Sixty-five million dollars. That's how much, between both tournament purses and bonus money, is at stake in the four-event FedEx Cup playoffs, which begins this week with The Barclays on the Black Course at Bethpage State Park, Long Island.
Many of the 125 players competing for the title of FedEx Cup champion have their dreams on the $10 million first-place prize. But for some of the players on the Reshuffle List fortunate enough to make the playoffs, there's a much more important goal the next five weeks: clinch a tour card. Even if you don't advance to all four tournaments, where the fields get progressively smaller, the four tournaments carry big purses and may be just what the Reshuffle golfer needs to make it over the hump.
Playoff Participants Already Qualified for 2013
The following Reshuffle List golfers made the playoffs but have, in all probability, already clinched PGA Tour cards for 2013 (remembering that just once the 125th spot on the money list was more than $800K).
Matt Every - $1,490,093
Ken Duke - $1,434,946
Seung-yul Noh - $1,359,311
Sang-moon Bae - $1,151,232
Daniel Summerhays - $1,027,305
Harris English - $990,109
William McGirt - $986,045
Greg Owen - $949,884
John Mallinger - $910,490
Jonas Blixt - $885,654
Martin Flores - $873,554
Playoff Participants Not Yet Qualified for 2013
The following Reshuffle List golfers have an opportunity to clinch a spot on the PGA Tour next year with strong finishes in the playoffs.
Brian Harman $786,676 - In all likelihood, Harman has already earned enough money to keep his PGA Tour card for 2013. To be safe, he'll probably want to make about $40-50K more. At 97th in FedEx Cup points he'll have plenty of motivation to do so, as only the Top 100 move on to the Deutsche Bank Championship in Boston next week.
Colt Knost $759,651 - Knost has missed a staggering 14 cuts this season and has only made the weekend nine times. So how did he end up in the playoffs and on the cusp of keeping his card? Well, he can thank his two third-places finishes at the Mayakoba Golf Classic and the RBC Heritage. They brought in a combined $602,200. That helps.
Troy Kelly $759,112 - Kelly barely made it to Bethpage, finishing 118th on the final FedEx Cup points list of the regular season. His playoff loss at The Greenbrier certainly helped. Finishing second in a regular FedEx Cup event garners 300 points, while third is worth 190 points. Kelly was safe by only 23 points. Now he has a chance to clinch his place to play in 2013.
Will Claxton $726,200 - Claxton has finished T5-T19-T31 at his last three events. Coupled with a T15 at the Travelers in June, he's hauled in a nice sum of money this summer and put himself on the precipice of locking up playing privileges on Tour for 2013.
Roberto Castro $623,968 - What was Castro's big move up both the FedEx Cup points list and money list? A tie for 17th at The Greenbrier that nabbed him a little more than $177.5K.
Jeff Maggert $583,554 - Maggert only has two top-25s in 2012 (T13 at the Sony Open in Hawaii and fifth at the Humana Challenge), but he made more than half his cash there, raking in more than $321K in just two weeks of work. He'll look to make a big move up the money list in the playoffs.
Gary Christian $578,642 - A decent (five top-25s, 14 made cuts) season was made potentially solid when he tied for 10th at the RBC Canadian Open and brought home his first six-figure check of the season. He's only 111th in FedEx Cup points, however, so with only the Top 100 going to Boston, he needs to get a move on quickly.
Non-Playoff Golfers Headed to the Fall Series
The remaining Reshuffle List golfers did not qualify for the playoffs and must play the four Fall Series events to keep their cards. (They technically can play on the Web.com Tour or in Europe the next five weeks, though most use this time to rest.) Notable players in this group:
Billy Hurley III $465,210 - Hurley has played much better golf the last couple months since he fixed his driver issues. He'll be one to watch when he can play on tour again in the Fall Series.
Bobby Gates $452,793 - Bobby Gates was in PERFECT position to make the playoffs after making four birdies on his final nine holes Monday at the Wyndham Championship. Unfortunately for Gates he proceeded to drive it way left off the tee on 18 and eventually made double bogey, giving himself a five-week vacation. The beneficiary of Gates' issues? Jason Bohn, who gets a free pass to Bethpage.
Charlie Beljan $424,278 - How much of a difference does finishing solo third and a two-way tie for third make? If Beljan would have finished solo third at The Greenbrier he would have made 190 points; instead he made 95. He still wouldn't have made the FedEx Cup Playoffs, but then again he only missed the cut at the Wyndham by one shot. Finish solo third at The Greenbrier and make the cut in Greensboro and Beljan has a much better chance of getting himself to Long Island.
Erik Compton $331,955 - The two-time heart transplant recipient hasn't a bad season, per se, just not good enough. He's made 13 of 22 cuts but only has a one top-25 (T13 at the John Deere Classic), and his average finish always seems like it's in the 40s or 50s. He will certainly need the fall to keep his card.
The obligatory Kyle Thompson update: Last month we told you about his tie for 57th at the True South Classic, which gave him his first check ($6,000 and change) of the season. Well, he tied for 31st at the Wyndham Championship last week, nabbing him more than $30,000. He still has an extremely long way to go to keep his PGA Tour card, but it is a continued step in the right direction.
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