Start thinking about your brackets

With just two events remaining, the race to secure a spot as well as secure a spot in The Eight is heating up. To recap, the top 50 qualify for the Tour Championship. The top 25 get a bye to the quarterfinals. The Eight get a bye to the Semifinals. Getting a bye thru the first two rounds is HUGE, but not only is getting into The Eight important, positioning matters also (more on bracket position later).

Baker’s Dozen for The Eight

Based on points earned at the first seven events, 300 is the projected cut line for eighth. Let’s run through the 13 players that have a serious chance at earning these spots.

1 & 2: Ricky and Paul – As long as Ricky Wysocki (493 pts) finishes in the top ten in the final two events, he will be our 2018 Tour Points Champion. Meanwhile, Paul McBeth (370 pts) has two firsts and two seconds on tour, is currently second in points and is almost a lock to secure 2nd place in Tour Points.

3 & 4: Jerm and Simon – Jeremy Koling (348 pts) and Simon Lizotte (322 pts) currently sit in third and fourth, respectively. They are both registered to play the final two events and are in good position (40+ points) ahead of the players chasing their spots. Not sure of the order between them (which might matter, more on bracket position later), but they will most likely round out our top four.

5-7: Conrad, Gibson, Uli – James Conrad (313) would have a shot at the top four except he will be missing the Green Mountain Championship. He is averaging 52 points per event which would put him at 365 points for the season. Drew Gibson (284 pts) and Paul Ulibarri (279 pts) are both playing in the final two tour stops. With solid finishes in the final two events, they could overtake Conrad and push him down to 7th, which could matter (more on bracket position later).

Presuming none of the above players has a catastrophic fall from grace, that leaves one spot for the final six players to fight over.

  • Gregg Barsby (237 pts) – His eighth place at Idlewild earned him more than 30 points than any of his three closest competitors. If he does it again at Vibram or GMC, a spot in The Eight is almost assuredly his.
  • Nikko Locastro (229), Philo Brathewaite (228.8) and Austin Turner (227.83) are all within ten points of Barsby. With the Tour Points structure, just a few positions above him will close the gap.
  • Peter McBride (218 pts) and his chase for The Eight is wishing he could have a do over for his performance at The Memorial where he earned one Tour Point. Since then, he has averaged over 45 points per event. If he does that over the final two events, he may just sneak into the eighth and final spot.
  • Josh Anthon (185 pts) – Josh is a latecomer to the tour, having only played in two events (a 2nd at Utah Open and his win at Ledgestone) and is playing in the final two events. If he does that again over the final two events, he will be a shoe in for The Eight, and then things get interesting.

Tomorrow we will discuss why position matters. Stay tuned and get ready to watch The Vibram Open!

Vibram Open live broadcast times:

  • Friday, Round 2: 3:30 PM EST
  • Saturday, Round 3: 3:30 PM EST
  • Sunday, Round 4: 3:00 PM EST

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