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2020 FedEx Cup: DJ vaults to top, big names bounced, and bubble watch at the BMW Championship

August 23, 2020

Rob Carr

The first stage of the FedEx Cup was less of a golf tournament and more of a boat race, with Dustin Johnson leaving The Northern Trust field in his wake. Luckily for the remaining players in the PGA Tour’s postseason, the FEC has not moved to a cumulative scoring-based system. (Yet.) Here are the results after Round 1 of the 2020 FedEx Cup Playoffs.

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Johnson’s win moved him from No. 15 in the standings to leader of the FedEx Cup. Johnson has never won the tour’s postseason, his best finish a second-place showing in 2016. Also moving into the top 10 was Harris English, his runner-up at The Northern Trust catapulting him from No. 27 to No. 6. The rest of the top 10: Justin Thomas, Webb Simpson, Daniel Berger, Collin Morikawa, Bryson DeChambeau, Sungjae Im, Jon Rahm, Patrick Reed.

Northern Trust winners not named Dustin Johnson

Russell Henley, thanks to a T-8 at TPC Boston, jumped 40 spots—most of anyone in first event of the playoffs—to earn a trip to the BMW Championship at Olympia Fields. Also making leaps were Alex Noren (No. 78 to No. 47), Harry Higgs (No. 72 to No. 48), Kevin Kisner (No. 40 to No. 23) and Robby Shelton (No. 81 to 62). Special shoutouts to Jason Kokrak, who turned in a final-round 65 to move outside the fire (No. 90) into a spot in the BMW, and Louis Oosthuizen, who birdied the 72nd hole to go from No. 99 to No. 70, earning the last ticket to Chicago.

Big names sent packing

Brooks Koepka bowed out before the proceedings began, his WD at the Northern Trust putting an end to his 2019-’20 tour season. Phil Mickelson’s streak of reaching the second round of the playoffs every year since they began in 2007 was snapped after a quick exit from Boston. Justin Rose had a nice weekend to finish T-24 at The Northern Trust; however, the 2018 FedEx Cup champ played in just 12 regular-season tour events, missed the cut in six of his last nine outings, and couldn’t make up enough ground this week. Fellow Englishman Tommy Fleetwood similarly could not overcome the gamble of a limited playing schedule.

Also bounced from the playoffs were Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler. Spieth’s woes have been well-chronicled, so we’ll save that storyline when it returns at Winged Foot. Fowler’s 2020 is a bit of an odd duck. He entered the week 31st in strokes gained, yet made just three weekends in seven appearances following the restart and never truly contended at a full-field tournament this year. It marks the first time Fowler has not made it to the second event of the playoffs in his career.

Bubble Boys

Tony Finau dropped six spots after missing the cut in Boston and enters Olympia Fields No. 29 in the standings, with Billy Horschel the man on the number and Joaquin Niemann on the wrong side of 30. Matthew Wolff (No. 33), Patrick Cantlay (No. 37), Adam Scott (No. 38) and Gary Woodland (No. 39) are stars with business to take care of in Illinois. Jason Day (No. 50) and Matt Kuchar (No. 54) need something special to reach Atlanta as well.

Also needing something special is a certain 15-time major winner. Tiger Woods made the cut at The Northern Trust but dropped eight spots in the FEC standings. At No. 57, he’ll need to contend in Chicago to have any hopes of playing at East Lake. Woods has won the FedEx Cup in 2007 and 2009, and last played in (and won) the Tour Championship in 2018.

The FedEx Cup Top 70 heading into the BMW Championship:

1 Dustin Johnson

2 Justin Thomas

3 Webb Simpson

4 Daniel Berger

5 Collin Morikawa

6 Harris English

7 Bryson DeChambeau

8 Sungjae Im

9 Jon Rahm

10 Patrick Reed

11 Xander Schauffele

12 Rory McIlroy

13 Brendon Todd

14 Scottie Scheffler

15 Lanto Griffin

16 Sebastián Muñoz

17 Tyrrell Hatton

18 Hideki Matsuyama

19 Abraham Ancer

20 Marc Leishman

21 Kevin Na

22 Ryan Palmer

23 Kevin Kisner

24 Viktor Hovland

25 Cameron Champ

26 Cameron Smith

27 Adam Long

28 Kevin Streelman

29 Tony Finau

30 Billy Horschel

31 Joaquin Niemann

32 Tyler Duncan

33 Matthew Wolff

34 Mark Hubbard

35 Byeong Hun An

36 Mackenzie Hughes

37 Patrick Cantlay

38 Adam Scott

39 Gary Woodland

40 Nick Taylor

41 Joel Dahmen

42 Danny Lee

43 Tom Hoge

44 Richy Werenski

45 Brendan Steele

46 Brian Harman

47 Alex Noren

48 Harry Higgs

49 Adam Hadwin

50 Jason Day

51 Michael Thompson

52 Talor Gooch

53 Andrew Landry

54 Corey Conners

55 Matt Kuchar

56 Carlos Ortiz

57 Tiger Woods

58 Bubba Watson

59 Dylan Frittelli

60 Matthew Fitzpatrick

61 Russell Henley

62 Robby Shelton

63 Jim Herman

64 Paul Casey

65 J.T. Poston

66 Jason Kokrak

67 Maverick McNealy

68 Max Homa

69 Charles Howell III

70 Louis Oosthuizen