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Top 50 bubble watch: PGA Tour players currently in and out of next year’s designated events

For PGA Tour players, being inside the top 50 of the FedEx Cup Standings now comes with more than a spot in the field at the BMW Championship.

The Tour’s board recently ratified a new approach for the Tour’s 2024 schedule that will see reduced fields in new designated events, as well as the removal of the 36-hole cut. Fields in designated events will contain between 70 and 78 players and be largely comprised of the top 50 players who qualify for the BMW Championship during the previous season’s FedEx Cup playoffs, adding some extra intrigue to the season-long race that was desperately needed.

Golfweek provided the first bubble watch to track top-50 movement after the Players Championship, the 20th tournament of Tour’s 2022-23 schedule, and will continue to provide updates throughout the season. With major season just around the corner and the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play behind us, here’s a look at some players who are currently in and out of next year’s designated events.

FedEx Cup: Full standings here

Bubble watch

Check out the last 10 in and first 10 as the points stand after the 2023 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, where No. 40 Jordan Spieth (510 points) and No. 60 Sam Ryder (387) are separated by a little more than 100 points.

Player
Current FedEx Cup ranking
Previous FedEx Cup ranking
FedEx Cup points

Jordan Spieth
40
38
501

Ben Taylor
41
35
500

Danny Willett
42
36
492

Davis Thompson
43
41
487

Denny McCarthy
44
40
480

Matt Wallace
45
108
476

Sepp Straka
46
43
473

Eric Cole
47
42
468

J.J. Spaun
48
59
449

Brandon Wu
49
44
442

Keith Mitchell
50
46
442

Joel Dahmen
51
48
435

Patrick Rodgers
52
47
434

Matthew NeSmith
53
49
418

Alex Smalley
54
50
407

Adam Hadwin
55
56
405

David Lingmerth
56
51
404

Maverick McNealy
57
53
403

K.H. Lee
58
54
401

Nico Echavarria
59
55
388

Sam Ryder
60
57
387

Biggest movers

Matt Wallace was the big mover of the week, jumping 63 spots into the top 50 after his win at the 2023 Corales Puntacana Championship, the event held opposite the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.

The Tour’s last Match Play event for the foreseeable future saw Sam Burns move 44 spots inside the top 10 (8th) after his defeat of Cameron Young, 6 and 5, in the final match at Austin Country Club. Despite the loss, Young took home a whopping $2.2 million and climbed 50 spots to No. 33 on the FedEx Cup Standings.

J.J. Spaun played his way into the top 50 (48th) and moved 11 spots into the designated zone with his Round of 16 appearance in Austin.

Notables inside the top 50

The usual suspects this season of Jon Rahm, Max Homa and Players champion Scottie Scheffler are all Nos. 1-3 in the standings, with Keegan Bradley in fourth and a newcomer in fifth. Kurt Kitayama cracked the top five with his run to the quarterfinals at the Match Play.

Thomas Detry has come out swinging in his first full season on Tour. The Belgian has five top 25s and two top 10s in 12 starts and currently sits 29th. In his second season, Brandon Wu (49th) has found a bit of form with three top 25s in 16 starts with a T-2 at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

Fan favorites Jason Day (17) and Rickie Fowler (25) are both inside the top 25.

Notables outside the top 50

Only 81 points separate Nos. 51 to 70.

Joel Dahmen (51), Patrick Rodgers (52), Matthew NeSmith (53) and Alex Smalley (54) have all moved outside the top 50.

Justin Thomas is currently No. 63 but would still qualify for the designated events due to his top-30 place in the Official World Golf Ranking (11th). Same with Tommy Fleetwood, Hideki Matsuyama and Will Zalatoris.

Other notable players currently outside the top 50 (ranking in parentheses):

Matt Kuchar (66)
Corey Conners (82)
Shane Lowry (97)
Billy Horschel (100)
Webb Simpson (132)
Adam Scott (137)

It’s still relatively early in the season, but certainly not as early as you may think. There’s still plenty of time for players to make their moves up the standings, and we’ll be here to keep you updated on the top 50 storylines for the rest of the season.

Dressed for Success: Sam Burns at the 2023 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play

Sam Burns lights up when he realizes he won on the same day as fellow Louisianian David Toms

Prize money payouts for each PGA Tour player at the 2023 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play

Winner’s Bag: Sam Burns, 2023 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play

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