FedExCup Playoffs: The Northern Trust

After his maiden PGA Tour title at Liberty National, Tony Finau elevated himself to the number one spot in the FedEx Cup standings. The top 70 in the FedEx Cup rankings now move on to the BMW Championship.

Quadruple FedExCup points were on offer at Liberty National, and while Finau took full advantage, some other huge names in the world of golf saw their seasons end at The Northern Trust. English trio Ian Poulter, Matt Fitzpatrick and Tyrell Hatton, former world number 1s – Australian duo Adam Scott and Jason Day, and American’s Bubba Watson and Zach Johnson, were amongst those unable to progress to Caves Valley Golf Club in Maryland.

Finau shot a stunning 65 on the Monday, the lowest round in the field and the relief at finally winning his maiden PGA title wasn’t hard to spot. Near the end of the press conference following his victory, the relief became even more apparent when he was asked if he had been absorbing unfair criticism for his victory drought.

“Yeah, no question, I think a little bit of it,” he said. “But that’s how it is in sports — when you don’t seal the deal, as time goes on, they don’t give you the benefit of the doubt. So I knew for me, I needed to prove people wrong by winning. That’s the bottom line, and that’s what sports are all about.”

Confidence

You would never have known by watching Finau play that this week’s victory was his maiden Tour title. He has always carried himself with the kind of confidence the winners do, but then again, having such incredible power off the tee would give most players a surge of confidence as they swagger down the fairway.

Finau had an incredibly rational take on what had just happened, speaking to the press afterwards.

“I knew that I was close; the way that I play on Sundays tells me that I’m close, and when I look at my scores, I’ve made clutch putts. Sometimes, this game is funny. Guys get away with shots or whatever the case. I feel like I’ve got the short end of the stick, for the most part, coming down the stretch and having a chance to win a golf tournament. This time, I was able to capitalize when I needed to, and I got the breaks when I needed them, so I ended up on top this time,”

Tony Finau wasn’t the only player who had a great Sunday. Keith Mitchell found three consecutive birdies on the final three holes to jump 38 places in the FedEx standings to 63.

“I was pretty down on myself in the middle of the 15th fairway and to be standing here getting up and down on 15 for par and then birdieing the last three holes to play next week, it took a lot of, I guess just calming my nerves and trying to remember that this is it. I’ve got three holes left to keep playing, or I’m going home,” said Mitchell. He ended up tied 8th for the tournament. “I just decided to stick with it, and really, that putt on 18 just sealed the deal.”

Mitchell’s late flurry meant Matthew Wolff was bumped to number 71, the first man on the wrong side of the cut line. Wolff began the season in great form with runner-up finishes at the 2020 U.S Open and 2020 Shriners, but he has only had two top-20 finishes in 14 events throughout 2021. It has been a difficult season for Wolff, having taken a mid-season sabbatical to manage his mental health.

Movers

The two biggest movers in the race for the FedEx Cup were Tom Hoge and Alex Noren, who tied 4rth at Liberty National. Hoge jumped from 108th to 48th while Noren jumped 48 positions into the number 43 spot.

Phil Mickelson rode his luck, missing the cut at Liberty National, but his season will run for at least one more wee. Mickelson sits at Number 70 in the standings following The Northern Trust, meaning he was the final player to make it to The BMW Championship.

Here are the 70 players remaining in the FedEx Cup and advancing to The BMW Championship:

  1. Tony Finau
  2. Jon Rahm
  3. Cam Smith
  4. Patrick Cantlay
  5. Justin Thomas
  6. Collin Morikawa
  7. Jordan Spieth
  8. Harris English
  9. Bryson DeChambeau
  10. Abraham Ancer
  11. Louis Oosthuizen
  12. Sam Burns
  13. Xander Schauffele
  14. Viktor Hovland
  15. Brooks Koepka
  16. Hideki Matsuyama
  17. Jason Kokrak
  18. Kevin Na
  19. Stewart Cink
  20. Corey Conners
  21. Joaquin Niemann
  22. Dustin Johnson
  23. Daniel Berger
  24. Scottie Scheffler
  25. Sungjae Im
  26. Patrick Reed
  27. Billy Horschel
  28. Rory McIlroy
  29. Charley Hoffman
  30. Max Homa
  31. Kevin Kisner
  32. Keegan Bradley
  33. Si Woo Kim
  34. Cameron Tringale
  35. Marc Leishman
  36. Cam Davis
  37. K.H.Lee
  38. Carlos Ortiz
  39. Brian Harman
  40. Hudson Swafford
  41. Lucas Glover
  42. Matt Jones
  43. Alex Noren
  44. Sergio Garcia
  45. Erik van Rooyen
  46. Lee Westwood
  47. Shane Lowry
  48. Tom Hoge
  49. Cam Champ
  50. Russell Henley
  51. Branden Grace
  52. Webb Simpson
  53. Maverick McNealy
  54. Paul Casey
  55. Emiliano Grillo
  56. Harold Varner III
  57. Robert Streb
  58. Aaron Wise
  59. Sebastian Munoz
  60. Chris Kirk
  61. Jhonattan Vegas
  62. Charl Schwartzel
  63. Keith Mitchell
  64. Kevin Streelman
  65. Mackenzie Hughes
  66. Patton Kizzire
  67. Talor Gooch
  68. Ryan Palmer
  69. Harry Higgs
  70. Phil Mickelson

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