Outside looking in: What some of the stars need to make it to East Lake

Rian Noctor

Seamus Power (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

As the FedEx Cup playoffs enter the penultimate week at the BMW Championship at Olympia Fields, there are plenty of big names outside the top 30 and looking in.

Major champions, Olympic gold medalists and fan favourites aplenty are amongst the group of players that need a good week in Chicago to break into the crucial 30 and qualify for the Tour Championship.

Here are five of the notable names outside the bubble and what they need to do to play their way in.


Seamus Power

FedEx Cup ranking: 35th

Finish Required: Two-way tie for 12th or better

A disappointing week in Memphis means Waterford native Power must finish in the top 12 to earn his place at East Lake. Possibly still feeling the effects of a hip injury that hampered his links swing campaign, Power finished in a tie for 66th at the FedEx St Jude, meaning he needs a a big week in Chicago to have a shot at the $18million bonanza.

Power is a two time PGA tour victor so winning is far from alien and he will be hoping to rediscover his early season form and not only qualify for the Tour Championship but have a run at the BMW championship title.

Sahith Theegala

FedEx Cup Ranking: 31st

Finish Required: Two-way tie for 31st, or better

Theegala has his nose pressed up against the window looking in at the top 30’s living room. The fan favourite gained a lot of support through Netflix’ Full Swing series, and his Tiger-esque chip-in at the 16th hole at the Masters along with his 2022 ‘Rookie of the Year’ title shows his potential. A tied 31st finish is all the California man needs to make the Tour Championship and I expect Theegala to do enough to secure his place

Matthew Fitzpatrick

FedEx Cup Ranking: 40th

Required finish: Tie for 8th, or better

Fitzpatrick is the most surprising entry on this list, given the position he finds himself in. The 2022 US Open champion has been hampered by a bulging disc in his back suffered during the early part of the season.

Sitting in 40th place, Fitzpatrick needs a top-eight finish at Olympia fields to qualify for the lucrative season ending event.

Fitzpatrick has added motivation heading into the BMW Championship. The Sheffield man needs a strong finish to the season to solidify his spot as one of Luke Donald’s Ryder Cup team in Rome at the end of September.

Fitzpatrick is almost a certainty to be on the European team but he will want to show some form heading into the biggest event of the year and the business end of the DP World Tour season.

Justin Rose

FedEx Cup Ranking: 32

Required finish: 25th or better

Major and Olympic Champion Rose will take some well needed confidence into the BMW championship after breaking the course record in the third round at the FedEx St. Jude.

Rose was very lucky that there was no cut at TPC Southwind after shooting an opening six-over-par 76 that saw him dead last on the leaderboard. After a 73 in round two, Rose burst into life on day three with a 61, which saved his season, and means a top-25 finish will see the former FedEx Cup champion into the season ending finale.

Hideki Matsuyama

FedEx Cup ranking: 47th

Required finish: A minimum three-way tie for fourth

2021 Masters champion Matsuyama will look to move inside the bubble for the second week In a row. A tied 16th placed finish at TPC Southwind was enough for Matsuyama to secure a place at Olympia Fields this week but he will need to do a lot better to secure his place at East Lake the following week. The Japanese star needs at least a three-way tie for fourth at the BMW Championship to sneak his way inside the top 30.

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