The field has been cut down from 125 to 100, and now only the top-70 players in the FedEx Cup Standings will head to Chicago next week for the BMW Championship. Last week’s Northern Trust Open already saw 6 players (Nick Watney, Bronson Burgoon, Jhonattan Vegas, Scott Stallings, Danny Lee and Brian Stuard) come from outside the qualifying threshold and make it to Boston. This week is slightly tougher as the field will get cut by 30% instead of just 20% last week. Rather than take a look at the top of the leaderboard, which is now dominated by Bryson DeChambeau following a win in Paramus (with points quadrupled), let’s take a look at some notable storylines for guys currently sitting around the top-70 who will try to make it to the BMW at Aronimink Golf Club in Newton Square, PA.
Notables Inside top-70:
Ryan Palmer | Entering The Northern Trust Open: 100 | Entering Dell Technologies Championship: 50
What a difference a week can make in the FedEx Cup Playoffs! Palmer attributed a solid Saturday afternoon practice session on the driving range that led him to a 6-under 65 on Sunday, where he hit 12 of 14 fairways and 15 of 18 greens en route to a T5 finish. His great roudn got going on the par-5 3rd hole, where he spun a wedge from 61 yards out into the hole for an eagle 3. He added 4 birdies and no bogeys to move up 50 spots in the FedEx Cup standings. Palmer had the largest jump this week of everyone on Tour this past week, and with Atlanta looming on his mind, he will try to get back to the Tour Championship where his best career finish is 14th. He has not won a tournament since the 2010 Sony Open.
Hideki Matsuyama | Entering The Northern Trust Open: 76 | Entering Dell Technologies Championship: 58
Matsuyama had a great week in Paramus by finishing tied for 15th place at -9. The 3-time Presidents Cup participant has struggled to find the winner’s circle in 2018 after winning 5 times in the past 3 years. He’s not exactly comfortable this week, but a made cut and solid finish should push him through to the BMW. The solid ball striker ranks 8th in greens in regulation hit (64.8%) but is nearly 90 spots lower in fairways. He’s struggled to put up some low rounds this year, but he’s trending in the right direction with back-to-back T15 finishes. Despite a solid 2017 regular season, Hideki finished T26 at East Lake last year.
Adam Scott | Entering The Northern Trust Open: 73 | Entering Dell Technologies Championship: 40
Another player who made the best of his time in Paramus, Adam Scott is comfortably going to move on to Pennsylvania after a stellar week at The Northern Trust Open. He finished T5 despite going 70-69 on the weekend. His Friday 64, which included 8 birdies helped propel him up the leaderboard and move 33 spots entering Boston. It’s become apparent over the last couple weeks, specifically following the PGA Championship, that Scott is finding his putting form- which has held him back for much of this season. At Ridgewood Country Club Scott finished 4th in putting average at 1.585 and was in the top-10 of GIR percentage at just over 73.5% for the tournament.
Notables Outside top-70:
Tyrrell Hatton | Entering The Northern Trust Open: 92 | Entering Dell Technologies Championship: 71
Hatton has secured a spot for Europe’s Ryder Cup team, but he would be the highest ranked player (according to the OWGR) to not make it to the BMW if he finishes outside the top-70 this week. He currently ranks 25th in the world and has played well on both Tours this year. However, he needed a bogey-free 64 this past Sunday to get to 71st in the standings and finish T20 for the week. He will still have some work to do if he wants to make it to Pennsylvania and East Lake, but the Brit looks determined to make it to the Tour Championship ahead of his first Ryder Cup. He ranked T6 in GIR last week, and has 4 top-10s in 15 events this year. Arguably one of the most interesting pieces this week came from Hatton’s bag though- where he decided to buy a putter last minute on Sunday and has since shot two sub-65 rounds with it.
Matt Kuchar | Entering The Northern Trust Open: 64 | Entering Dell Technologies Championship: 74
Kuchar’s stock is falling and his chances of making the Ryder Cup team for the US, which he has been apart of the last 4 Cups, are pretty much zero. He has represented Team USA in international post-season play 8 straight years dating back to 2010. Despite being ranked 31st in the world, he hasn’t had much success since his best start of the year at the WM Phoenix Open (T5). He’s always struggled off the tee in terms of length, but this year he hasn’t been as consistent with GIR and putting. Still, hopefully he can tap into some veteran experience this weekend and make it to Pennsylvania, where he will need to make the cut to boost his chances.
Charley Hoffman | Entering The Northern Trust Open: 98 | Entering Dell Technologies Championship: 75
Similar to Kuchar, the Presidents Cup team member will also not likely make the Ryder Cup. Hoffman has struggled this season, with his best finish coming at The Masters with a T12. He has struggled with the flat stick, where he ranks 117th in total putting on Tour this year. And while he is 44th in GIR at just over 67%, Hoffman ranks in the bottom 1/3 in driving accuracy with 56.8% fairways hit. His T20 finish in Paramus was a big momentum boost after missing the cut at the PGA, but he will need some more consistency if he wants to climb the leaderboard to the Tour Championship. He currently sits 5 spots out of qualifying for the BMW.