Bubba Watson keeps season alive while Walker and others head home

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At the first event of the 2017 FedEx Cup Playoffs, the Northern Trust, several players played their way into the top 100 and qualified for next week’s Dell Technologies Championship at TPC Boston. There were also several players who are headed home, their seasons ending early.

“To keep moving on, have another opportunity; I don’t want it to end,” said Harold Varner III, who played his way into the playoffs at the Wyndham Championship before tying for 20th at Glen Oaks Club to move from No. 123 to No. 91 in the FedEx Cup standings.

The top 70 after next week qualify for the BMW Championship while the top 30 after that move on to the Tour Championship.

Bubba Watson also jumped inside the top 100, from No. 113 to No. 72 after his T-10 finish at the Northern Trust. However, it seemed a bittersweet moment for Watson, who expressed Friday that he was looking forward to his offseason, which will begin after this season and end at next season’s Waste Management Phoenix Open in February.

“The sad thing is, I’m ready to go home,” Watson said “You know, when I talk to the other pros, and I’m not going to mention any names, they were all hoping they could get four and a half months off, as well. … We love to compete, and so to take four and a half months off – hopefully it’s a little less than that if I make it all the way to Atlanta – but to take that much time off, you have to be away from the game, and it’s hard to do because we love to compete and we love to beat each other. We love the competition.

“You know, I’m going to hopefully have some good rest and be ready to play good in Phoenix.”

Some notables who will get to start their offseason early: Jimmy Walker, Ben An, Harris English and Luke Donald. Steve Stricker also will not advance to the Dell Championship, but he still has important duties left for this season as he’s set to captain the U.S. Presidents Cup team next month.

An, who missed the cut at Glen Oaks, fell from 96th to 102nd in FedEx Cup points. He nearly won earlier this season in Phoenix. Also dropping out of the top 100 was Seung-Yul Noh (100th to 112th) and Robert Garrigus (99th to 109th).

David Lingmerth was the third player to play his way into the second leg of the playoffs, rising from No. 103 to No. 87 after a T-29 finish in New York.

“Honestly this is my fourth year making it to the playoffs, and previous three years, I had pretty solid regular seasons and once the playoffs started, I kind of fell back and never really made a move in any positive direction,” Lingmerth said. “Yeah, I guess this is the first time I’m really making a jump up to the next tournament from the outside. I guess that’s a good feeling at least.”

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