News & ToursAugust 27, 2015

Why Hunter Mahan's record playoff streak is in serious jeopardy

Who is the only golfer to play in every event in the history of the FedEx Cup Playoffs?

Hunter Mahan has been the answer to this bit of trivia for the past couple years. But soon, that might be a trick question.

Mahan, last year's Barclays champ (at Ridgefield CC), opened with a 78 in his title defense at Plainfield CC on Thursday, placing him tied for last. At No. 77 on the FedEx Cup points list, he should squeak into next week's event (even if he misses the cut), but it gets trickier after that.

RELATED: 9 not-so-obvious guys who could win the FedEx Cup

Assuming Mahan doesn't make it to the weekend here, he is going to need at least a top-10 finish at the Deutsche Bank to move into the top 70 in the standings and earn a tee time at the BMW Championship, the third leg of the postseason. That task will be made tougher by Mahan's relatively poor track record at TPC Boston. In 12 career starts there, Mahan has just one top 10, a T-8 in 2011.

Of course, the fact that Mahan finds himself in this position is an indication he's having one of his poorest seasons on tour. He's on track to have his first season without a top three in 10 years, his three top 10s are his lowest output since 2006, and this is the lowest he's ever been seeded heading into the playoffs.

In its ninth year, the FedEx Cup might not be the perfect playoff system, but for Mahan it looks like it will come down to a simple formula next week in Boston: Play well or go home.

More from The Loop