The first 4 places in the ranking after two rounds are occupied by players ranked above the top 20 of the FedEx Cup ranking like J.J. Spaun. Two of the most prominent players of the moment suffered from a messy start, the world number 1 and leader of the FedEx, Scottie Scheffler, and the world number 3, Rory McIlroy.
Scottie Scheffler and Rory McIlroy, results
The first lesson from this first FedEx Cup Playoffs tournament is the elimination of former world number 1, Jason Day. Ranked beyond 70th place overall, the Australian did not manage to make the cut despite a good start the day before with a card of 65.
-1 after 10 holes, the winner of the PGA Championship 2015 derailed on the last 8 holes conceding 5 bogeys. He will therefore not be able to improve his ranking like 30 other players in the same case and whose season ended abruptly on Friday.
This is not the case for the three other renowned eliminations mid-tournament who did not compromise their place at the start of the Tour Championship, reserved for the 30 best players of the season, in 15 days in East Lake (Georgia).
Even if their performances on the TPC Southwind in Memphis this week do not bode well for the next two stages. Respectively 1st and 6th in the FedEx Cup, Scottie Scheffler and Rory McIlroy failed for one stroke with a cumulative of -1 after 36 holes.
Projected into the top 70 after his very reassuring start to the tournament, Rickie Fowler has mortgaged his hopes of being in Wilmington next week for the BMW Championship, the 2nd stage of the Playoffs. In question, a much less precise iron game, barely 5 greens in regulation touched, like his double bogey on the 18th, his 9th hole of the day, after sending his ball into the obstacle 160 meters from the target from the bunker.
8th Thursday evening, the last survivor of the regular season fell to 33rd place in the standings but could not be satisfied with such a result. His mission will be to re-enter the top 10 this weekend to earn his place in Delaware.
At the top of the ranking, the surprising J.J. Spaun, who was not expected to have such a party since he was relatively discreet since his first title won in April at the Valero Texas Open. The 31-year-old Californian is one step ahead of his compatriot Troy Merritt whose best result this season is a 4th place also obtained at Valero, and the Austrian Sepp Straka, who had not made a cut since the Memorial Tournament early June !
16 players stand in 4 shots with in particular the presence in this group of pursuers of Tony Finau, winner in his last two appearances and the world number 2 departing on the LIV, Cameron Smith. With his 68 of the day, Finau is only 3 cards away from equaling the record streak of 14 consecutive scores of 68 or less held by Tiger Woods.
The pair are the only two FedEx Cup top 10 players to feature at the front. Justin Thomas and Sam Burns are also on the pace but are 5 strokes behind.