Suspended LIV Golf players to be replaced for 2022 FedEx Cup

So there will be 125 players – or something close to that number – for the FedEx Cup qualifiers after all.

The PGA Tour made that number clear this week, announcing that it will accept between 10 and a dozen players outside of the usual top 125 in the FedEx Cup leaderboard to compete in the Tour Championship Series’ first event, the FedEx St. Jude Classic, in Memphis on Aug. 11.

The exact number of starters eligible to compete for the Tour Championship is constantly changing since the tour suspended players who competed on the rival LIV Golf Tour.

Currently, eight players in the FedEx Cup’s top 125 are suspended. Three more are expected to attend this week’s LIV Golf event at Trump Bedminster, and those three are also expected to be suspended.

Under normal rules, that would have left FedEx St. Jude with less than 115 starters. The Tour’s decision this week is great news for players who will finish the season between 10 and a dozen points from a normal qualifying number.

Players already suspended and their current FedEx Cup standings are:

Talor Gooch (20), Matt Jones (62), Hudson Swafford (63), Matthew Wolff (70), Abraham Ancer (80), Carlos Ortiz (100), Brooks Koepka (102) and Pat Perez (121.)

Beyond these eight, Jason Kokrak (41 years old), Charles Howell III (106) and Paul Casey (135) have pledged to play Trump Bedminster. Casey is obviously outside the top 125 but would be eligible under the revised guidelines announced this week if not for his own pending suspension.

A few other big Tour stars who defected to LIV – including Phil Mickelson, Patrick Reed and Bryson DeChambeau – had already resigned from their PGA Tour memberships or were outside the top 125, and in either case were already ineligible .

The announcement isn’t just good news for FedEx St. Jude, it’s also a potential time saver for players finishing 126-137 on the FedEx Cup final points list in the regular season.

While this list is subject to change depending on the results of this week’s Rocket Mortgage Classic and next week’s Wyndham Championship, here are the players currently occupying these slots.

126. Callum Tarren

127. Jason Day

128. Kevin Tway

129. Nick Taylor

130. Chesson Hadley

131. Kramer Hickok

132. Ricky Fowler

133. Stephan Jäger

134. Austin Smotherman

135. Paul Casey (ineligible)

136. Max McGreevy

137. Danny Willett

The Tour announcement is potentially very good news for four of the 11, those looking to qualify for the Tour Championship Series for the first time.

Those four “playoff rookies” inheriting a path to the season-ending series are Tarren, Jaeger, Smotherman and McGreevy. Of course, none of the four have a locked spot pending the conclusion of the Wyndham Championship.

Of the 11 in position to benefit from the decision, only Day, Hadley and Hickok made the 125 field last season. Taylor last played in the season finale in 2020, Tway, Fowler and Willett in 2019.

The actual starting field at FedEx St. Jude will likely still not be 125.

Several times in recent years, one or more eligible players have withdrawn due to injury. Just this week it was announced that Lanto Griffin (65) had spinal surgery and will miss the rest of the season.

PGA Tour officials have not authorized substitutions for those who miss the field due to injury, and there is no indication they will this season either.

Michael C. Ford