FedExCup top 125 pursuit intensifies at 3M Open

With the sands of the 2020-21 PGA TOUR season tumbling quickly into the hourglass, now is the critical time for those on the bubble in the FedExCup Ranking. At the 3M Open this week outside of Minneapolis, the race to finish in the top 125 to qualify for next month’s FedExCup playoff opener at Liberty National (THE NORTHERN TRUST) is in the foreground.

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A handful of players from both sides of the bubble have arrived at 3M and responded with some of their best golf courses of the season. With just three weeks to play in the regular season – which includes next week’s break for the Olympics – count Chez Reavie (119th in the FedExCup rankings) among those who shine when they need to shine most. Despite a botched bogey-6 at the 18th par-5 – a hole he hit in the first round – Reavie called his first 66 with a second round, 4 under 67 to enter into contention for the weekend at 3M. It is 9 less than 133.

At one point this season, Reavie, who turns 40 in November, missed 10 cuts in 12 starts. In fact, you have to go back to 2009 to find a season where he had as many free weekends as this one (14). Luckily for him, Reavie, eighth in the FedExCup final standings just two years ago, is experienced enough to know that if he kept his head down and continued to work hard, his game would eventually improve. He has. He arrived at 3M after missing just one cup in his last six starts, with top 20 finishes at Congaree and John Deere.

“It was just more boring than anything else,” Reavie said of his poor play at the start of the year. “I wasn’t playing badly, I missed a lot of cups at once and golf seemed really tough back then. You know, I just fought, and here we are playing well. I’ve been playing well the last few weeks, and that’s what I’m going to focus on.

Reavie was impeccable over 17 holes on Friday, netting five birdies and no bogey. On the 18th par-5, he pushed the ball into the home zone on the left side and could only advance his second shot about 70 yards. He hit the green with his fourth stroke and narrowly missed his 13-footer for par. Through two laps, Reavie was very encouraged by his putting quality, which bodes well for a solid weekend.

“Even like the last hole I didn’t come in, but I had a great putt and had every opportunity to come in, so that’s exactly what I want to focus on for the weekend. Reavie said.

Every player at numbers 114-127 on the FedExCup rankings ventured to Minneapolis to try and improve their positioning for the stretch race, trying to find some late-season magic. One day with temperatures in the 90s and a heat index hitting close to 100, the early scores turned out to be just as dazzling.

Bo Hoag (125th) had a 66 Friday, and names on the bubble such as Scott Stallings (117th), Brice Garnett (121st) and Rickie Fowler (124th) responded well to the pressure of their situation as the second wave of the players took the start on Friday afternoon. Fowler, 32, has never missed the playoffs in his 11 seasons on the PGA TOUR.

Hoag, 32 and in his third season on the PGA TOUR, shot 67 on Thursday and said it was important to keep the pedal down on Friday. He made six birdies and, like Reavie, encountered his only bogey on his last hole, Hoag having settled for a 5 in the difficult ninth for 511 yards, where he drove his ball into the home zone on the left side and had to cut to return. stakes.

As for the frantic pace of TPC Twin Cities scores, which was softened by the rains on Thursday? Hoag said he was kissing her.

“You only have one option,” said Hoag, who was uplifted by a strong recent performance at Memorial (his event in his hometown in Ohio), where he was T13, and at the Barbasol Championship of the Week. last (T11). “You know you’re going to have to pull a good lap or else you’re going to be left behind. There is no real guessing game. You just have to be pretty aggressive with the scoring clubs in your hands and try to birdies there. “

While the Friday afternoon wave was still on the golf course, four players split the lead at 9 under 133: Roger Sloan (69); Réavie; Hoag; and Jhonnattan Vegas (69).

Others on the bubble who finished in the first wave on Friday and made the necessary moves: No 118 Camilo Villegas, who played his last seven holes in 4 under (including an eagle at 18) to shoot 69; No. 123 Chesson Hadley (at 3 under 139 after shooting 72); # 126 Chase Seiffert, who rallied with a 67 without a bogey after shooting 73 on Thursday; and No. 131 Michael Thompson, the defending tournament champion, who shot 67 to move inside the 3-under cut line.

“There is a lot to play this week,” said Thompson.

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