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PGA Tour rookie doubles last to miss Wyndham cut, likely playoffs

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Published in Golf
Saturday, 06 August 2022 01:55

When play was suspended Friday evening at the Wyndham Championship, Austin Smotherman had a 12-foot birdie putt marked at the par-4 eighth, his penultimate hole of the second round, for a chance to move one shot clear of the cut line.

By the time Smotherman completed his round Saturday morning, his season was likely over, too.

The 28-year-old PGA Tour rookie, who entered the regular-season finale this week at Sedgefield Country Club barely holding onto a playoff berth at No. 125 in FedExCup points, lipped out the birdie putt before capping a 6-over 76 with a double bogey to finish at 1 over, two shots off the cut, which was made Saturday with 87 players qualifying for the weekend.

Smotherman, who played his college golf with Bryson DeChambeau at SMU, hit the fairway at the par-4 ninth, but he then missed right with his approach, his ball rolling down the slope and into the second cut, before hitting a poor bump-and-run chip 33 feet past the hole. It took him three putts from there.

Had Smotherman played his final two holes in 1 under, that would've knocked 22 players at 1 under to T-66 and outside the cut line. That group included Corey Conners, Shane Lowry, Justin Rose and Chris Gotterup, who holed a 4-footer for bogey at his final hole to make the weekend. Gotterup, who is already into the Korn Ferry Tour Finals via his non-member points, gets redemption after missing a similar putt at last May's NCAA Championship that would've gotten him into a playoff for the individual title.

Going into Saturday’s third round, Smotherman was projected to drop from No. 125 to No. 129 and out of the playoffs, which begin next week in Memphis. While there is a slim chance Smotherman could move back into the playoffs, he'd need a ton of help, so he'd almost surely headed back to KFT Finals, where he can keep his card. If he doesn't play well there, he'll still have limited status out of the Nos. 126-150 category.

Here’s a look at the projected movement in and out at the halfway point:

  • Rickie Fowler (MC): 123 -> 127
  • Matt Wallace (MC): 124 -> 128
  • Smotherman (MC): 125 -> 129
  • Max McGreevy (T-15): 126 -> 122
  • Brian Stuard (T-7): 137 -> 124
  • Ryan Moore (T-1): 183 -> 68

Webb Simpson, who withdrew during Friday evening’s weather suspension, is projected to fall from No. 117 to No. 123 at the moment. Nick Taylor, currently T-50, is the current No. 125 aftter starting the week at No. 120.

Martin Trainer began the tournament at No. 135 and is now projected to move up to No. 126 as he’s T-10 after 36 holes.

Zach Johnson, Harry Higgs and Rory Sabbatini are among those outside the top 125 who made the Wyndam cut and are still alive to move into the playoff picture.

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