As we've been saying since the ball dropped on New Year's Eve, 2013 would be a different kind of year on the PGA Tour, and today is perfect evidence of that. When Jordan Spieth tapped in a two-foot putt to win the John Deere Classic on the fifth playoff hole Sunday and completely change his life, the final reshuffle of the 2013 PGA Tour season occurred. And with that, the hectic conclusion to this truncated season now begins.
A number of Reshuffle List players will get four more starts in the regular season: this week's Sanderson Farms Championship, opposite the Open Championship, next week's RBC Canadian Open, the following week's Reno-Tahoe Open, opposite the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, and two weeks after that at the Wyndham Championship, which closes the regular season. At that point, the outcome will be clear: if you're in the Top 125 in either FedEx Cup points or the money list, you have a card for 2013-2014. If not and you find yourself in the Top 200 in FedEx Cup points you're headed to The Finals with the Top 75 on the Web.com Tour money list. And if you don't end up there - which a couple players on the list very well might - you're off to the Web.com Tour next year.
So with all that in mind here's a slightly different look at the results from the final reshuffle of 2013.
BECOMING A STAR
Jordan Spieth - While he was never on the Reshuffle List - he started 2013 with no status and used strong finishes early in the year to gain special temporary membership - we'd be remiss if we didn't mention Spieth. He outlasted a major champion in Zach Johnson along with David Hearn in that playoff to win Sunday and in it showed maturity beyond his years. The big thing for Spieth - along with having a place to play through 2015 and getting invitations to Maui and Augusta - is that he now moves from the non-member FedEx Cup points list to the regular one, and with it comes his current ranking of 11th. This not only means he's already deep in the Playoffs but also gives him a legitimate shot at winning the whole thing and the $10 million bonus that comes with it. Spieth's 2013 could go from awesome to spectacular in just two months' time. Stay tuned.
The Top-13 players have almost assuredly clinched their cards for 2013 ($626,700 or more):
1. David Lingmerth
2. Matt Jones
3. Brian Stuard
4. Luke Guthrie
5. D.H. Lee
6. Morgan Hoffmann
7. Richard H. Lee
8. Patrick Reed
9. James Hahn
10. Justin Hicks
11. Nicholas Thompson
12. Steven Bowditch
13. Erik Compton
GOLFERS HELPING THEIR CAUSE
Richard H. Lee - Lee moved up 14 spots in the most recent reshuffle period, mostly by virtue of his tie for third at the AT&T National followed by his tie for ninth at The Greenbrier Classic in consecutive weeks. Helping his cause is that he's finding more fairways, as he's 28th in driving accuracy at 66.63 percent. Now with $882,793 in the bank and a FedEx Cup points ranking of 90th, Lee can focus on the playoffs instead of a place to play for next season.
Steven Bowditch - Golf is a weird game; one where your game can seem lost for weeks but appear out of nowhere to save the day in just the right moment. That's Bowditch's tale in a nutshell. He has ONE top-10 this year - two weeks ago at The Greenbrier Classic when he tied for second. The $415,800 paycheck, which makes up more than two-thirds of his season earnings, may very well have clinched his card for next season. His playoff status is less certain, as he's 117th in the FedEx Cup points list and will have to maintain that spot to play for the $35 million bonus pool. But with Top 125 on the money list getting the special privilege of still earning a card for next season, $626K and change might be good enough to secure his spot on the PGA Tour for another go-around.
Morgan Hoffmann - Much like Carmelo Anthony having one of his best seasons after spending time with LeBron James while winning gold at the London Olympics last summer, Billy Horschel credits playing with Tiger Woods earlier this year with helping him get his first victory in New Orleans. Greatness rubs off and helps spur improvements in those around it. Hoffmann, meanwhile, hasn't gotten to the victory circle quite yet but his time as Rickie Fowler's roommate can only help his cause. He took a big jump - and earned a ton of cash - during the last reshuffle period by going MC-T9-T8-T23-T15. Those earnings, along with a T5 at the Byron Nelson Championship in May, secured his card and gave him nearly $1 million in earnings for the year. Now he's free to try to do as best as he can in the Playoffs and get his first PGA Tour win.
ON THE CUSP
Scott Langley - Langley is an interesting case, as it shows that fast starts don't always lead to a happy ending. Langley is on the brink of not keeping his card via both methods, as he's 123rd on both the FedEx Cup points and money lists. His year started with the near-win at the Sony Open but since then he has missed 14 cuts in 21 subsequent starts. At $504,142, Langley needs probably another $100,000 or so or a couple top-25 finishes points wise to secure his card for the 2013-2014 season.
Shawn Stefani - Stefani, the man who aced the 17th hole at Merion during the final round of this year's U.S. Open, is THE bubble boy at 125th in the FedEx Cup points list. His earnings total $496,543, about $100K away from where he needs to be. His reshuffle period finishes were T59-T34-T59-MC, so while he's making money, it's not big money, something that will need to change over the next month for Stefani to have a home on the PGA Tour come September.
IN TOP-200 DANGER
These players are the closest - on both sides - to the 200 Bubble:
Alistair Presnell (191)
Jin Park (195)
Eric Meierdierks (198)
Joe Affrunti (203)
Andrew Svoboda (209)
Paul Haley II (210)
The one to watch here is probably Presnell, who has the most money ($116,721) and as a result will see the most gains from one big week. The others likely need multiple big weeks to secure a card for next season.
THE SI WOO KIM UPDATE
Readers might remember the tale of Si Woo Kim, the PGA Tour Qualifying School graduate who had an unfortunately timed birthdate as it relates to his rookie season on the PGA Tour. Kim became the youngest player ever to earn a Tour card when he got it last fall at age 17. However, PGA Tour rules don't permit membership until one is 18 years old, so Kim had to wait until his birthday on June 28 to take full advantage of his card. Until then he was able to take up to 12 sponsor's exemptions. He got two: Pebble Beach and Puerto Rico, where he missed the cut in the former and withdrew from the latter. His missed cut at The Greenbrier Classic was his first official PGA Tour start as a member, and he did the same last week at the John Deere Classic. In the meantime he made five starts on the Web.com Tour, which included a tie for 11th - so the game is there - but he'll need to play even better over the next month to save his card for next season. If not, he might be right back onto the Web.com Tour.
THE NOTHING MEN UPDATE
Donald Constable now has a friend in Kim in this category. Constable has yet to cash a paycheck on the PGA Tour, making three starts during this reshuffle period - at the Travelers Championship, The Greenbrier Classic and the John Deere - and missed the cut in all three. He's also made four Web.com Tour starts and missed three cuts there, with his only paycheck amounting to $2,385. Needless to say, unless the tide changes quickly, that looks like it'll be where Constable will be playing next season.