10 surprising players who missed the FedEx Cup Playoffs. Here’s what happens now

Justin Thomas of the United States reacts after a shot on the 18th green during the final round of the Wyndham Championship at Sedgefield Country Club on August 06, 2023 in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Shane Lowry, Justin Thomas and Billy Horschel all missed the playoffs.

Getty Images

While Justin Thomas’ streak of seven consecutive appearances in the Tour Championship will come to an end, unlike years past, his Tour membership is not in doubt.

Aside from the fact the 2022 PGA Champion is exempt through 2027 by virtue of his win at Southern Hills, this year, keeping your Tour card is not tied to qualifying for the FedEx Cup Playoffs. With the elimination of the wrap-around PGA Tour season and the reduction in FedEx Cup Playoff qualifiers from 125 to 70, those who missed out on the postseason still have plenty to play for for the rest of the year.

The debut of the FedExCup Fall will see pros jockey both to keep their Tour cards and improve their standing for next year. The 50 players who qualify for the BMW Championship will all be exempt into all of the Tour’s eight Signature (formerly elevated/Designated) Events, but there will be spots available in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and Genesis Invitational for the top 10 players in the FedEx Cup Fall.

With some big names missing out on the Playoffs entirely this season, they’ll sure be busy this fall so they won’t miss out on 2024’s Signature Events. Here are 10 of the most surprising players who missed out.

Justin Thomas

FedEx Cup standing: 71

Thomas came oh-so-close to making the field in Memphis, but his chip on the 72nd hole bounced brutally out of the cup. As we mentioned earlier, his Tour status isn’t in doubt, but it would sure be awkward to arrive at a Signature Event he’s not qualified for. The only way he can make it to the first one of the year at the Sentry is to win one of the fall events. Finishing in the top 10 of the fall standings would only get him into Pebble and Riv.

Adam Scott

FedEx Cup standing: 72

Scott put together an even more furious charge to make the playoffs than Thomas, birdieing four of the last five holes at the Wyndham. Ultimately his T7 finish wasn’t enough to keep his streak of qualifying for every edition of the FedEx Cup Playoffs intact. He’s exempt on Tour through next season so membership is not an issue for him, but he won’t want to miss out on the $20 million Signature Event purses.

Adam Scott of Australia looks on from the on the ninth hole during the final round of the Wyndham Championship at Sedgefield Country Club on August 06, 2023 in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Adam Scott missed out on a spot in the playoffs for the first time in his career. Getty Images

Shane Lowry

FedEx Cup standing: 78

Lowry has been one of the best players in the world over the last several years but bizarrely has never made it to East Lake for the Tour Championship. That streak continues after a mediocre year stateside ends without even a playoff berth.

Matt Wallace

FedEx Cup standing: 82

We arrive at our first 2023 PGA Tour winner on the list. Wallace won the opposite-field Corales Puntacana Championship in March for his first Tour victory but had only one other top-10 this season. He opened up on his dislike of Sedgefield earlier in the week and the result was a T45 finish.

Billy Horschel

FedEx Cup standing: 90

Horschel started Sunday projected as the only other player besides Lucas Glover to move into the top 70 after starting the regular season’s final week at 116 in the standings. He started the day in a tie for the lead, needing a two-way tie for second to qualify, but a final-round 72 left him in solo fourth and on the outside looking in. His status is good through 2025, but it was only a year ago when he finished 21st in the FedEx Cup and made the Presidents Cup team.

Akshay Bhatia

FedEx Cup standing: 102

Another winner this season, Bhatia even said late last month that all PGA Tour winners should get in the playoffs. However, like Wallace, his win was in an opposite-field event and thus only received 300 points as opposed to the 500 given to winners of regular events.

Akshay Bhatia of the United States lines up a putt on the third green during the second round of the Wyndham Championship at Sedgefield Country Club on August 04, 2023 in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Akshay Bhatia finsihed outside the top 100 in the FedEx Cup regular season. Getty Images

Nico Echavarria

FedEx Cup standing: 107

The last of the only three 2023 PGA Tour winners to fail to make the postseason. Like Bhatia and Wallace, Echavarria’s breakthrough March win at the Puerto Rico Open was an opposite-field event, greatly hurting his push toward making the playoffs. In fact, only one of the four opposite-field event winners, Barbasol Championship winner Vincent Norrman, made the Playoffs.

Taylor Pendrith

FedEx Cup standing: 114

In his rookie season last year, Pendrith made it all the way to the BMW Championship and represented the International squad at the Presidents Cup. But with just two top-10s in his sophomore season, there will be no such repeat. Pendrith will need to play well in the fall to ensure he does not fall out of the top 125 and lose his card.

Ludvig Aberg

FedEx Cup standing: 135

With as much hype as any college grad in the last few years, Aberg hit the ground running in June when he became the first member of PGA Tour U to accept instant PGA Tour membership. He notched four top-25s, including a top-10 at the John Deere Classic in his first seven starts as a pro, but making the playoffs in that few starts was a tall order. His status is good through 2024, but we’d love to see him in next year’s Signature Events.

Ludvig Aberg of Sweden plays his shot from the second tee during the third round of the Wyndham Championship at Sedgefield Country Club on August 05, 2023 in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Ludvig Aberg had a tall task making the FedEx Cup Playoffs. Getty Images

Webb Simpson

FedEx Cup standing: 136

Simpson has fallen all the way to No. 157 in the Official World Golf Ranking and only played 16 events this season, missing half of his cuts. The 2018 Players champ ended his season on a high note with just his second top-10, but he’ll miss the playoffs for the second year in a row after making every one from 2009 to 2021.

Jack Hirsh

Golf.com Editor

Jack Hirsh is an assistant editor at GOLF. A Pennsylvania native, Jack is a 2020 graduate of Penn State University, earning degrees in broadcast journalism and political science. He was captain of his high school golf team and recently returned to the program to serve as head coach. Jack also still *tries* to remain competitive in local amateurs. Before joining GOLF, Jack spent two years working at a TV station in Bend, Oregon, primarily as a Multimedia Journalist/reporter, but also producing, anchoring and even presenting the weather. He can be reached at jack.hirsh@golf.com.