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Rich Beem qualifies for FedEx playoffs

Rich Beem was among five golfers at the Wyndham Championship who played their way into next week’s first event of the FedEx Cup playoff series.

Beem shot a scorching 7-under-par 63 in the final round at Sedgefield to finish third on Sunday, four strokes behind winner Carl Pettersson.

In doing so, he jumped from 166th to 114th in the FedEx standings.

The top 144 are exempt into the first playoff event, the Barclays Championship starting in New Jersey on Thursday.

The field will be reduced for each of the remaining three playoff tournaments, with 120 playing the second event, 70 the third and 30 at the Tour Championship.

The others who jumped into the top 144 courtesy of strong play here were J.J. Henry, Martin Laird, Justin Bolli and Lee Janzen.

The five displaced from the top 144 were Gavin Coles, Tag Ridings, Todd Hamilton, Brett Rumford and Marco Dawson, who all missed the cut.

“I needed a good week just to make it into the first round of playoffs,” said Beem, the 2002 PGA champion. “So I’ve got a flight I’m going to miss going back to Austin tonight because I’m going up to New York tomorrow now.

“I knew I had to play my butt off just to make it up there. I didn’t want four weeks off and I’m glad I at least got into the first one. I’m ecstatic.”

Henry, meanwhile, played his way into the first playoff event thanks to a closing 62 to finish tied for fourth here.

Not that golf is the first thing on his mind just now, because his wife is expecting their second child Monday.

“Sometimes there’s more important things in life than playing golf,” said Henry, whose current plan, subject to change of course, is to tee it up on Thursday.

“I was really motivated today and I went out and played very well and I’m proud of the way I hung in there and finished,” Henry said. “I was on the outside looking in.”


August 19, 2008

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