So close but so far

Charl Schwartzel bogeyed the 18th at the BMW Championship and missed his shot at FedExCup glory, but was not the only South African to fall out of the running.

Retief Goosen, Ernie Els, Trevor Immelman and Rory Sabbatini all fell short of making the top-30 and for the first time since its inception, the Tour Championship field will not hold a South African.

Schwartzel began his campaign with a decision to ride on the back of his Masters win and miss The Barclays, which turned out to be costly.

He would automatically qualify for the Deutsche Bank Championship, where he finished in a share of 21st at seven-under. The result secured bolstered his chances ahead of the third leg.

He entered the BMW Championship at 27th in the points standings, needing a mere two-over-par tournament score to progress.

But the four-birdie trick he performed to win the Masters found its foil when Scwartzel carded three bogeys through his final four holes, the last of which earned him 32nd in the standings and a ticket home.

Retief Goosen did not experience many highs or lows in the playoffs after he came 72nd at The Barclays. The result forced an early exit for Goose, who fell 12 spots shy of the next leg.

Trevor Immelman looked comfortable as he closed The Barclays in a share of 32nd, but was forced to withdraw from the Deutsche Bank due to personal reasons, and there ended his FedExCup run.

Rory Sabbatini, like Schwartzel, looked set to make the Tour Championship, but a third round 78 at The BMW Championship blew his chances and he, too finished just outside the mark at 35th in the FedExCup point standings.

The Big Easy put up a courageous fight throughout the playoffs, which began when he closed the Barclays tied for 32nd alongside Immelman. The result took Els to 96th in the standings.

Then at the Deutsche Bank Championship Els again did the necessary and finished at eight-under, tying for 16th and squeezing into the standings’ top-70 at 68th.

The BMW Championship would be his undoing, but Els once again showed his mettle by proving his critics wrong through three consecutive events.

Schwartzel made it to the top-70 and came close to the Tour Championship, but he will have to look to next year for that cigar.

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