Six weeks and counting.
That’s the scenario facing a number of Aussies on the PGA TOUR hoping to play their way into the lucrative FedEx Cup Playoffs starting this week with Rocket Mortgage Classic at Detroit Golf Club.
A brand new event on the PGA TOUR schedule, the Rocket Mortgage Classic is headlined by US Open champion Gary Woodland, Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler and Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama with Cameron Smith leading the Aussie assault.
Smith and Matt Jones are the only two Aussies in the field this week inside the top 125 in the FedEx Cup points list with Kiwi Danny Lee comfortably inside the cut-off to qualify for the first playoff event in 59th position.
But with time quickly running out, Curtis Luck (155th), Cameron Davis (162nd) and Rod Pampling need to start accumulating points if they are to extend their 2019 campaigns and secure their status on the PGA TOUR for 2020.
Demonstrating just how tough it is to feature on a PGA TOUR leaderboard each week, Luck has not shot worse than 71 in his past eight rounds on tour yet the only made cut resulted in a tie for 43rd at the AT&T Byron Nelson.
Ranked 14th for Strokes Gained: Putting, it is getting to the green that has proven to be the issue for Luck who is 194th in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee and 198th in Strokes Gained: Approach the Green.
Seven spots further back of Luck, Davis has endured a difficult time of it of late.
Since he was tied for 16th at the Puerto Rico Open in late February the 2017 Australian Open champion has made just three of nine cuts with a best result of a tie for 35th at the Byron Nelson.
Three months out from his 50th birthday that would make him eligible for the Champions Tour, Pampling broke a streak of 13 missed cuts by shooting four rounds of 69 to be tied for 35th at the RBC Canadian Open but missed the cut at last week’s Travelers Championship with rounds of 72-68.
On the recently renamed Korn Ferry Tour the Kiwis outnumber the Aussies taking part at the Utah Championship on the US secondary tour.
New Zealand left-hander Tim Wilkinson is the player best positioned to push towards the all-important top-25 as he currently sits in 28th position while Aussie duo Brett Coletta (57th) and Brett Drewitt (90th) will hope to advance their position on the moneylist in pursuit of a 2020 PGA TOUR card.
Currently 41st on the Order of Merit, Steven Alker was the best of the Australasians in this event 12 months ago, a third round of 65 at Oakridge Country Club the highlight as he finished tied for 24th.
Headlines at a glance
Doherty claims breakthrough win
Brad Doherty has fired a round of 5-under 66 to claim a one-shot victory in the Howeston Pro-Am and his third win on the Ladbrokes Pro-Am Series....
Brave Smith and Day fly Aussie flag
A pair of gritty opening day performances from Queenslanders Cam Smith and Jason Day have kept Australian hopes of winning The Open alive.
PGA TOUR China
Williamson earns first start in China
Sydney’s Dale Williamson has taken a significant step in progressing his game on the world stage after qualifying to play in his first PGA TOUR ...