Jordan Spieth knew exactly what he had to do coming into the third leg of the FedEx Cup Playoffs at Aronimink Golf Club this past week, but the 3-time major champion wasn’t able to sneak inside the top-30, missing the Tour Championship for the first time in his career.
“I was in control of my own destiny and didn’t have it this week. Riding some momentum, but all in all, game kind of got a little off,” Spieth said following the conclusion of the tournament on Monday.
Spieth finished the BMW Championship in a tie for 55th place, leaving him at 31st in the FedEx Cup standings.
Missing out on East Lake and the Tour Championship is certainly a blow, and Spieth expects to receive another blow — this one to his wallet — following his failure to play in 25 PGA Tour events.
“I talked to the Tour a little while back and I didn’t really think much of it, and it becomes a situation then, you know,” he said. “I obviously accept whatever fine it is and move on and try and add one every year, but it’s kind of tough.”
The PGA Tour’s Strength of Field Regulation was enacted two years ago, but it recently made headlines as number-crunchers noticed that Spieth had yet to fulfill his responsibilities under the rule.
The rule, according to ESPN.com’s Bob Harig, states, “If a player without lifetime or veteran status doesn’t play in 25 or more tournaments in the immediately prior or current season AND doesn’t add an event they haven’t played in the prior four seasons, then that player is subject to a three-tournament suspension and a major fine.”
The BMW Championship was Spieth’s 23rd event and the Ryder Cup will be his 24th event. Failing to advance to the Tour Championship caused Spieth to fall one event short of the required 25 events since he did not play in an event this season that he hasn’t played in during the previous four seasons.
The penalty for failing to fulfill this commitment can be a fine or a suspension, although the fine is the likely outcome.
The PGA Tour told Golf.com, “Regarding Jordan — like any issue where a player is found to be in violation of a PGA TOUR Regulation, the PGA TOUR will handle directly with that player and have no additional comment.”
The fine has been reported to be $20,000.