No matter your chosen line of employment there are always those weeks where the best intentions never come to fruition. So much so, you’re probably left thinking to yourself what the hell am I doing here or where did it all go off the rails.
Shane Lowry headed south to Florida for a second time in two days from the Wyndham Championship, first on Friday and then late afternoon Sunday, no doubt thinking the same.
The former Open Champion had two great weeks relaxing at home in Ireland with his young family, spending a little time on the golf course but for the best part enjoying quality at home with his wife, Wendy and their pair of young daughters.
When Lowry arrived at Dublin Airport with his suitcase and golf clubs, he must have been really excited to be getting back to work ahead of the FedEx Cup Play-Off Series.
Lowry’s flown into Charlotte, North Carolina many times and never had any trouble finding his way to the luggage pick-up point and walking out with his possessions but not this trip. No, his possessions did not make the Chicago connecting flight to Charlotte, and with Lowry jumping onto Twitter seeking help in locating his suitcase and tools of trade.
They turned-up at around 8am on Wednesday morning (US time) and Lowry showing his sheer delight by raising his golf bag above his head but that clear joy turned pear-shape 24-hours later when he teed-up but sent his opening shot well left into the trees, and walking off with a double-bogey ‘6’. Lowry fought back to post a one-over 71.
The second round of the Wyndham was a nightmare not just for Lowry but so many in the field looking to retain their 2022/23 PGA Tour in the final ‘regular’ event of the season ahead of the lucrative FedEx Cup Play-Off Series.
Despite the last hole bogey, and around lunch on day two of the $7.3m event, Lowry was projected to make the cut but around 4pm local time, the cut tightened to be projected to be two-under.
Lowry, and many others at one-under, cleaned out his locker and headed south to the family’s US home on the Bears Club estate off Donald Ross Road in West Palm Beach.
Then at 5.36pm, the siren sounded due to inclement weather and play resumed at one hour and 30 minutes later at 7.06pm. The cut was still being projected at two-under though darkness then halted play at 8.20pm with still seven players to finish their second rounds.
The PGA Tour media team, as they do so well, advised the 36-hole cut would be the top-65 and ties, and that there were 65 players at two-under or better and with 88 players in the field one-under or better.
Saturday dawned and with the delayed second round restarting at 7.47pm and was all done at 7.10am but with one of the seven, Austin Smotherman, doubling the last and, in part, leading the cut moving back to one-under to two-under and thus bringing all those at one-under, including Lowry who was probably on a standby for a such a scenario.
Smotherman was lying at 125th on the 2021/22 PGA Tour money list and looking to retain full Tour membership but with the double sadly spoiling that in missing the cut.
The fact that 87 players made the cut was the most on the PGA Tour since the cut rule changed to low 65 and ties to start the 2019-20 season (previous: 84, 2022 AT&T Byron Nelson). And the last time 87 players or more made the 36-hole cut on the PGA Tour was at the 2018 Wells Fargo Championship (87) while it was the highest 36-hole cut at the Wyndham Championship since 2013.
Not that Lowry, and 21 other players who’d finished at one-under, needed to know that as Lowry was getting text messages from the Tour indicating he was required back in Greensboro to tee-up in the third round.
Not sure who he called or how someone books an immediate seat in a private jet. Try doing that by ordering a taxi but then Lowry and his caddy needed a private jet to take them to Piedmont Triad airport in Greensboro and the 20-minute drive to the golf course.
Lowry has a little time on his side and with the third round not starting to 10am and Lowry allocated an 11.30am tee time but again the weather played havoc with play suspended at 12.20pm and resuming one hour and five minutes later but then halted for the day at 4.15pm and leaving Lowry among 74 players needing to return on Sunday morning.
Lowry had played 13 holes before the latest stoppage and was back early Sunday morning to drop four shots over his closing five holes, including a horror triple-bogey at the last in a four-over 74.
After having checked back into his Greensboro hotel, Lowry had a sleep-in ahead of his fourth round starting at 12.40pm and with the Irishman signing for a one-over 71 to send Lowry to the bottom of the board at five-over.
What started with the uncertainty of his luggage and clubs not connecting with his flight to North Carolina ended with the dissatisfaction in finishing in a tie for last among those who made the Wyndham Championship cut.
One wonders what Lowry thought about the whole scenario that unfolded the past week, eagerly looking forward to returning to the Tour but after all that unfolded he now has to regroup ahead of heading to Memphis for Thursday’s start to the start of the FedEx Cup Play-Off Series.
No such concern for 20-year old Jooyhung Kim becoming the second youngest player since WW2 to win on the PGA Tour, posting a sensational closing nine-under 61 and capturing a maiden Tour victory by five shots, and also secure his Tour card, in winning by an equally four shots.
Kim, better known as Tom (because he loved Thomas the Tank Engine growing up), turned 20 years old on June 21st. He was two days removed from a 23rd-place finish at the U.S. Open at Brookline, which moved him just inside the top 60 in the Official World Golf Ranking.
Since then, the Kim train has come barreling down the tracks for what has turned into an epic run to the FedExCup Playoffs.
“It’s definitely a week I’ll remember forever,” Kim said with fellow South Korean Im Sung-jae second and American John Huh third.
“I can’t believe it — I’m speechless right now,”
Rickie Fowler, who missed the cut, holds onto his Tour card in finishing 125th and right on the cut-off point on the money list while England’s Matt Wallace, who joined Fowler in missing the Wyndham cut, ended his PGA Tour year at 126th.