Charl Schwartzel headed into the weekend at The Barclays tied fourth on seven-under-par. He ended up taking a share of 25th, but his week at Liberty National was certainly a positive start to the FedExCup playoffs.
The lanky Vereeniging local has teetered outside the top 10 in the world for most of the year, so good results at the upcoming Deutsche Bank Championship, the BMW Championship and the Tour Championship are important. He ranks 29th in FedExCup points, so making it to the remaining three playoffs is well within his sights.
The week started well for the 2011 Masters champ, who looked at home beside the in-form Justin Rose, Adam Scott and Matt Kuchar. A Thursday 68 and a Friday 67 took Schwartzel into the top 10 heading into the weekend, but a Saturday 74 threw away his chances of competing. The 29-year-old regrouped and shot a Sunday 71 to finish tied for 25th with the likes of Bill Haas, Lee Westwood and Jason Day.
The points on offer at the playoffs are immense. Gary Woodland’s tie for second place at The Barclays this week took him fifty spots up the points standings into 10th place. But last year’s win by Brandt Snedeker, who took the FedExCup despite Rory McIlroy winning two of the Playoffs, showed us that it comes down to the Tour Championship.
After the weekend at Liberty National Schwartzel moved to 29th in the points standings. The top 30 make the Tour Championship. It’s the right to come into form, and if Schwartzel continues to find his game then the Tour Championship could have a first South African winner.