Strong Vahalla finishes boost several big-name players into FedExCup

Phil Mickelson at the PGA Championship
USA Today Sports Images
Phil Mickelson He picked up enough FedExCup points at the PGA Championship to move from No. 84 to No. 42.
By
Doug Ferguson
Associated Press

Series: PGA Tour
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Phil Mickelson left the PGA Championship as a runner-up in a major for the ninth time in his career, though this one at least kept alive one streak involving the Ryder Cup and another involving the FedExCup. 
 
Mickelson qualified for his 10th straight Ryder Cup team, extending his American record. 
 
He picked up enough FedExCup points to move from No. 84 to No. 42, giving him the best opportunity of three players who have never missed the Tour Championship. Only the top 30 after the BMW Championship get into the FedExCup finale at East Lake. 
 
The others who have never missed the Tour Championship are Hunter Mahan and Steve Stricker. 
 
 
Stricker, playing a part-time schedule for the second year, was on the bubble for The Barclays until he tied for seventh at Valhalla. That moved him up to No. 99. The next question is how much he plays over the next month, more by choice than by qualification. He has an elk hunting trip planned for September. 
 
Mahan is having his worst year since 2006. He had four top 10s through Doral until tweaking his back on the eve of the final round at Bay Hill. Mahan did not have another top 10 all year until a 65-67 weekend at Valhalla to tie for seventh. 
 
He only moved up to No. 59. Mahan will have to play well at either The Barclays or the Deutsche Bank Championship to sew up a spot in Denver for the third playoff event. Also at stake the next two weeks is auditioning for Tom Watson as a Ryder Cup pick. 
 
Five players have never missed the FedExCup playoffs since the series began in 2007. All of them – J.J. Henry, Brian Gay, John Merrick, Charlie Wi and John Rollins – are in Greensboro, N.C., for the Wyndham Championship, the final event of the regular season. Henry is at No. 130 and would only need something around 20th place to get into The Barclays. Rollins is at No. 164 would need to finish third. 
 
It's also a big week for Robert Allenby at No. 122. He used a one-time exemption as top 25 on the tour's career money list to keep his card this year.