Adam Scott is in danger of missing the playoffs for the first time in FedEx Cup history as he headlines nine Australians teeing it up at this week’s WGC–FedEx St Jude Invitational in Memphis.
With just two weeks left in the PGA Tour’s regular season that has spanned two years due to COVID-19, Scott is sitting 123rd on the moneylist and has just this week and next week’s Wyndham Championship to shore up his spot in the playoffs.
The top 125 at season’s end qualify for week one of the playoffs followed by a cut to the top 70 and then the top 30 for the Tour Championship, Scott qualifying for the season finale eight times since 2007 but only once since 2016.
The 41-year-old Queenslander is one of just nine players to qualify for the FedEx Cup playoffs every year since their inception in 2007, but after the world shut down shortly after Scott’s victory at the Genesis Invitational last February he has struggled to put all aspects of his game together.
Since his return from an extended break back in Australia at the 2020 PGA Championship, Scott has registered just the one top-10 finish (a tie for 10th at the Farmers Insurance Open in January) in 20 tournament starts but has two top-20 finishes in his most recent regular season PGA Tour events (T-16 at Memorial, T-13 at Travelers).
Hitting less than 55 per cent of fairways, Scott’s work with the driver has been less than stellar, making a change ahead of the Open Championship where he finished tied for 46th.
Scott is this week joined by close friend Wade Ormsby, who is playing his fourth WGC event along with a trio of young stars who continue to climb in the Official World Golf Rankings.
Now ranked inside the top 50, Lucas Herbert (49th) is closing in on a permanent move to the PGA Tour, Cam Davis (64th) has his immediate future secure after his victory at the Rocket Mortgage Classic last month and Min Woo Lee (61st) is set to feature in golf’s biggest tournaments on the back of his Scottish Open victory.
The 23-year-old shot 66 in the third round of the Workday Championship to finish tied for 28th in his WGC debut in February, Davis making his maiden WGC start this week among the world’s best players.
There are FedEx Cup implications also for the Aussies in action at the PGA Tour’s Barracuda Championship, a tournament that uses a modified Stableford scoring format and which Australians have tasted success in recent years.
Currently 129th on the moneylist, Cameron Percy can secure his status for next season with a strong showing at the Tahoe Mountain Club with Rhein Gibson (191st), Aaron Baddeley (208th) and Greg Chalmers (211th) in need of something special to maintain their cards for 2022.
As his fellow countryman work to stay on the PGA Tour, New South Welshman Brett Drewitt is closing in on a return to the top tier via the Korn Ferry Tour.
This week’s Utah Championship is the penultimate event of the combined 2020-2021 season and Drewitt comes in 23rd on the moneylist, the top 25 after next week’s Pinnacle Bank Championship to earn promotion to the PGA Tour.
Like Drewitt, Curtis Luck is a tournament winner this season but will probably need a second victory in the next two weeks to advance from his current position of 61st on the moneylist.
Round 1 tee-times, AEST
World Golf Championships
FedEx St Jude Invitational
TPC Southwind, Memphis, Tennessee
12.15am Wade Ormsby, Si Woo Kim, Jim Herman
12.26am Lucas Herbert, Cameron Champ, Martin Laird
12.26am* Adam Scott, Matt Fitzpatrick, Phil Mickelson
12.48am* Cameron Smith, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau
1.10am Matt Jones, Jason Kokrak, Sungjae Im
1.10am* Marc Leishman, Daniel Berger, Tommy Fleetwood
1.21am Brad Kennedy, Brian Harman, Aaron Rai
1.21am* Min Woo Lee, Will Zalatoris, Victor Perez
1.54am* Cam Davis, Max Homa, Ian Poulter
Defending champion: Justin Thomas
Past Aussie winners: Craig Parry (2002), Adam Scott (2011)
Top Aussie prediction: Lucas Herbert
TV schedule: Live through Golf TV app
Tahoe Mountain Club (Old Greenwood Cse), Truckee, California
1.18am Rhein Gibson, Joseph Bramlett, Sebastian Cappelen
5.24am* Greg Chalmers, Brian Gay, Aaron Wise
5.35am* Aaron Baddeley, John Huh, JJ Spaun
5.46am John Senden, David Lingmerth, Will Gordon
5.57am* Cameron Percy, DA Points, Vincent Whaley
Defending champion: Richy Werenski
Past Aussie winners: Geoff Ogilvy (2014), Greg Chalmers (2016)
Top Aussie prediction: Aaron Baddeley
TV schedule: Live 12am-3am Friday, Saturday; Live 8am-11am Sunday, Monday on Fox Sports 503
Fairmont St Andrews, St Andrews, Fife, Scotland
5.20pm Dimitrios Papadatos, Matthew Baldwin, Liam Johnston
6.50pm* Jake McLeod, Pedro Figueiredo, James Morrison
10.10pm Scott Hend, Francesco Laporta, Julian Suri
10.40pm* Austin Bautista, Bradley Dredge, Lars Van Meijel
11.30pm Josh Geary, Romain Wattel, Clément Sordet
11.40pm Deyen Lawson, Paul Peterson, Rhys Enoch
Defending champion: Sam Horsfield
Past Aussie winners: Nil
Top Aussie prediction: Scott Hend
TV schedule: Live 9.30pm-2.30am Thursday, Friday; Live 10pm-2.30am Saturday on Fox Sports 505; Live 10pm-2.30am Sunday on Fox Sports 503.
Ladies European Tour
Aramco Team Series – Sotogrande
La Reserva Club De Sotogrande, Spain
Aussies in the field: Victoria Fricot, Stephanie Kyriacou
Defending champion: Inaugural event
Past Aussie winners: Nil
Top Aussie prediction: Stephanie Kyriacou
TV schedule: Live 8pm-12am Thursday, Friday; Live 12.30am-4.30am Saturday on Fox Sports 503
Korn Ferry Tour
Utah Championship presented by Zions Bank
Oakridge Country Club, Farmington, Utah
11pm* Harrison Endycott, Grant Hirschman, Patrick Fishburn
11.40pm* Brett Coletta, Nicholas Lindheim, Brandon Harkins
11.50pm Brett Drewitt, Hayden Buckley, Ben Silverman
12.20am Ryan Ruffels, David Skinns, Tom Whitney
4.45am* Jamie Arnold, Tyrone Van Aswegen, Greg Yates
5.15am* Curtis Luck, Jamie Lovemark, Brian Campbell
Defending champion: Kyle Jones
Past Aussie winners: Jeff Woodland (1992)
Top Aussie prediction: Brett Drewitt
TV schedule: Live 7am-10am Friday, Saturday on Fox Sports 503; Live 7am-10am Sunday, Monday on Fox Sports 505
Vierumäki Finnish Challenge
Vierumäki Resort, Vierumäki, Finland
10.30pm* Bryden Macpherson, Alejandro Tosti, Tim Widing
Defending champion: Jose Filipe-Lima (2019)
Past Aussie winners: Marcus Fraser (2003)
Top Aussie prediction: Bryden Macpherson
Firekeepers Casino Hotel Championship
Battle Creek Country Club, Battle Creek, Michigan
Aussies in the field: Stephanie Na, Robyn Choi, Julienne Soo, Hira Naveed, Soo Jin Lee
Defending champion: Ruixin Liu
Past Aussie winners: Nil
Top Aussie prediction: Robyn Choi