The wild story of how 87 golfers made the cut at the Wyndham Championship

Eighty-seven.

That’s how many golfers survived the 36-hole cut this week at the Wyndham Championship, the regular season finale. It’s the most players to make it to the PGA Tour since the cut rule was changed to low 65 and draw to start the 2019-20 season, breaking the previous high mark of 84 on the AT&T Byron Nelson in May.

There are 21 golfers, including Shane Lowry, who flew home and had to rent a private jet to get back for his third round start time (see photo below), Justin Rose and Mark Hubbard, who owe Chris Gotterup a lot – at least one thanks if not a good bottle of wine. When play was interrupted due to darkness at 8:20 p.m. Friday, seven golfers remained on the course with exactly 65 golfers at 2-under or better and 88 at 1-under or better. Four of the remaining players would set the cut on Saturday morning when play resumes: 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 parsed to complete a round of 69, while Creel also parried, but was on the wrong side of the cutline with an even par 140.

Gotterup is a hero to 21 players who have weekend plans and a salary thanks to his bogey on the last hole. He went to sleep and had to make a 1.2 meter bogey to make the cut. He made it and the bogey at the end meant he signed for 69 and a 36-hole total of 1-under 139.

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Which brings us to the sad fate of rookie Austin Smotherman. He entered the week at number 125 in the FedEx Cup points standings. The hot seat got too hot to handle despite a bogey-free 65 on the first lap. On Friday, he leaked oil, 4-over to 16, and faced a 12-foot birdie putt that would have taken him to 2-under and bounce all players 1-under when play was interrupted.

With his 2022-23 Tour card and FedEx Cup playoff hopes on the line, Smotherman missed the birdie putt when play resumed at 6:47 a.m. Saturday. But thanks to Gotterup’s bogey, all he needed was a par on his last hole to make the cut on the number. It wasn’t supposed to be. Despite finding the fairway at number 9 with his tee shot, he pushed his approach on the par 4 from 158 yards and missed the green. Short-sided, his throw ran 10 yards past the hole. Because he had to make the par putt, he didn’t come up short, but his do-or-die putt rolled 7 feet past the hole. He missed the bland comeback and tapped in for a double bogey and a round of 76.

As Max Homa tweeted about Smotherman: “I feel for him. That must be brutal to sleep on that with your season on the line #golf.”

The last time 87 players or more made the 36-hole cut on Tour was during the 2018 Wells Fargo Championship (87). The score of 1-under 139 is the highest 36-hole cut at the Wyndham Championship since 2013.

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek

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