Louis Oosthuizen can at least say he went down with a fight. After opening with 77-74 at the BMW Championship, he bounced back with rounds of 66-67 at Conway Farms. But in the end, the South African came up a stroke shy of extending his 2016-’17 PGA Tour season by one more week.
With his T-63 finish, Oosthuizen dropped from 24th in the FedEx Cup points standings to 31st, failing to grab a spot in the Tour Championship for the second straight year. When all the points were tallied, Oosthuizen finished less than one point out of the 30th spot secured by Jason Dufner.
Oosthuizen wasn’t the only major champion to find himself on the wrong side of the Tour Championship bubble come Sunday. Henrik Stenson was 26th on the FedEx Cup points list entering the BMW, but a T-51 finish dropped him to 32nd. Stenson and Oosthuizen were among four golfers who played their way out of spots at East Lake, with Brendan Steele (T-44, dropping him from 27th to 33rd) and Bill Haas (T-53, 30th to 35th) also finding the same ignominious fate.
The season came to an end for a few other high profile players. Rory McIlroy couldn’t get anything to work, finishing T-58 for the tournament. And Phil Mickelson finished T-20 at Conway Farms, a reasonable showing, but it only moved him from 36th to 34th on the points list, leaving him out the Tour Championship for the third time in four years.
“It’s disappointing, but I like the fact that I'm starting to play well,” said Mickelson, who birdied the 18th hole at Conway Farms but was still one stroke shy of advancing to the Tour Championship. “I look forward to staying sharp this week for the Presidents Cup. I’ll play the following week in Napa. Looks like I’m probably going to go to China, too. I feel like I’m playing well.”
As for Oosthuizen, we can only hope that, like when he finished second at the PGA Championship to cap the career runner-up Grand Slam, he can drown his FedEx Cup sorrows in beautiful (lip-synch) song.