The PGA Tour’s regular season concludes in Greensboro, North Carolina, where Sedgefield Country Club will host the Wyndham Championship.
Although most of the game’s top stars will skip this event to prepare for the upcoming FedEx Cup Playoffs, all eyes should be on these three players as the week progresses:
1. Justin Thomas
Justin Thomas is the big story this week.
In his pre-tournament press conference, Thomas revealed that he was not playing “poorly,” although recent results may suggest otherwise. He has missed the cut in five of his last seven events.
Now he shows up to the Wyndham Championship, where he last played in 2016. Roughly 12 months after that appearance, he won his first PGA Championship title at Quail Hollow.
That year in Greensboro, Thomas missed the cut by five shots, as he carded a pair of 1-over 71s to finish at 2-over for the championship.
Should he again miss the cut this week, Thomas will not qualify for the FedEx Cup Playoffs. Only the top 70 players in the standings do so. Those 70 players will begin the playoffs at the FedEx St. Jude Championship in Memphis.
Entering this week, Thomas ranks 79th in the FedEx Cup standings—a far cry from where the two-time major champion has found himself at the end of recent seasons. He won the FedEx Cup in 2017, a year in which he won five tournaments.
If he fails to make the playoffs, Thomas will miss the final three big-purse events and will likely be overlooked for the Ryder Cup too.
The key number for Thomas this week is a tie for 18th: if he can finish above that mark, he is headed for Memphis. If not, his season will end early.
2. Shane Lowry
The 2019 Champion Golfer of the Year has had a better season than his FedEx Cup ranking currently indicates.
He currently finds himself in 76th in the FedEx Cup rankings, as the Irishman needs to finish in a two-way tie for 23rd or better to make it to Memphis.
The man from County Offaly has not won a tournament since last September, when he fought off Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy to win the DP World Tour’s BMW Championship at Wentworth.
Lowry’s last victory on the PGA Tour was the 2019 Open Championship.
Yet, despite his almost year-long winless streak, Lowry has made 14-of-17 cuts in 2022-23 and recorded nine top-25s.
But after making six cuts in a row, Lowry inexplicably missed the cut at last month’s Open Championship at Royal Liverpool.
His poor play led to this reaction, which is a reason in and of itself to keep an eye on Lowry at Sedgefield Country Club this week:
3. Adam Scott
Like Lowry, Adam Scott has had a better season than his FedEx Cup ranking indicates.
The Australian is currently 81st in the standings, so he needs to finish in the top five at the Wyndham Championship to secure a spot in Memphis.
Scott has recorded just one top-five finish this season: at the Wells Fargo Championship in May.
But he also has two other top-ten finishes at the AT&T Byron Nelson and the Memorial Tournament.
Scott ranks outside the top 70 not because of poor performances but because he has played in only 16 events this year.
He and Lowry are in very similar positions. They have not played that many PGA Tour events, hence their poor FedEx Cup ranking.
Nonetheless, Scott is always entertaining to watch, as he has long had one of the best swings in the game.
Jack Milko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko for more golf coverage. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough too.