The Eight – It kinda matters. The top eight players in Tour Points get a bye in to the Semifinals. Players who finish from 9th to 48th will need to play a one round Quarterfinals and finish in the top eight in the Quarters to earn their spot in the Semifinals. Let’s take a look at the players, as Oingo Boingo once said, “On the outside lookin’ in.”
They laugh at me aloud, They say I’m just a clown
That I ain’t got no pride, I’m on the outside
I’m on the outside, I’m on the outside now
This is where it all begins, right here
On the outside lookin’ in, I’m on the outside
For Drew Gibson and Paul Ulibarri, the path to The Eight is pretty straight forward: Get first or second at Discraft’s Green Mountain Championship and get a little help. As we can see in the projection chart above, if Drew Gibson gets 2nd, he will earn 75 points and move ahead of a projected 9th & 10th place finishing Sexton and Johansen.
If Sexton or Johansen finish in the top three, Gibson (and Ulibarri) would need to win to get in The Eight. Also, a third place finish, which is worth ten less points than second, would put Gibson at 192.5 points, one point out of The Eight. A similar fate is probable for Ulibarri if he ends in third. It will be interesting to see if Gibson and Ulibarri play more aggressive to try to secure a top finish.
The situation is very similar for Nikko Locastro and Gregg Barsby, except that a top three finish (instead of top two) will probably put them in The Eight. Additionally, if Nikko or Barsby finish above Ulibarri or Gibson, then it is all but over for Uli and Gibson getting the bye to the Semifinals.
Of these four players on the outside looking in, Barsby has been the most consistent. Additionally, he has improved his position at each event: 22nd, 17th, 15th, 11th. Keeping the progression going would result in a top ten finish, but probably not quite enough. In the three round final event anything can happen, so keep an eye out for a strong start from Barsby.
Nikko has been horrendously inconsistent on tour this year: 20th, 5th, 29th, 9th. Arguably this bodes better for a top three finish than Barsby’s consistent play, as he could finish anywhere on the leader board. He clearly has the skill set to make a dent. One other interesting point about Nikko’s play is that, of late, he seems to be getting his 2010 form back. A 9th place finish at Ledgestone demonstrated that his 3rd place at Worlds was no fluke. If he can keep it going, he has a real shot at moving into The Eight.
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