Golf

Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry eye FedEx Cup play-offs

Shane Lowry and Graeme McDowell need a good week to make the top 125 and qualify for the FedEx Cup play-offs
By Phil Casey

GRAEME McDowell and Shane Lowry are among the players needing a good performance in the Wyndham Championship to qualify for the FedEx Cup play-offs.

The top 125 players at the end of the week will advance to the Northern Trust Open, with the top 100 then qualifying for the Dell Technologies Championship, 70 for the BMW Championship and the top 30 for the Tour Championship in Atlanta.

McDowell has to finish in the top 35 at Sedgefield Country Club to move up from his current position of 131st, while Lowry is ranked 145th and needs a first top 10 of the season on the PGA Tour.

Padraig Harrington will lose his PGA Tour card unless he can produce the second place or victory required to reach the top 125 from his position of 199th, although the three-time Major winner will be able to play around nine events next season on a medical exemption after undergoing neck surgery in March.

McDowell has missed the cut in five of his last six events, including last week's US PGA Championship, and failed to qualify for the Open for the first time since 2003.

But the former world number four, who is currently ranked 110th, is taking a relaxed approach to the week after making the 90-mile journey from Charlotte to Greensboro.

“I feel like I am focused beyond the play-offs and I am into next season already,” McDowell said.

“I am not trying to put too much pressure on myself because it is too late in the season to be putting pressure on myself.

“I feel like I have done a lot of good things this season to have nothing to show for it, so it has been frustrating from that point of view.

“I really like the way I am moving and I have got a great end of year schedule.

“I go back to Europe and I will probably play the British Masters and the Dunhill Links and then come back over here and play two or three of the Fall series and try and get some points on the board.”

World number nine Henrik Stenson is the only member of the world's top 10 in the field, the former Open champion coming into the event on the back of a tie for 13th at Quail Hollow.

Meanwhile, Brandt Snedeker is taking an “indefinite” break from golf to recover from the rib injury which has kept him out of action since June.

Snedeker, who won the European Tour's Fiji International last October, withdrew from the Open Championship the day before

the first round and has not played since.

The 36-year-old wrote on Twitter: “I would first like to thank everyone for their well wishes over the last few weeks, it has meant a lot to me.

“Unfortunately, I have not progressed in my rehab like we would have hoped and therefore will be shutting it down for an indefinite period of time until I get back to 100 per cent healthy.”

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