Playoffs might be slipping away for Tiger

June, 30, 2014

Still stuck on 43 FedEx Cup points, the odds of Tiger Woods qualifying for the playoffs look more and more remote after missing just the 10th PGA Tour cut of his career last week.

The margin between Woods' ranking (208th) and No. 125 Nick Watney (which is the cutoff mark to qualify for the first event, the Barclays, that starts Aug. 21) widened from 269 to 303 points after the Quicken Loans National.

If Woods keeps to his traditional pre-playoffs schedule, he'll likely have only the Open Championship (July 17-20), the WGC-Bridgestone (July 31-Aug. 3) and the PGA Championship (Aug. 7-10) to make up ground. He could, of course, add other events before the playoffs begin.

The good news for Woods is, he has won previously at all three venues on that potential schedule (Royal Liverpool, Firestone CC and Valhalla GC.) The bad news is, even though he might not have to win any of those events to make the playoffs, he'll need several top finishes to get into the chase. Regular PGA Tour wins earn 500 points, WGC victories net 550 points and a major championship or the Players Championship brings 600 points.

In terms of Ryder Cup points standings, Woods' missed cut means he slipped from 67th to 69th, well outside the top nine who automatically qualify. Changes can happen quickly in terms of Ryder Cup rankings, though, especially with the major championships counting for double points.

Even at non-majors, players can make huge swings in just one week. Shawn Stefani's playoff loss to Justin Rose at Congressional on Sunday jumped him from 87th to 47th in the rankings.

Kevin Maguire is the senior golf editor for