FedEx Cup Playoffs bubble watch: Will Jordan Spieth make the Tour Championship?
Sunday is shaping up to be a hectic day at the BMW Championship.
Not only is the top end of the leaderboard jam-packed with star power as World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler shares the lead at 11 under with Matt Fitzpatrick.
But as we’re in the second of the three legs of the FedEx Cup Playoffs, the tournament within the tournament is trying to make it to next week’s Tour Championship.
And with one round to go at Olympia Fields, some big names, including Jordan Spieth, have their work cut out for them if they’re to make it inside the coveted top 30 in the standings and secure tee times for East Lake.
Here’s what the projected FedEx Cup Playoffs bubble looks like heading into Sunday’s BMW Championship final round.
Projected FEC rank: 5*
Started week: 40
Fitzpatrick is currently projected as one of three players to move into the top 30 this week. The 28-year-old got a validating win at the RBC Heritage in April to back up his U.S. Open title from 2022 but has just four top-10s on the year and only one since the victory at Harbor Town. According to current projections, a solo 5th would be good enough for him to move on should he not convert the 54-hole co-lead into another victory.
*FedEx Cup projections get skewed when players are tied for the lead since the projections account for both players receiving a winner’s share of 2000 points.
Projected FEC rank: 19
Started week: 30
Burns, the winner of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play in March, started the week on the bubble at No. 30 in the standings. However, when he started his third round Saturday, he had slipped outside the number. He fought back in a big way Saturday, firing a bogey-free 62 to tie the course record and jump into contention, four off the lead. His hot round put him right back in the top 30, and based on current projections, he has five shots to work with Sunday to assure he stays there.
Projected FEC rank: 26
Started week: 32
Rose was in danger of not even making the field this week after he opened last week’s FedEx St. Jude Championship with a 76 on the heels of missing three cuts in a row. However, he ended the week by going 67-61-68 to secure his spot in Chicago. He’s kept up the resurgence by playing his way into the top 10 at the BMW through three rounds and playing his way into the top 30.
Projected FEC rank: 28
Started week: 29
Kirk started the third round in solo second before a disastrous bogey-double-double-bogey run sunk him well off the pace. He made a long putt for par and 75 on 18 that not only kept him in the top 30 projections but also keep Jordan Spieth out.
Projected FEC rank: 29
Started week: 26
One of the most consistent players worldwide all season is also flirting with not punching his ticket to East Lake. Hatton is even for the week at the BMW, in a tie for 30th, and has just one shot to play with, according to current projections. At No. 14 in the world, his absence from the playoff finale would certainly be felt.
Projected FEC rank: 30
Started week: 34
McCarthy shot a 65 Saturday to play his way into bubble position with one round to go. He is currently projected as the last of three golfers to play their way into the top 30.
Projected FEC rank: 31
Started week: 27
Could it be possible this could be the first year since 2012 that both Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth miss the Tour Championship? At even par for the week after a 72 Saturday, Spieth has not done enough to hold his spot in the top 30. He contended last week in Memphis, but if he is unable to make up ground, it would be the first time since 2020 Spieth misses the Tour Championship. At No. 12 in the OWGR, he’d also be the highest-ranked PGA Tour member to miss out on East Lake.
Projected FEC rank: 32
Started week: 23
The winner of the Charles Schwab Challenge in May, Grillo has played poorly in Chicago this week. He’s currently three over for the tournament and, as things stand currently, would need to get back to even to have a chance at making the top 30.
Projected FEC rank: 33
Started week: 24
Straka has also played poorly this week, sitting at six over and, like Grillo, will have to get back to even par to make the top 30 as things stand going into Sunday.
Projected FEC rank: 34
Started week: 31
Theegala is the only other player projected No. 31-40 in the FEC standings besides Spieth within two shots of his number needed to get back in the top 30. He currently sits T19 at three under, but a T13 finish (currently five under) would get him through. He and Cameron Young were the only two rookies to advance to East Lake last year.
Projected FEC rank: 40
Started week: 46
Last year’s rookie of the year, Young has played well this week at four under and tied for 15th. But after a bit of a sophomore slump, he’ll need at least a share of third this week to return to Atlanta as it stands now.