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Sunday, August 14, 2016

A Quick Check-In at the John Deere (Video)

With all the Olympic excitement going on, you may have missed the challenges players faced at the John Deere Classic. Let me bring you up-to-speed quickly.

Ryan Moore

The John Deere has been plagued by rain this week -- around 4 inches -- and that has made it very hard for players to finish rounds on schedule. They had to finish Round 2 on Saturday morning, and it looked like Round 3 would run over into Sunday.

They had to finish in the dark, but somehow they managed to get the third round in late Saturday. In the video from below, you can see the shadow Ryan Moore casts while he putts in front of the electric scoreboard. (The video's short, only about 3 minutes.)

As it stands, Ryan Moore leads at -18 when today's final round starts. Ben Martin and Morgan Hoffmann are a single shot back. There are a number of familiar names in the mix, like Johnson Wagner and Steve Marino, but the most interesting to me is Wesley Bryan -- you know, from the trickshot brothers.

Very quickly, here's the deal: Wesley got his "Battlefield Promotion" from the Tour last week, which means he's got some work to do if he wants to make the FedExCup Playoffs. Coming into this week he was ranked 212 and had 49 points. Wes is currently T5 at -13, which would move him up to T189 and -- if I'm reading the charts correctly -- would gain him 100 points this week. (Yes, that would give him 149 points total.)

Now, as it stands, Johnson Wagner stands in solo 4th at the Deere and is currently 125 on the list with 405 points. He would move up to 101, gaining 135 points and bringing his total to 540.

The reason this fascinates me is that Wes can still make the FedExCup Playoffs! This week's winner gets 500 points and next week's Wyndham Championship gives the same. As it stands right now, 500 points would give him 549 points and leap him up to 95, which is Luke Donald's currrent position. Although he needs to place really well both this week and next to do it, bear in mind that 356 points would get him to Wagner's projected 101 spot... and T2 is worth 245 points.

Wesley's attempt to make the Playoffs should be an interesting thing to watch today and next week. When I'm not watching Olympic golf, that is. ;-)

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