This week's Wyndham Championship marks the final event of the 2013 PGA Tour regular season, and as a result players head to Sedgefield Country Club with various goals. While some are jockeying for positioning in advance of the FedEx Cup playoffs that will begin next week with The Barclays, a number of players in this week's field simply have their eyes on earning playing privileges for the 2013-14 season.
With the conclusion of this truncated 2013 campaign, players inside the top 125 on either the season-long money list or the FedEx Cup points standings after this week will have membership on Tour for the inaugural wrap-around season that will begin in October. Among the notable players currently clinging to a precarious position in the standings is nine-time PGA Tour champion Stuart Appleby.
Appleby is no stranger to using lifelines to maintain his playing status; following the 2009 season, the Aussie used a one-time exemption for being in the top 25 on the Tour's all-time money list to grant him status for the 2010 season. He went on to win The Greenbrier Classic that summer, which in turn gave him a two-year exemption through 2012. When that expired last fall, Appleby was forced to use his final career money list exemption, a one-time salvo for players in the top 50 all-time, to play this year.
With one event to go, Appleby is well down the 2013 money list at 137th, but ranks 123rd in FedEx Cup points. The 42-year-old will need to maintain that position inside the top 125 this week in Greensboro to retain his playing privileges for next year.
Like Appleby, Chad Campbell has been a mainstay on the PGA Tour for the last decade, playing a full season on the Tour each year since 2002. A runner-up to Shaun Micheel at the 2003 PGA Championship, Campbell's four career Tour titles include the 2003 Tour Championship. This year, though, the 39-year-old's best finish on Tour is a tie for seventh at the Sanderson Farms Championship, Campbell's lone top-10 finish in 24 starts. As a result, he heads this week to Sedgefield 131st on the money list and 132nd in FedEx Cup points, needing a strong showing in Greensboro to ensure status for next year. Should he need it, though, Campbell would have the same one-time career money list exemption at his disposal that Appleby used for this season.
Another notable player on the FedEx Cup bubble is Bud Cauley, who has experienced somewhat of a sophomore slump after a breakthrough 2012 campaign. A year ago, the former Alabama standout recorded four top-five finishes on Tour, finished the regular season ranked 38th in FedEx Cup points and advanced all the way to the third playoff event, the BMW Championship. This year, though, Cauley has made just 10 cuts in 23 starts, with his T-14 finish at the Crowne Plaza Invitational serving as his best result to date. With one week to go, Cauley is 130th in FedEx Cup points and 140th on the money list.
Should they fail to crack the top 125 on either list this week, players ranked 126-150 in FedEx Cup points will still retain conditional status next year on the PGA Tour. All players from 126 to 200 in the final FedEx Cup standings will be eligible for the Web.com Tour Finals, a four-event stretch beginning later this month where 50 PGA Tour cards for the 2013-14 season will be up for grabs.