Aaron Baddeley’s valiant effort to play his way into the FedEx Cup Playoffs has come up just short despite a bogey-free final round of the US PGA Tour’s Wyndham Championship at Sedgefield Country Club in North Carolina.
The tournament was won for a second time by American Brandt Snedeker but it will likely be remembered for the 11-under 59 he posted in the opening round, completing a wire-to-wire win – the ninth US Tour title of his career – with a final-round 65 to win by three shots.
An opening round of 65 gave Baddeley the platform from which to launch from his position of 137th in the FedEx Cup to inside the top-125 who qualify for the playoffs, but an even-par round of 70 in the third round stalled his momentum.
Two birdies and an eagle at the par-5 15th, where he hit his approach shot from 225 yards to 12 feet, saw the Victorian sign off with a final round of four-under 66 to finish tied for 24th but climb only five spots in the FedEx Cup to 132nd.
New Zealand’s Danny Lee can carry positive thoughts into the first week of the playoffs, the Northern Trust, on the back of a Sunday 64 that boasted six birdies and no bogeys and moved him up four spots to 103rd in the FedEx Cup.
Cameron Percy’s main-tour season came to a close in a somewhat positive fashion, climbing 18 spots on the leaderboard with a five-under 65 to finish tied for 30th. Yet Stuart Appleby, Matt Jones and Rod Pampling all failed to qualify for the FedEx Cup Playoffs after missing the cut.
While Pampling is exempt through to the end of next season courtesy of his win in the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in November 2016, a number of Australians will now head to the Web .com Tour Finals in pursuit of one of 25 PGA Tour cards on offer.
Despite career earnings in excess of $US20 million, Baddeley sits outside the top-50 that would allow for a special one-off exemption for next season but he does have other options available that would provide limited status on tour.
If he chooses to head to the Web .com Finals to shore up full-time status, he will likely be joined by Jones (151st), Percy (168th), Greg Chalmers (184th) and Appleby (196th) who all finished between 125th and 200th on the FedEx Cup points list that earns entry.
Australians who will tee it up at Ridgewood Country Club in New Jersey this week are Jason Day (sixth), Marc Leishman (22nd), Cameron Smith (53rd) and Adam Scott (73rd) with the top-100 from a recalculated points table to advance after the Northern Trust Open.