Five Players Who Flopped The PGA Tour Playoffs

Graeme McDowell
Graeme McDowell
Several established veterans who might have been expected to step up with the field wide open in the PGA Tour playoffs, and the FedEx Cup up for grabs, surprisingly were not able to get the job done. Like much of the year, It seems to signal a changing of the guard.
1. Graeme McDowell – Actually, the 2010 U.S. Open Champion played miserably for most of the season, coming off a career year in which he won four times around the world. After seeming to pick up right where he left off with three consecutive top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour to start the season, McDowell did not have another in his last 12 events. That left G-Mac at 93rd in the FedEx Cup standings at the end of the regular season and in need of some good results in the first two rounds of the PGA Tour playoffs to keep going. Instead, he tied for 43rd in the Barclays and tied for 37th in the Deutsche Bank. Even though he rose 20 spots in the standings, he fell three spots short of the 70 who moved on to the BMW Championship.
Charl Schwartzel
Charl Schwartzel

2. Charl Schwartzel – Overall, the Masters champion had a terrific rookie season as a member of the PGA Tour, winning the first major of the year in addition to recording three finishes in the top 10, 10 finishes in the top 25, and making the cut in all 15 events he played. He accomplished all that while virtually playing out of a suitcase throughout the season and teeing it up on new courses almost every week. However, he could not keep it up in the PGA Tour playoffs after finishing the regular season 21st in the FedEx Cup standings. Schwartzel took a chance by skipping the Barclays because he needed a break before tying for 21st in the Deutsche Bank Championship and tying for 42nd in the BMW Championship. That left him 32nd in the point standings, or two positions out of the top 30 who qualified for the Tour Championship.
Jim Furyk
Jim Furyk

3. Jim Furyk – Sure, the defending FedEx Cup Champion made an admirable run late in the worst season of his pro career in an effort to get back to Atlanta and defend his double crown in the Tour Championship, but in the end it was not meant to be. His tie for ninth at the Wyndham Championship, the last event of the regular season, boosted Furyk to 60th in the FedEx Cup standings, and he gave himself a shot at making it to the finale when he finished sixth in the Deutsche Bank Championship. He was in the top 10 at the BMW Championship after 54 holes and projected to be in the top 30 to punch his ticket back to Atlanta. Needing only one more solid round, Furyk instead carded four consecutive bogeys through No. 5 in the final round, and didn’t make a single birdie until No. 17. His closing 5-over-par 76 dropped him to a tie for 22nd in the tournament and 36th in the point standings.
Ernie Els
Ernie Els

4. Ernie Els – A year after leading the FedEx Cup standings at the end of the regular season and finishing ninth after the Tour Championship, the Big Easy was riding the bubble for four consecutive weeks. He needed a tie for 30th in the Wyndham Championship to simply get into the top 125 players who made the playoffs, climbing to 118th. Els tied for 32nd in the Barclays and tied for 16th in the Deutsche Bank Championship, doing just enough to advance to the next round each time. Needing a big result in the BMW Championship, he could manage only a tie for 42nd and wound up far out of the top 30 who advanced to the Tour Championship at No. 67. Ernie did not have a top-10 finish in 20 events on the PGA Tour this season, and one high finish during the playoffs might have been enough for him to make it to Atlanta.
Bubba Watson
Bubba Watson

5. Bubba Watson – None of the top players entering the PGA Tour playoffs fell farther than Bubba, who dropped from eighth at the end of the regular season to 26th in the final FedEx Cup standings by failing to finish better than a tie for 16th in the Deutsche Bank Championship. Watson continued his slump that began right after he beat Webb Simpson in a playoff to claim the Zurich Classic of New Orleans in May for his second victory of the season. He did not finish in the top 10 in any of his last 12 tournaments on the PGA Tour, with that tie for 16th his only result in the top 20. Bubba gave himself a chance by shooting 6-under-par 64 in the second round of the Tour Championship, but came back with a 79 the next day that included a quadruple-bogey 9 on the 17th hole. He missed the cut in the Barclays and tied for 53rd in the BMW Championship after opening with a 78.

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