start early for hopefuls Adam Scott, Shane Lowry
Shane Lowry has been in these kinds of situations before.
He missed the Tour Championship by two spots last season.
Back in 2019, he ended up just three places outside the top 30, again not qualifying for East Lake.
And two years before that he arrived at the Wyndham Championship thinking he needed a top-10 finish to get into the FedExCup Playoffs. That’s what Lowry was told, at least, and despite a T-7 showing at Sedgefield Country Club, Lowry fell just two spots shy of extending his season.
“So, I feel like the playoffs nearly owes me one at this stage,” said Lowry, who once again finds himself on the playoff bubble as he prepares for the Tour’s regular-season finale, the Wyndham, sitting at No. 76 in points, six spots shy of the cutoff for the first playoff event, next week’s FedEx St. Jude Championship, which for the first time will feature a truncated field, down from 125 players, and no cut.
According to GolfChannel.com math, Lowry needs a minimum finish of a two-way tie for 23rd. Though if he requires no help, Lowry must finish solo third or better.
Lowry, of course, isn’t the only notable name here in Greensboro, North Carolina, trying to keep his season going. Justin Thomas, who needs a minimum finish of 18th to make the playoffs, headlines the list of players currently on the outside looking in, but Adam Scott, Gary Woodland and Billy Horschel, among others, also all have work to do thanks to the Tour’s playoff restructuring.
“I think it’s hard to like it when you’re on the outside, honestly. I generally do,” Scott said of the playoff changes. “I mean, that’s my easy answer. Looking at the whole FedExCup as a whole is a long, drawn-out thing, we could take the conversation in lots of directions, but I think it certainly intensifies the competition throughout the year and that’s probably a good thing.”
Scott has never missed the playoffs since their inception in 2007. Yet, he’s currently No. 81 in points, needing a minimum finish of a two-way tie for ninth to have a shot at the playoffs. In Scott’s case, a two-way tie for second or better would get the job done without any help.
But Scott, T-2 here at Wyndham just two seasons ago, isn’t focused on the minimum requirements.
“I’m really thinking about winning the tournament, not just trying to squeak in next week,” Scott said. “I probably have to have a pretty high result to get in anyway, so I may as well think about winning, that’s what I would like to do the most this week.”
Lowry, though, admits that he’s more focused on just giving himself a chance to play next week in Memphis.
“I think it’s easy to sit here and go, oh, I just want to play well, I want to go out and try and win the tournament,” Lowry argues. “No, at the end of the day, I want to make it into next week, I want to make it into the playoffs and I want to make a run at the playoffs. You know, at this stage I’m sitting here and I still feel like I can make the Tour Championship, so that’s an exciting place to be. I think obviously I would prefer if I was in better spot coming in here, but I’m not. It is what it is now and I’m going to need a good week this week. Memphis is a course that I like playing and I’ve played all right in the past, so if I can get there, I know I can make a run there.
“Yeah, I certainly don’t want to be sitting home on my couch watching the playoffs. It’s a lot of motivation for me this week to play good golf and hopefully get my rewards at the end of it.”