PGA Tour

SA's Charl Schwartzel faces last chance for PGA playoff spot

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Charl Schwartzel
Charl Schwartzel

South Africa's Charl Schwartzel is among the PGA Tour players facing their last chance to secure a spot in the season-ending playoffs when the Wyndham Championship begins in Greensboro, North Carolina on Thursday.

Many of last week's stars at the PGA Championship, including winner Collin Morikawa, are taking the week off ahead of next week's start of the playoff events that culminate with next month's Tour Championship at East Lake in Atlanta.

For many players, however, it will take some work to qualify for a berth in the playoffs by finishing in the Top 125 on the FedEx Cup season points list with a strong showing at Sedgefield Country Club.

Schwartzel, the 2011 Masters champion, is 125th in points, the player on the bubble to qualify. That can equate to a lip-out putt or a single poor tee shot over the course of the event.

Schwartzel was also 125th in 2015, when he shared third to book his playoff berth.

The top 96 players in points have their spots secured already, the last of those being American Brandt Snedeker, a two-time winner in Greensboro who has six top-10s in 12 starts, including wins in 2007 and 2018, when he fired a first-round 59 on the way to his most recent PGA victory.

"Greensboro will always be a special place to me," Snedeker said.

"It's a wedge and putting contest this week. You have to put the ball in the fairway of the tee, which I've been doing a really good job of this week.

"It rewards good tee balls and you have a chance to make birdies, especially coming off last week. You can make some birdies and get some good stuff going."

Every player ranked from 108th to 145th in points is in the field this week trying to keep a spot of break into the top 125.

American Bronson Burgoon is ranked 126th. He needs to finish at least alone in 46th place to pass Schwartzel if the South African misses the cut.

Only two of the nine players who have made the playoffs every year since they began in 2007 are at risk of falling out, England's Justin Rose at 103 and American Charley Hoffman at 106.

Also in the field is two-time major winner Zach Johnson, the 2007 Masters and 2015 British Open winner who on Wednesday was named the PGA's Payne Stewart Award winner, the honour given for character and charitable work.

"I am beyond honoured," Johnson said. "This is a dream. To just be one of those honourees, it's hard to put into words. I am humbled."

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