'It Sucks To Come Up This Short' - PGA Tour Player Misses FedEx Cup Playoffs In Brutal Fashion

Having earned his PGA Tour card just last year, Justin Lower missed out on a FedEx Cup playoff spot after three-putting the last hole

Lower misses the putt
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Golf, it is a cruel, cruel game, especially when you're fighting for your PGA Tour card and livelihood. During a weather-hit tournament at the Wyndham Championship, we really saw two sides of the sport, with 20-year-old, Joohyung Kim, claiming his first PGA Tour title, whilst American, Justin Lower, lost his PGA Tour card by a matter of shots.

Beginning the day at six-under-par, the 33-year-old was looking to secure a spot in the top 125, thus earning fully exempt status for the 2022-23 PGA Tour season. In reality, he would need a two-under-par round or better to earn a spot at the FedEx St. Jude Championship next week.

As he made his way to the 18th hole, Lower stood at two-under, with a birdie almost certainly guaranteeing a place in the playoffs. If he parred, then it would mean a tense wait as it would put him around the 125th place mark. Finding the green in two shots, a 60-foot putt needed to drop for a birdie.

As he made contact with the putt it certainly wasn't going to be short, as it rolled six-foot by. Standing over the putt, we knew it needed to drop, as did Lower. Unfortunately, it grazed the right edge, leaving the 33-year-old outside the top 125.  

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Brutal, absolutely brutal... It is certainly something you don't want to see, especially when you find out that Lower only secured his card last year. Speaking after the round, which you have to give him huge credit and respect for doing, Lower was visibly affected.

When asked about how he was feeling, Lower responded: "I'd tell you if I could get it out," before adding "I don't really know what I'm thinking. It sucks to come up this short really. I mean, to get the last card last fall and only have three starts in the fall, to be in this position I guess is, I don't know, it's cool, but obviously had some help with the LIV guys and whatnot. I don't even know if I'm allowed to say that. But I don't know. There's positives, but right now it just flat out sucks.

"I was trying not to look at them (the leaderboard), but I caught a glimpse and it's really hard to not look at them at times. I kept telling myself just to not look at them and I thought I was doing pretty good and I just wasn't -- I wasn't hitting -- I wasn't driving it that well. I really haven't driven it well all year. It started to get better the last couple of weeks, maybe the last couple of months, but I hit what I thought was a pretty good tee ball on 18 and I thought it would be down kind of toward the end of the hill, but it kind of sucks that it stayed short, or shorter than what I thought it would. 

"I mean, a two-putt there, the more I look at it, probably wouldn't even have done it the way Kim's playing right now. He's probably one of the best players in the world right now the way he's playing. Yeah, I would have needed more help, but in that situation you want to not have to rely on other people, I think. You just kind of want to do it yourself and get it over with and move on.

Lower hits a driver

Lower secured two top 10 finishes this season, as he finished outside the top 125

(Image credit: Getty Images)

"It's just tough. I didn't know on 18, but I had a feeling. I just - that first putt I had was, it was like not the putt you want at all, like I don't even know how long it was. I was trying to hit it 50 feet up the hill and try to use the hill to kind of kill it and it died over the edge. Just hit it a little too hard, because the last thing I want to do is leave it short and have it come back even more."

Lower will have an opportunity to win his card back, with numbers 126-200 on the FedEx list heading to the Korn Ferry Tour Playoffs in two weeks. At that event, they will combine with the Top 75 players on the Korn Ferry Tour in a three-week event with 25 Tour cards available.

Matt Cradock
Freelance Staff Writer

Matt studied Sports Journalism at Southampton Solent University, graduating in 2019. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly and the PGA, he covers all aspects of the game, from Tour news to equipment testing and buyers’ guides. Taking up the game at the age of six, Matt currently holds a handicap of 3 and despite not having a hole in one…yet, he has had two albatrosses. His favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.