So many golfers have made it through a 36-hole cut in the Wyndham Championship Regular Season Finals this week. They are the most players who have moved to the PGA Tour since the cut rule was changed to low 65 and draws at the start of the 2019-20 season, surpassing the previous high of 84 at the AT&T Byron Nelson in May.
There are 21 golfers including Shane Lowry who flew home and had to hire a private jet to get back for the third round tee (see photo below), Justin Rose and Mark Hubbard who owe Chris Gotterup at least thank you attention if not good a bottle of wine. When the game was suspended Friday at 8:20 pm due to twilight, there were seven golfers left on the course with exactly 65 level 2 golfers below or above and 88 players level 1 below or above. The four remaining players will determine the cut on Saturday morning after the resumption of play: Bo Hoag (-3 to 16 holes) Chris Gotterup (-2 to 17 holes) Austin Smotherman (-1 to 16 holes) and Joshua Creel (E to 17 holes).
Hoag did the pars to finish round 69 while Creel also pared but was on the wrong side of the split line at an even 140.
Gotterup is a 21 player hero who has plans for the weekend and a payoff thanks to his bogey on the final hole. Went to sleep to make a 4 foot bogey to make the cut. He succeeded, and bogey finally meant he signed for 69 and 36 holes for a total of 1 under 139.
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This brings us to the sad fate of rookie Austin Smotherman. He entered the week in the 125th position in the FedEx Cup points standings. The hot spot got too hot to handle even though there was no bogey 65 in the first round. He was leaking oil on Friday, 4-over to 16, and faced a 12 foot birdie putt that would have raised him to 2 to 2 and kicked all players 1 to 1 while the game was suspended.
With his Tour 2022-23 card and hopes for the FedEx Cup playoffs hung in the balance, Smotherman missed a birdie putt when the game resumed Saturday at 6:47 am. But thanks to Bogey Gotterup, all he needed was a pair on his final hole to break through to number. It wasn’t supposed to be. Despite finding the fairway at 9 with his tee shot, he pushed his approach par 4 out of 158 yards and missed the green. Short side, his pitch was 33 feet behind the hole. He had to make a par putt, but he didn’t make it, but his do or die putt rolled 7 feet behind the hole. He bypassed the pointless comebacker by crashing into a double bogey and round 76.
As Max Homa tweeted about Smotherman: “I feel sorry for him. It must be brutal to sleep in this season on the #golf line.
The last time 87 players or more made a 36-hole Tour cut, it was at the 2018 Wells Fargo Championship (87). A score of 1 in 139 is the highest 36-hole blow in the Wyndham Championship since 2013.
The story originally appeared on GolfWeek