News & ToursAugust 5, 2009

Harrington and Garcia might miss the playoffs

The PGA Tour Playoffs begin Aug. 27 with the Barclays at Liberty National GC in New Jersey and it is possible Sergio Garcia and Padraig Harrington will not be there. Harrington is not among the top 125 players who would qualify for the playoffs off the current FedEx Cup points standings and Garcia is on the bubble at 121st. Michael Bradley currently holds the 125th position with 306 points. Garcia has 320 points. Harrington has 280.  Four tournaments remain for players to earn points--this week's WGC-Bridgestone Invational and Legends Reno-Tahoe Open, next week's PGA Championship and the following week's Wyndham Championship. Presuming Garcia and Harrington do not play the Wyndham in Greensboro, N.C., they will only have two chances to earn points--at the Bridgestone and the PGA.  Both Garcia and Harrington will guarantee themselves points by playing four rounds at Firestone, but a low finish, outside the top 60 for example, would improve their total by less than 10 points. If that happens, anyone at Reno who is within shouting distance of Garcia in the FedEx standings could pass him with a top-20 finish. Garcia who suffered emotionally after breaking up with Morgan-Leigh Norman, Greg's daughter, earlier this year, has just one top-10 finish in 11 PGA Tour starts. Harrington, whose decline can be traced to a swing change (he wanted to improve his position at impact), has not had a top-10 in 14 starts.  If neither European star makes the postseason, they won't be alone. Others currently outside the top 125 include Stuart Appleby (139th), Trevor Immelman (153rd) and Carl Petersson (157th).  Tom Watson, who earned 330 points for his runner-up finish at the British Open is currently 116th. Even if he remains in the top 125 he is unlikely to participate in the playoffs. Watson plans to play the Jeld-Wen Tradition in Oregon the week before the Barclays and is likely to appear at Pebble Beach for the Walmart First-Tee Open, a tournament he has never missed, two weeks later. It's doubtful he would travel across country to play the Barclays in between the two Champions Tour events. -- John Antonini

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