How the PGA Tour’s churn projection looks at end of final signature event

How the PGA Tour’s churn projection looks at end of final signature event
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With the last signature event in the books, it’s time for a churn check.

When the PGA Tour made sweeping changes for this season, it projected that there would be 36% churn for the top 50 of the FedExCup standings, the benchmark for full access to all signature events the following season.

Including points awarded at the Travelers Championship, that churn rate is sitting at 32%, a percentage that factors in current No. 50 Grayson Murray, who died last month; Peter Malnati, who did not finish in the top 50 last season, is No. 51. If the season ended today, 16 players, including Malnati, would finish in the top 50 after not doing so last season.

Half of those 16 players played the first non-Sentry signature event at Pebble Beach – Ludvig Aberg (6), Matthieu Pavon (13), Justin Thomas (16), Christiaan Bezuidenhout (20), Stephan Jaeger (23), Thomas Detry (27), Alex Noren (46) and Malnati (51*). Four from that list played in every signature event after The Sentry, which only had 59 players. Jaeger only missed qualifying for one signature event during that span.

As it pertains to the top 70 and qualifying, just six of last year’s top 50 are outside that cutoff – Andrew Putnam (71), Justin Rose (74), Adam Svensson (76), Cam Davis (77), Kurt Kitayama (78) and Rickie Fowler (90).

Earlier this season, players in the reorder category, mainly the Korn Ferry Tour and Q-School graduates, were having trouble getting starts. While three reorder guys are in the top 50, two of them were DP World Tour grads that were prioritized at the top of that category to begin the year. Jake Knapp (45) is the only KFT grad in the top 50. The next highest-ranked KFT or Q-School grad is Chris Gotterup (83).

Only 10 of the 35 KFT/Q-School grads (28.5%) are currently inside the top 125. Last season, 55% of the KFT grads kept their cards.

Remaining on the regular-season schedule is one major (The Open) and one full-field event that will be tough for reorder players to get into (Genesis Scottish Open). The regular-season finale, Wyndham Championship, might be a competitive field to make as well. That leaves three full-field (Rocket Mortgage Classic, John Deere Classic and 3M Open) and two opposite-field events (ISCO Championship, Barracuda) before the playoffs start.

In theory, the non-top-50 players should have more opportunities to make up ground over these next few weeks, though it’s worth noting that 12 top-50 players form last year, including eight currently outside this year’s top 50, are set to compete in Detroit. Also the two opposite-field events offer significantly fewer FedExCup points, including just 300 to the winner.

Those not qualifying for the top 50 at the end of the playoffs will be able to improve their status in the fall series, which is expected to include seven full-field events and should be announced soon.

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