The FedEx Cup Playoffs Are Here; So Is Matt Kuchar, The Only Player To Never Miss Them

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Matt Kuchar keeps winding up in the PGA Tour record book for reasons that make him proud, but aren’t exactly his biggest goals.

In March, he won his 36th match in the Dell Match Play to tie the record set by Tiger Woods. Now he becomes the only player to have reached the FedEx Cup playoffs every year since they began in 2007.

That’s 17 consecutive years, a record he holds alone. Adam Scott had made every postseason but finished at No. 72 this year when the cutoff was reduced from 125 players to 70.

“It’s the same thing in Match Play, the matches won and tying Tiger’s record. I see a bigger fish to fry,” Kuchar said. “It’s not something to me to knock out these titles or whatever they’re called. There are other goals than most matches or most FedEx Cup playoff appearances.”

Kuchar certainly sees the upside. With only 70 players reaching the postseason, this was hard work for a 45-year-old, especially considering who didn’t make it this year — Justin Thomas, Scott, Shane Lowry, Gary Woodland.

Kuchar has been around long enough to remember when reaching the FedEx Cup playoffs essentially meant keeping a PGA Tour card — the top 125.

“It is amazing to be the guy that keeps the streak going,” he said. “And this is the first year of it being harder to qualify. What’s amazing is I remember a time when I was the guy asking Mark Calcavecchia, Kenny Perry, how long they had been out here.”

The first year of the FedEx Cup, the top 144 made the first of four playoff events. Jeff Gove was at No. 144 that year, a field that included Calcavecchia and Perry, along with Bernhard Langer and Corey Pavin.

Now the goal is to get into the top 50. Kuchar is at No. 60 and probably needs a top-10 finish to have any chance of making it to the BMW Championship and guarantee a spot in the $20 million signature events next year.

He has made it to the BMW Championship in 12 of his previous 16 years, and to the Tour Championship nine times.


The PGA Tour now has company in opposing the rollback of the golf ball.

Golf Channel obtained a memo from Seth Waugh, the CEO of the PGA of America, asking that the R&A and USGA extend the comment period to “allow a review of the conflicting data being presented and for more data to be gathered to prove or disprove if change is indeed required.”

Waugh is representing the PGAs of seven other countries — New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden, Canada, Germany, Australia and Holland — along with Britain & Ireland. They are part of what he said was the PGA World Alliance.

The memo said the alliance would work with the golf industry on a white paper that would review data and “potentially include alternative solutions to be considered.”

The memo also raised questions about the data used to propose a “model local rule.” If approved, the rule would be available in 2026.

“There are sets of data that conflict with the R&A and USGA materials,” the memo said. “This is confusing and, in our view, needs to be considered fully, reviewed and clarified prior to any final decision being made.”

The USGA declined to respond, citing the comment period, which ends next week. It was the same response it offered to the PGA Tour, which said last week it could not support the MLR as proposed but would be willing to collaborate on a solution.


Examples of depth on the PGA Tour can be seen in the majors — 16 players have won the last 18 majors. Perhaps an even stronger example comes from the FedEx Cup.

Jon Rahm is the No. 1 seed going into the FedEx Cup playoffs that start this week at the TPC Southwind. That makes 11 players who have been the No. 1 seed in the last 11 years. The last player to repeat as the top seed was — who else? — Tiger Woods in 2012 and 2013.

Rahm should be aware of history. Only two players who began the playoffs as the No. 1 seed went on to capture the FedEx Cup — Woods in 2007 and 2009, and Jordan Spieth in 2015. Spieth actually missed the cut in two of the playoff events that year.

Rory McIlroy is the only three-time FedEx Cup champion, having won in 2016, 2019 and 2022. Woods has been the No. 1 seed at the start five times. That includes 2008, even though he played only six times that year and had season-ending knee surgery in June.


With no shortage of concerns on the PGA Tour, Masters champion Jon Rahm might have had the most unusual — and honest — suggestion of all. He was asked what would be one change he’d like to see.

“I can tell you right now my priorities are a lot lower than what a lot of people would think,” Rahm said. “I know this is going to sound very stupid, but as simple as having a freaking port-a-potty on every hole. I know it sounds crazy, but I can’t choose when I have to go to the bathroom. I’ve told the tour this many times, as simple as that.”

British Open champion Brian Harman also had a suggestion no one was expecting.

“I’d like for us to have access to cold plunges in the locker room,” he said.


Rory McIlroy played only 15 times on the PGA Tour to reach the FedEx Cup playoffs, where he starts as the No. 3 seed in his bid for a fourth FedEx Cup title.

And then there was Mark Hubbard, who has a history of playing as much golf as he can. Hubbard arrived at the FedEx St. Jude Championship having played 31 times, the most of anyone in the 70-man field.

Hubbard missed only four tournaments for which he was eligible dating to September — the RSM Classic, Farmers Insurance Open, AT&T Byron Nelson and the Scottish Open.

He had a toe injury that kept him from the RSM Classic. He wasn’t interested in going to Scotland for one week, and he was not allowed to play the PGA Tour event the same week in Kentucky because that wasn’t for players already eligible for the Scottish Open.

It was a lot, but he made it to Memphis.


Golf is headed back to China for the first time since before the COVID-19 pandemic. The Buick LPGA Shanghai is scheduled for Oct. 12-15. It’s the only top-level professional tournament scheduled to be held in China this year. … Lucas Glover at age 43 is the oldest player to win on the PGA Tour since Phil Mickelson (50) won the 2021 PGA Championship. … Players from outside the top 100 in the world have won the last two weeks on the PGA Tour — Glover at the Wyndham Championship and Lee Hodges at the 3M Open. … Boeing has extended its title sponsorship of the PGA Tour Champions event in Snoqualmie, Washington, by five years through 2029. … Tyrrell Hatton claimed the $1 million prize for the Aon Risk Reward Challenge, a season race based on performance on risk-reward holes, such as par 5s. The LPGA contest concludes in November.


The three players who won opposite-field events — Nico Echavarria (Puerto Rico Open), Matt Wallace (Corales Puntacana Championship) and Akshay Bhatia (Barracuda Championship) — were the only PGA Tour winners who didn’t make the FedEx Cup playoffs.


“I’ve caught myself walking by it, looking at it, and be like, ‘Damn, man, I still can’t believe it happened.’” — British Open champion Brian Harman, who keeps the claret jug in his kitchen.