PGA Tour FedEx Cup playoff race: Justin Thomas, Shane Lowry among big names outside Top 70

With all four majors now in the rearview mirror, the focus shifts to the FedExCup Playoffs, which begin Aug. 10 in Memphis at the FedEx St. Jude Championship.

Only the Top 70 players in the FedEx Cup standings will make it to Memphis, and with only two tournaments left in the regular season, opportunities are dwindling for those vying for a spot.

So let us get to the FedEx Cup bubble on the heels of The Open Championship:

Last Five In: Players Ranked 66th to 70th

66. Keith Mitchell – United States (593 FedEx Cup Points)

Keith Mitchell has had a solid season, although his last two performances are why he now finds himself on the FedEx Cup bubble.

He missed the cut at the Genesis Scottish Open, and because he was not in the field at The Open, he flew nine-time zones to California to compete in the Barracuda Championship.

Mitchell missed the cut there too, the fifth time he failed to make the weekend since January.

Now he heads to Minnesota for the 3M Open, where he has succeeded before.

Mitchell finished solo fifth at the 3M Open in 2021 but did not compete there last year. Perhaps he rediscovers that magic, shakes off this recent slump, and cements himself among the Top 70 before the calendar flips to August.

Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills, Keith Mitchell, PGA Tour, AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen gives a fist bump to Keith Mitchell as they leave the seventh green during the first round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am at Spyglass Hill Golf Course on February 2, 2023.
Photo by Tracy Wilcox/PGA TOUR via Getty Images

67. Ben Taylor – England (589)

You can queue up Tom Petty’s famous song “Free Fallin’” when discussing Ben Taylor’s season.

After tying for fourth at the Sony Open in Hawaii in mid-January, Taylor ranked 22nd in the FedEx Cup standings.

But since then, Taylor has missed ten cuts while finishing in the top ten just two times: at the Honda Classic and the Mexico Open.

Hence his free fall.

He most recently finished 73rd at the Genesis Scottish Open, which awarded the Englishman only three FedEx Cup points.

Taylor did not qualify for The Open Championship.

Yet, a solid performance at the 3M Open this week would do wonders for his playoff chances.

68. Ben Griffin – United States (577)

For his Open Championship debut, Ben Griffin missed the cut by a shot as his opening round 4-over 75 ultimately did him in at Royal Liverpool.

Consequently, he traverses back across the Atlantic, barely clinging to a spot among the top 70.

But his trip to the British Isles was not entirely unsuccessful.

The Chapel Hill, North Carolina native tied for 25th at the Genesis Scottish Open, which awarded Griffin almost 29 FedEx Cup points.

At the very least, his solid performance in Scotland keeps him on the right side of the bubble for now.

69. Sam Ryder – United States (575)

Sam Ryder missed the cut two weeks ago at the Scottish Open, failing to shoot an under-par round over the first two days at The Renaissance Club.

Unfortunately for the former Stetson Hatter, Ryder did not make it in The Open field; meaning he has to play well at the 3M Open in Minnesota and the Wyndham Championship in North Carolina to qualify for Memphis.

The Scottish Open marks the third time Ryder failed to make the weekend in his last four starts, with the Rocket Mortgage Classic being the outlier.

Even then, he tied for 40th, as his opening round 65 was the highlight of his week in Detroit.

70 K.H. Lee – South Korea (567)

K.H. Lee missed the cut at The Open Championship for the second straight year. His poor performance at Hoylake earned him zero FedEx Cup points, as he now clings on to the final spot in the FedEx Cup Top 70.

The 31-year-old from Seoul also finished in 72nd at the Genesis Scottish Open the week before, earning only two FedEx Up points at The Renaissance Club.

As Playing Through noted last week, Lee has not had his best stuff for a while now.

Prior to the Scottish Open, Lee missed four consecutive cuts. He had not finished within the Top 20 since early May when he tied for eighth at the Wells Fargo Championship.

Lee needs to right the ship quickly, or his season will be over before he knows it.

PGA Tour, FedEx Cup, Travelers Championship

CROMWELL, Conn. — The FedEx Cup is seen during the second round of the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands on June 23, 2023.
Photo by Ben Jared/PGA TOUR via Getty Images

Needs Help: Players Ranked 71st to 75th

71. David Lingmerth – Sweden (561 FedEx Cup Points)

David Lingmerth, who won his only PGA Tour event at The Memorial Tournament in 2015, came out of nowhere to tie for third at the Scottish Open two weeks ago, thus vaulting him up to 71st from 95th in the FedEx Cup standings.

He then made the cut on the number at The Open but had a poor final round, shooting a 7-over 78 through the rain to tie for 68th.

He earned just four FedEx Cup points at Royal Liverpool, as he remains on the outside looking in with two weeks to go.

72. Davis Thompson – United States (559)

Thompson finished solo second at The American Express in January, which earned him 300 FedEx Cup points.

He still relies on that finish, as he barely remains in the discussion spot three weeks before the FedEx Cup Playoffs begin.

The former Georgia Bulldog decided not to trek to the British Isles to save himself for the 3M Open and Wyndham Championship.

73. Shane Lowry – Ireland (556)

Shane Lowry inexplicably missed the cut at Royal Liverpool, a surprise considering he has been trending in the right direction since the PGA Championship at Oak Hill, where he tied for 12th.

His poor play at The Open could be summed up by one instance: when he snapped his club around his neck towards the end of the second round.

The week before last, at the Scottish Open, Lowry tied for 12th—his first start since the Travelers Championship.

But after playing back-to-back weeks, Lowry is not in the field at the 3M Open, a head-scratching decision considering his spot on the bubble. He will need a strong performance at the Wyndham Championship to make it to Memphis.

Shane Lowry, PGA Tour, The 151st Open

HOYLAKE, England — Shane Lowry lines up a shot on the 14th hole during Day Two of The 151st Open at Royal Liverpool Golf Club on July 21, 2023.
Photo by Stuart Franklin/R&A/R&A via Getty Images

74. Lee Hodges – United States (552)

The Huntsville, Alabama native missed the cut in his debut at The Open Championship and will now have to scramble at the 3M Open and Wyndham Championship to make the FedEx Cup playoffs.

Hodges has only two top-tens in 29 events this season.

Despite that, his trip to the British Isles was somewhat successful. He tied for 12th at the Scottish Open the week before The Open.

He also tied for 12th at the Memorial Tournament, which earned him a spot in the field at Royal Liverpool in the first place.

Yet, he failed to take advantage, as Hodges is on the outside looking in as the tour heads to Minnesota.

75. Justin Thomas – United States (546)

Justin Thomas has struggled this season, as the former world number one now ranks 24th in the Official World Golf Rankings.

He failed to make the cut at The Open, shooting an 11-over 82 in his opening round, ultimately ending his chances on day one.

Thomas embarrassingly failed to make the cut at the U.S. Open too, as he has missed the cut at three-of-four majors this season.

Now the two-time major champion turns his attention to the FedEx Cup Playoff race, where he hopes a solid performance in Minnesota will help him get off the bubble and into Memphis.

Justin Thomas, PGA Tour, The 151st Open

HOYLAKE, England — Justin Thomas gestures after teeing off on the 4th hole on Day Two of The 151st Open at Royal Liverpool Golf Club on July 21, 2023.
Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Jack Milko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko for more golf coverage. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough too.

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