Sepp Straka Is the Epitome of What’s Wrong With the PGA Tour FedEx Cup Playoffs

Let me make one thing clear right from the jump. Despite the headline, I have no issues with Sepp Straka. He’s a solid, seventh-year pro who worked his way into the top 100 in the world rankings for the first time earlier this year with a win at the Honda Classic, his first PGA Tour victory. What’s not to respect about that?

What I do take issue with is the fact that the 29-year-old Austrian sits in the No. 8 spot in the points standings heading into this week’s BMW Championship, the second leg of the FedEx Cup Playoffs.

Yes, Straka played some fantastic golf in the FedEx St. Jude Championship at TPC Southwind, firing rounds of 64-66-68-67 to get himself into a playoff with Will Zalatoris, which he lost. But he still collected a $1.635 million paycheck and vaulted 28 spots in the FedEx Cup standings to the aforementioned No. 8 slot.

And that’s a problem. Not the money. It’s a big event with an elite field, so I’ve got no problem with the bigger checks. But as the FedEx Cup is a season-long competition, there’s no way Sepp Straka deserves to be where he is in the standings.

Sepp Straka is currently ahead of Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, and Matt Fitzpatrick in the FedEx Cup standings

Sepp Straka during the third round of the 2022 FedEx St. Jude Championship at TPC Southwind
Sepp Straka plays his shot from the seventh tee during the third round of the FedEx St. Jude Championship at TPC Southwind on August 13, 2022 | Andy Lyons/Getty Images

In addition to his victory at the Honda Classic, Straka has recorded three other top-10s on the PGA Tour this season. He tied for ninth at The Players Championship, tied for third at the RBC Heritage, and then finished in solo second last week.

Those four top-10s are the fewest of any player in the top 10 of the FedEx Cup standings as the top 70 head to Wilmington Country Club.

As I’ve already mentioned twice, Straka sits in the No. 8 spot in the standings. And do you know who sits in ninth? Rory McIlroy. You know, the guy who has two wins and eight top-10s, four of those in major championships.

In 10th place is Justin Thomas, who also owns just one victory this season. But it was a pretty big one as he won the PGA Championship, one of nine top-10s on the year for JT.

Sungjae Im also has just the lone victory at the Shiners Children’s Open, but the world’s 20th-ranked player also recorded seven additional top-10s.

Sitting in 12th is U.S. Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick, who trails Straka by 164 points despite winning a major and recording 10 top-10 finishes in 2022-23.

Trust me; I could keep going. Again, I’ve got no issue with Sepp Straka whatsoever. And it’s certainly not his fault that the system is broken. He’s just a scapegoat here in my attempt to prove just how broken the FedEx Cup Playoffs genuinely are.

Truth be told, Will Zalatoris and his one win shouldn’t be at No. 1 ahead of Masters champ and four-time winner Scottie Scheffler.

I applaud Straka’s efforts at TPC Southwind and hope he continues to play well at the BMW Championship.

But a second-place finish from a guy who missed six consecutive cuts heading into the PGA Tour postseason and posted a T-45, a solo 78th, a T-73, and another missed cut in the four tournaments before that shouldn’t be sitting in the top 10. Not ahead of a pair of major champions and a guy who finished eighth or better in all four majors this year.

Stats courtesy of PGATour.com

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