Ernie progresses by skin of his teeth

Ernie Els must have felt his chances of advancing in the FedExCup playoffs on the US PGA Tour were gone with the wind on the weekend, but his share of 32nd in The Barclays saw him into the Deutsche Bank Championship.

With Hurricane Irene advancing on the East coast of the United States, the chase for Els to get into the top 100 on the FedExCup list became little like T20 cricket instead of exhibiting golf’s usual stately test cricket-like pace.

He carded three rounds in the 60s, which was a sign that he was playing well, but, without 18 more holes for a full conventional tournament, he made it into the top 100 on the list in 99th to get into the Boston event this week by the skin of his teeth.

And now it is a race to climb into the top 70 at the Deutsche Bank Championship if he is to go to the BMW Championship in two weeks for a final shot at the top 30 who get into the season-ending Tour Championship.

It’s been a tense two weeks for Els, who also carded three rounds in the 60s in the Wyndham Championship to climb from 126th on the FedExCup list to 118th, and now he has climbed to 99th.

It was not a good weekend for Retief Goosen, who came into the Barclays with a broken toe and slipped from 101st to 112th with his 72nd-place finish.

Rory Sabbatini climbed to 20th to be the highest-placed South African in the FedExCup: His share of 18th lifted him three spots, while Charl Schwartzel, who missed The Barclays, remains in the top 30 at 28th, a drop of seven spots.

Trevor Immelman, who shared 32nd with Els, climbed 16 placed to 79th, and his recent consistency should see him into the top 70 this week.

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