Hideki Matsuyama. Credit Getty Images

Hideki Matsuyama knew what he needed to do to extend his campaign in the FedExCup Playoffs and stay in the fight to keep alive a proud streak in his illustrious career.

Being forced to wait for an hour and 37 minutes to complete the remaining three holes during a weather suspension in the final round at the FedEx St. Jude Championship on Sunday only heightened the pressure-packed moment.

“I looked and saw what I needed to do on the final three holes. I knew I had to birdie them all. All I knew is I had to make birdies, so I just put my head down and did the best I could,” said Matsuyama.

Once play resumed, the 31-year-old duly delivered, and in style too.

Upon his return to the par-5 16th hole, he striped a drive down the fairway before rifling a six iron to just outside of nine feet and buried the eagle putt. At the next, he calmly rolled in an 11 footer for his fourth birdie of the day to move inside the Top-50 projections of the FedExCup to advance into the BMW Championship.

An errant drive, however, on the demanding 18th hole, followed by an approach which landed beyond the final green provided a nervy finish but Matsuyama calmly produced a delicate flop shot which saw his ball land within 19 inches for a tap-in par, thus sealing his place in the second of three Playoffs events.

More importantly, it gave him a chance to extend his streak of qualifying for the TOUR Championship, the Playoffs Finale, for a 10th straight season which is a record amongst active players.

“Especially at 18, I looked up and saw I was 47th on the FedExCup list, which made that approach shot really difficult. I’m just happy I was able to get it up-and-down (for par),” said Matsuyama, who signed for a closing 65 for a share of 16th place.

“Hopefully I can get some rest before that (BMW Championship) because I’ve got to play better next week in order to make it to East Lake (TOUR Championship). I’m just going to give it my best shot.”

He was delighted with how he scrambled for par on the last hole to punch his ticket to the BMW Championship, which takes place at Olympic Fields in Illinois starting on Thursday. “Normally it’s a 3, but under the conditions, it was an 8 or 9,” smiled Matsuyama when asked to rate his flop shot from between 1 to 10. “The number I was hoping for before the round was 7-under, but I didn’t play very good, didn’t score well the front nine, which was frustrating. I’m just glad I was able to turn it on the last four or five holes.”

American Lucas Glover (69) was triumphant for the second straight week after prevailing in a playoff against Patrick Cantlay (64) at TPC Southwind after both players finished up on 15-under 265, one ahead of Rory McIlroy (65) and Tommy Fleetwood (68). Glover, who triumphed at last week’s Wyndham Championship, earned his sixth PGA TOUR title with a par in the first extra hole after Cantlay made bogey, and moved up to fourth place in the FedExCup standings after being 112th just two weeks ago.

“If you would have told me this three months ago, I’d tell you you’re crazy,” said Glover of his stunning run of form. “But at the same time, if you asked me legitimately did I think I was capable, I’d say yes, even then. It’s just one of those sad ways athletes are wired. We always believe in ourselves no matter how bad it is I never gave that up, but like middle of May, it was hard to go to the range some days and hard to work. But we pushed through and did it anyway,” added Glover.

Korea’s Sungjae Im finished tied sixth after a bogey-free 68 and rose from 32nd to 28th on the FedExCup standings. It was the 25-year-old’s eighth top-10 of the season and puts him in the hunt to qualify for the TOUR Championship, restricted to the Top-30 players, for a fifth straight year.

Si Woo Kim, winner of the Sony Open in Hawaii in January, finished tied 16th after a 68 and moved one rung up to 17th place in the FedExCup race while Tom Kim settled for tied 24th after a closing 72, dropping four positions to 18th place on the rankings ahead of the BMW Championship. The fourth Korean in the Playoffs, Byeong Hun An, settled for a share of 37th position in Memphis, and enters the penultimate Playoffs event in 38th position as he looks to qualify for the TOUR Championship for the first time in his career.

Final-Round Notes – Sunday, August 13, 2023


Weather: Partly cloudy, hot and humid. High of 93. Wind SW 5-14 mph. Preferred lies were in effect in final round. Play was suspended due to inclement weather at 12:46 p.m. CT and resumed at 12:23 p.m. CT (suspension of 1 hour, 37 minutes).


Final Leaderboard

Pos. Player R1 R2 R3 R4 Total
P1* Lucas Glover 66 64 66 69 265 (-15)
P2 Patrick Cantlay 68 67 66 64 265 (-15)
T3 Rory McIlroy 67 66 68 65 266 (-14)
T3 Tommy Fleetwood 66 66 66 68 266 (-14)
5th Taylor Moore 66 66 65 71 268 (-12)

*wins with a par-4 on the first playoff hole (No. 18)

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