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JERSEY CITY, N.J. – Golf can be humbling. One day you’re on the top of the world, five days later you come back down.
Chesson Hadley can relate.
Last Sunday at the Wyndham Championship, Hadley aced the par-3 16th en route to clinching the final FedExCup playoff spot by a single point and securing a PGA Tour card for next season. But on Friday, he was trunk slamming after missing the cut at The Northern Trust.
“I’m not sure what course Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas are playing, but it was not the same course I was playing,” said Hadley, who shot 1-over 143, two strokes shy of playing the weekend.
Hadley had needed to do something special this week to move inside the top 70 and qualify for next week’s BMW Championship, but it didn’t matter. Neither did the high of last week. None of that was any consolation in the moment.
“I mean, yeah, I’m excited to have an opportunity next year,” Hadley said, “but, you know, today, missing cuts suck. Doesn’t matter like what you did the week before, it still sucks, so I’m medium grumpy.”
Hadley wasn’t alone in his disappointment, as others also saw their seasons end on Friday.
Adam Scott, who kept his streak alive of never missing the FedExCup Playoffs after sneaking into a six-man playoff at Wyndham, missed the cut after shooting 67-75.
The pandemic has taken a significant toll on Scott, who is currently projected to drop to No. 90 in points, and that has been shown with lackluster results on the course. His best finish this year was T-13, both at the Travelers Championship and Honda Classic.
After Scott’s first round in Jersey City, he wasn’t too sure how his fall schedule will look, and now he’ll have a few weeks to ponder what he wants to do.
“It’s tough to know for sure, but I’d like to play if I’m playing well,” he said Thursday. “I feel like I’ve spent a year not playing well. So if I’m going to play well, I’d like to do it out here on Tour and make the most of it. Maybe I can play in Vegas. There’s a couple of weeks in a row there, and Japan is probably likely for me. Even Houston and RSM, if I can somehow manage to convince my family that I should go and do that and then take a break. I’d like to keep playing if I’m playing well.”
Matt Kuchar and Jason Day, two other veterans needing big weeks to advance, are also headed home until next season. The 43-year-old Kuchar, a nine-time Tour winner, entered the week at No. 120 before shooting 75-74. Day, who hasn’t won since 2018 and has continued to battle back problems this season, was No. 100 to start the week. He posted back-to-back 73s and won’t be on the tee sheet next week in Maryland.
Bubba Watson won’t be there, either, though the 42-year-old’s absence may sting a bit more. He entered The Northern Trust ranked 71st in the standings, but rounds of 71-72 ended his chances of playing on.
After finishing 80th in the PGA Championship and T-50 at the U.S. Open, Watson nearly won the Travelers Championship but imploded on the back nine that Sunday. The next week in Detroit, he had a T-6 finish, but he hasn’t fared better than T-46 since.
Olympic medalist C.T. Pan and past Ryder Cupper Tyrrell Hatton were among the other players who both missed the cut and will all but surely finish outside the top 70.
As for guys such as Phil Mickelson, Matthew Wolff and Matt Fitzpatrick, they won’t be playing the weekend at Liberty National, but they do still have a chance to advance to the BMW Championship.
Mickelson and Wolff currently sit inside the top-70 number, Mickelson at No. 67 and Wolff right at No. 70. However, stellar play by the likes of Joel Dahmen, Tom Hoge and Zach Johnson this weekend could change that.
Fitzpatrick crept up to No. 16 in the world earlier this year with a T-5 at the Genesis Invitational and top-10 finishes at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and Players Championship, but his T-55, T-26 and T-57 in his last three events (U.S. Open, The Open and WGC-FedEx St. Jude) cost him a deep playoff run.
After making it to the BMW Championship last year, the Englishman shot 2 over and needs some help to get back there. He’s currently projected to drop from 60th to 72nd.