WITH the final regular golf Major over for the year attention now turns to the end of season US PGA Tour Playoffs and the rich pickings available for those lucky enough to be involved.
The 2012 Wyndham Championship at the Sedgefield Country Club in North Carolina this week represents the last chance for players to secure their spot in the all-important top 125 FedEx Cup standings.
Those top 125 players go into the four-event playoff series where golfers are progressively eliminated until a year-long cumulative winner is found and handed the coveted FedEx Cup – and also a quite handy US$10 million.
Points awarded for winners in the playoff events – the first is The Barclays at Bethpage State Park in New York next week – escalate so it often comes down to the winner of the final event, the Tour Championship, taking all the spoils.
That was how it was last year when Bill Haas played that incredible shot from a greenside water hazard to claim the championship and pocket the cash.
Currently sitting pretty in the FedEx Cup standings are the top five: Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Jason Dufner, Zach Johnson and Bubba Watson.
Australians who have already done enough to secure their positions include Marc Leishman (28th), Adam Scott (32nd), John Senden (35th), Aaron Baddeley (60th), Geoff Ogilvy (64th), Greg Chalmers (75th) and Jason Day (107th).
Players needing a golfing miracle include Stuart Appleby (142nd), Nathan Green (150th), Nick O’Hern (155th), Gavin Coles (168th), Matt Jones (182nd), Mathew Goggin (191st) and Steven Bowditch (203rd).
Pampling on the bubble
Sitting right on the bubble at 125 is none other than Australia’s Rod Pampling, who has only missed the Playoffs once previously.
Pampling’s position is precarious to say the least – he has players of the calibre of Brendan Steele, Heath Slocum, Y.E. Yang and Gary Woodland close behind him – but in North Carolina this week he was focusing on the positives.
“I am on the right side of the bubble, which is good because people have to go past me,” Pampling said on the eve of the Wyndham Championship. “But obviously all I can do is go out and play golf and what will be will be. I know I’ll be passed if I miss the cut so sure if I need to go for something I will.”
“Step one is to get the cut mark out of the way but I don’t really look at that,” he added. “I go in trying to win a tournament. There are too many variables to worry about it because I could go out and get my job done with a top 20 but then three guys behind me top 10 and go past me. So I just can take care of myself and hope it’s good enough for a spot in the Playoffs.”
Pampling is lining up this week along with Day, Green, Goggin, O’Hern, Allenby, Appleby, Jones, Bowditch and Coles.
The defending champion this week is Webb Simpson, with other fancied contenders including Jason Dufner, Carl Pettersson, Brandt Snedeker, Nick Watney, Ryan Moore, Bill Haas, Charl Schwartzel and Sergio Garcia.
The 2012 Wyndam Championship is being telecast live in Australian on Fox Sports beginning Friday 5am – 8am.
2012 Wyndham Championship Leaderboard2012 Wyndham Championship Leaderboard