Last week at the RBC Heritage, the No. 1 topic on the PGA Tour Policy Board's meeting with Tour officials was playing opportunities for Reshuffle List players. The talk was justified. As we've covered here extensively, the slots that were taken by veterans in fall events robbed many young players of crucial playing opportunities, putting them behind the eight ball for the remainder of the season. Their plight is now made even tougher, as we're entering a string of reshuffles that are just four or five weeks, with a major (or major-like event in The Players) in that stretch. Because few Reshuffle List players qualify for those elite events, their reshuffle period is really only two or three weeks, putting insane pressure to perform in a big spot.
So with that in mind, here's who has bettered their cause two weeks into the fourth reshuffle period (due to the shortness of these periods, the "Halfway to The Reshuffle" articles will take on a slightly different look for the rest of the season):
Safe and Sound
In 2012, the last full season for the FedEx Cup, it took 363 points to make the playoffs. With the fall events now part of the FedEx Cup slate, it'll take more than that to keep a card for the 2014-15 PGA Tour season. So while that number is unknown at the moment (fellow golf stats watcher Shoshana Agus-Kleinman pegs the number at between 390-400 points), four golfers appear to have clinched their cards for 2014-15:
Will MacKenzie - 880.400 points
Russell Knox - 711.566 points
Ryo Ishikawa - 667.000 points
Brendon Todd - 568.917 points
Those Who Have Done Anything Significant in the Last Three Weeks
Ben Martin, +7 spots - Nearly winning a golf tournament will help your cause, and that's what happened with Martin at the RBC Heritage. He tied for third, which joins his third-place finish at the Puerto Rico Open as his best of the season. Martin has two other top-25 finishes, including a T15 in last week's Zurich Classic, and is 61st in FedEx Cup points standings. He started the fourth reshuffle period in 12th, but after last week's solid finish his 2014-15 tour card is probably safe.
Billy Hurley III, +3 spots - Hurley's nice season continued with a T31 at the RBC Heritage. That follows a T9 to open his season at the Frys.com Open and a fifth at the Honda Classic. Hurley, who enters the reshuffle period 11th on the list, missed the secondary cut last week at the Zurich Classic, but he is is 23rd in save percentage. 24th in driving accuracy and 71st in greens in regulation.
Jim Renner, -3 spots - Renner, who completed the third reshuffle sixth on the list, missed the cut at the RBC Heritage but rebounded last week at the Zurich Classic with a T70. The drop won't mean much on his opportunity to clinch his card for next season (at 290 points he's probably 110 points or so away from clinching it) and has played well in 2013-14, ranking 21st in final-round scoring average (69.50).
Chad Collins, -3 spots - As with Renner it's simply a missed cut at Hilton Head that led to this slight fall, but at ninth in the standings entering the period the effects will be minimal. What should be noted is the shaky stretch Collins has been on since his eighth-place finish at the Humana Challenge. Since then he's had six missed cuts in 10 starts, though he finished T45 at last week's Zurich Classic. Part of the issue: strokes gained-putting (44th) is the only major stat in which he ranks better than 100th.
Nothing Man No Longer
Mark Anderson, +3 spots - Anderson left the dubious list of those having not made any money or gained any FedEx Cup points in the 2013-14 PGA Tour season following a T68 finish at the RBC Heritage. He followed that with a T17 at last week's Zurich Classic. Now the truth for someone like Anderson (46th on the Reshuffle List entering the fourth reshuffle period) is that unless he gets a top-10 or better finish, the prospects of him keeping his PGA Tour card via the FedEx Cup points list are slim. As a result, his main focus (besides trying to play the best he can in the playing opportunities that he does get), will be to stay in the top 200 in points to clinch a place in the Web.com Tour Finals.
Anderson's T68 means that Patrick Cantlay and Benjamin Alvarado are the only non-medical Reshuffle List players to have not made a cut (and thus earned any FedEx Cup points) so far this season.