Schwartzel qualifies for third round of playoffs, but he might not play

Charl Schwartzel at the Deutsche Bank Championship
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Charl Schwartzel has been coping with a rib injury since the U.S. Open, and it has flared up again.
Associated Press

Series: PGA Tour

Published: Tuesday, September 04, 2012 | 11:16 a.m.

NORTON, Mass.  -- Charl Schwartzel of South Africa birdied the last two holes at the Deutsche Bank Championship on Monday to narrowly get inside the top 70 in the FedExCup and advance to the third playoff event at Crooked Stick. The question now is whether he will show up.

Schwartzel has been coping with a rib injury since the U.S. Open, and it has flared up again. Schwartzel told one media outlet he was "doubtful" to play, and another group of reporters that the odds were 50-50.

The Deutsche Bank Championship was his seventh straight tournament because he needed to get in his minimum 15 events to maintain PGA Tour membership, and the former Masters champion is on the edge. That was never more clear on Sunday in a moment that was replayed endlessly on television.

He already had made three double bogeys for the day -- courtesy of a broken driver -- when he had a 3-foot birdie putt on the 18th. It caught the lip and spun away. He went to roll that one in and it caught another lip.

"That was enough for me," Schwartzel said.

He barely waited for the ball to stop rolling when he swatted at it left-handed, and missed badly. He finally cleaned up the four-putt for a double bogey and a 79. Asked about the putt from the left side, Schwartzel said, "At that point it was a blur."

Each shot counts in the FedExCup, especially since Schwartzel came into the Deutsche Bank Championship at No. 71.

Part of the problem was his driver. Schwartzel said the shaft began to wear, and when his caddie picked up the bag on the sixth fairway Sunday, the head topped over. He did not have a backup driver, and when a replacement was brought out to him, he tried it on No. 14, snap-hooked it into the trees and made double bogey.

Schwartzel said if he skips the BMW Championship -- he would need a top finish just to get to the Tour Championship, anyway -- he would take a month off to rest and not return until the Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland.