Lowry has it all to do to get to the FedEx Cup playoff

Ralph Casey

Shane Lowry (Photo by Stuart Kerr/R&A via Getty Images)

Shane Lowry shot a 70 on Saturday at the Wyndham Championship which leaves him struggling to make it to the Tour playoffs next week while former FedEx Cup champ, Billy Horschel, is primed to get another win for his collection as he shares the lead with Luca Glover on -18 going into the final round.

On the face of it, Lowry’s level par round of 70 at Sedgefield Country Club sounds ok but, in reality, he was going backwards by standing still as everyone else all around him seemed to be cruising to low 60s scores.

What it all means is that the Offaly golfer needs to shoot the lights out on Sunday and even then, he needs others to fall back enough for him to creep back into the top 70 on the Order of Merit, which is the cut-off point for qualification for the FedEx.


He lies just outside 50th place in the tournament going into the final round at the Wyndham and he will most likely need to finish inside the top 20 to get the chance to taste FedEx glory next week, a very tall order unfortunately.

Lucas Glover and Horschel started the Wyndham Championship as long shots to advance to the PGA TOUR’s FedExCup Playoffs. Now they have reason to think about winning.

Glover had great control Saturday, hitting every fairway and missing only one green, on his way to an 8-under 62. That gave him a share of the lead with Horschel, who fought his swing toward the end and still managed a 63.

At 18-under they are one shot ahead of 36-hole leader Russell Henley who rolled in a sweeping birdie putt from just inside 30 feet on the last hole for a 65.

The Wyndham Championship is the final PGA TOUR event before the FedExCup Playoffs, with only the top 70 advancing to next week in Memphis, Tennessee. That’s a change from previous years, when the top 125 made the Playoffs.

Glover came into Sedgefield Country Club at No. 112 and without a win in more than two years. But he has been building to this point, with three finishes of sixth or better in his last four tournaments, and he put it together on a warm, sunny day that began to dry out the course.

He finished with birdies on his last two holes, a wedge that landed near the pin and settled 2 feet away on the 17th, and a 6-foot birdie putt on the 18th

Horschel, who is No. 119 in the standings, began his day under a tree right of the first fairway. He chopped out across the fairway into rough, used the contour of the green to run a wedge into 8 feet and escaped with par.

He went on to a bogey-free round and scores of 62-63 that give him a chance to extend his season, having already booked a trip to The Bahamas with his family next week.

Justin Thomas also stayed in the mix, at least for the moment. He posted a 66 that moved him into a tie for 11th, and while the nine-shot deficit is likely too much ground to make up, he is on the verge of sneaking into the top 70 to extend his season.

Thomas has never missed the Playoffs since his rookie season in 2015. Even more is at stake this year. He is under consideration as a captain’s pick for the Ryder Cup, and it would make such a choice more difficult if he doesn’t have a place to play the next three weeks.

“It’s a different kind of nerves,” Thomas said. “It’s a lot harder than trying to win a golf tournament, in my opinion. I think when you’re trying to win a tournament you’re there and if you don’t win it’s a bummer, but you still had a great week. If I just don’t get it done for what I need to get done this week, then it sucks and my year’s over.”


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