The top eight players in Tour Points are special snowflakes. They have competed at the Pro Tour events and have consistently come at or near the top. They will get a bye in the Tour Championship into the Semifinals. The Eight. The special ones. With targets on their backs.
With some uncertainty in one or two of the spots in The Eight, we need to revisit who can get in and how they can do it. For the sake of this article, to try to keep it mildly simplistic, let’s presume that one of the two players in question (Bradley Williams (#4) and Paul McBeth (#6)) plays and one does not.
This would mean that Michael Johansen is in the 8th spot and Locastro, Barsby, Gibson, and Ulibarri (LBGU) have a little bigger chance of getting in than they expected. Short version, if the players in The Eight finish top 12, earning at least 38 Pro Tour Points, then the four outsiders, LBGU, need to finish in the top three to have a real shot at making The Eight. One possible downside to this is that they would probably be in the eighth spot and would face Wysocki in the Semifinals. lastly, Ulibarri just won the Nantucket Open over a pretty strong field. Perhaps he is finally healed from the nagging finger injury and is truly ready to make a run here at the close of the season.
Now let’s figure out who is going to be in what bracket. First, let’s assume that the PDGA / McBeth (Cam Todd) discussion comes to a reasonable resolution. The PDGA put forward a partial answer yesterday, giving McBeth and Todd an opportunity to say that their protest was heard.
Let’s start with the easy part. Presuming McBeth finishes in the top three and Doss does not beat Cale by more than a couple positions, then we are looking at the top four in points as the following.
Group 1: Wysocki
Group 2: Cale
Group 3: Doss
Group 4: McBeth
Alex Geisinger is playing insanely consistent (8th, 5th, 5th, 5th) and will most likely be the five seed.
The next three spots could be filled by James Conrad, Nate Sexton and Michael Johansen. Or Paul Ulibarri could card another win (or top finish) and slide into third, putting himself into 8th overall.
James Conrad has a significant lead over Sexton and Johansen. In this Ulibarri rich scenario, whoever wins between Sexton and Johansen will claim the final (7th) spot. Johansen lives on the east coast. This event is on the east coast. My guess is that the time zones finally catch up to Sexton and he drops to ninth overall.
Group 1: Wyscoki, Ulibarri
Group 2: Cale, James Conrad
Group 3: Doss, Johansen
Group 4: McBeth, Geisnger
Now we need to figure out who the top eight finishers in the Quarterfinals will be. Clearly Sexton will be one of them. Rounding out the next spots based on PDGA Player Rating results in: Locastro, McMahon, Brathwaite, Brinster, Koling, Owens, and Gibson. Plugging them in, in this order gets us our Semifinal matchups:
Group 1: Wysocki, Ulibarri, Brathwaite, Brinster
Group 2: Leiviska, Conrad, McMahon, Koling
Group 3: Doss, Johansen, Locastro, Owens
Group 4: McBeth, Geisinger, Sexton, Gibson
There are some pretty cool matchups there. I’d love to see McBeth and Sexton go head to head, but Group 3 would be the one I was watching for some real fireworks.
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