The uncertainty that faced three of Ireland’s top golfers has materialised with Shane Lowry and Padraig Harrington set to automatically forfeit 2018/19 Tour status while its a waiting game for Seamus Power after missing the cut in this week’s regular season-ending Wyndham Championship in North Carolina.
The trio posted respective 36-hole tallies of two-under (Lowry), two-over (Harrington) and three-over par (Power) on the Sedgefield Country Club course in Greensboro.
Lowry’s three-year exemption in capturing the 2015 WGC – Bridgestone Invitational ended with his appearance this week and now in missing the cut the Offaly golfer faces a cross-road in his career having taken-up full PGA Tour membership straight after winning in Akron, Ohio.
Earlier this year Lowry moved his young family to the Mirasol Resort in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida but with Lowry struggling and only managing to find familiar form over the past few weeks including a rousing T12th in last week’s PGA Championship.
Of course, Lowry can expect to earn a good number of 2018/19 PGA Tour season ‘starts’ but it is clearly not how he anticipted his season to end in Greensboro.
Harrington has now been forced into relying on a one-off ‘all-time’ money-list exemption to compete on the 2018/19 PGA Tour having teed-up in the Wyndham ranked 220th on the FedEx Cup and was projected after scores of 69 and 73 to finish his year also in 220th.
Power bizarrely now finds himself in a similar situation as a year ago and will now enter the four-event secondary Web.com ‘Final Series’ in the goal to regain full main Tour status.
Power did produce a Wyndham second round one-under par 69 but the damage was done early on Thursday when the West Waterford golfer doubled the fourth hole of his round in an eventual score of 74 and 15 shots more than golf’s newest ‘Mr. 59’ – Brandt Snedeker.
Power arrived in Greensboro 123rd on the FedEx Cup standings and two spots inside the cut-off mark in holding onto his card but is now projected to drop to 126th.
The first of those four Web.com ‘Path to the PGA Tour’ events begins next Thursday in Columbus, Ohio and with the leading 25 players over the four rounds, and not already exempt, earning full 2018/19 main Tour status.
A year ago, Power missed out by five places in retaining his card before winning it back in dramatic circumstances in finishing 48th at the Web.com Tour Championship and secure the 25th and very last 2017/18 PGA Tour card by just $487.
Graeme McDowell was the only one of the four Irish to make the halfway cut with scores of 70 and 67 for a three-under par tally and despite bogeying two of his closing four holes.
However, McDowell will need a top-10 Greensboro finish to have any chance of improving his current 143rd FedEx Cup standing and despite the assurance of playing all four rounds he heads into day three projected to drop to 145th.