With just two full field events remaining after this week’s RBC Canadian Open the clock is ticking for several Australians hoping to secure playing status for the 2018 PGA TOUR.
Only the top 125 on the FedEx Cup standings after the Wyndham Championship next month will be assured full cards, Cameron Percy and Matt Jones currently sitting outside the number while Geoff Ogilvy is just inside but not assured of remaining there.
Those three are among eight Australians taking their place in the field this week at the Glen Abbey Golf Club, all playing for higher stakes than just the Canadian Open trophy.
Tour regulars Brett Drewitt, Greg Chalmers and Cameron Smith are playing as are young guns Curtis Luck and Ryan Ruffels, both earning sponsor invitations.
Percy is within touching distance of the top 125 after a hard fought top 15 finish at the Barbasol Championship and will bring some confidence to Canada where he has produced good results in the past.
In 2015 Percy was top 20 at this venue and in four appearances is yet to miss the weekend, a good sign as he also brings recent form to the event.
For Jones the signs are less positive after not only missing the cut last week in Alabama but having little in the way of positive memories to draw on in this event.
Jones has made the cut just once in five tries at this tournament and never at this venue though having dropped to 142nd in the FedEx Cup will now be able to play with a level of freedom as he is in an essentially all or nothing situation.
For Geoff Ogilvy this week is an important one as he has done well in 2017 to be 116th on the standings heading to this week.
Ogilvy has 340 FedEx Cup points to date and while the exact number required is unknown it has historically been in the 430-450 range.
After using his one-time only career money list exemption, Ogilvy would dearly love to earn his way back to full playing rights and will like his chances this week after a T9 here last year.
While Jones, Percy and Ogilvy play for full privileges in 2018 Tour rookie Brett Drewitt is working hard to secure a place in the upcoming Web.com Finals and a chance to play the Tour again next year.
Drewitt is 190th on the FedEx Cup standings and short of a victory in one of the final three events of the year is unlikely to break into the top 125.
However, an inspired Sunday round in Alabama last week has him on track to finish between 126 and 200 and among the 75 players who will join the top 75 from the Web.com Tour in the finals series.
Those 150 will play four tournaments to determine 25 cards for next year’s PGA TOUR, Drewitt graduating from that pool last year and no doubt ken to do so again in 2017.
For Curtis Luck and Ryan Ruffels the tournament is yet another chance to shine on golf’s biggest stage, Ruffels already having some good vibes at Glen Abbey where he played as an amateur in 2015.
Just 17-years-old at the time, Ruffels grabbed the headlines when he opened the tournament with a 6-under-par 66 to be in a share of fourth and while he faded to miss the third round cut will not doubt feel a level of comfort this week.
For Luck the slim possibility remains of earning his PGA TOUR card for 2018 via the last three events of the season though he will need to produce a run of his best golf to do so.
The 21-year-old has already proved he has the game to compete and contend at this level and with his presence at the Web.com Finals Series already guaranteed is in position to free wheel the remainder of the season.
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