Lee Hodges Makes Big Jump in Rankings with Impressive Win
As the Mary Tyler Moore Show theme song says, "You're gonna make it after all."
And just outside Minneapolis, Minnesota, where the famed television series took place, Lee Hodges officially made next month's FedExCup playoffs by winning the 3M Open for his maiden PGA Tour victory.
In his 65th Tour start, the 28-year-old Alabamian became the first wire-to-wire winner of the season with a seven-stroke triumph at TPC Twin Cities, soaring from 74th to 33rd in the FedExCup standings. He also set a new tournament scoring record at 24-under 260.
"It's just a dream week, the whole thing," Hodges said after a final-round 67. "I mean, I played — honestly, from Monday to Sunday, I played really good golf, even in practice rounds. The pro-am, I made a bunch of birdies and then I made a bunch of birdies in the tournament with not many bogeys, so it was just one of those weeks."
What a shot on 18 from Lee Hodges!He’s in prime position to capture his first win @3MOpen 👏 pic.twitter.com/0AP1HY2n6b
While Hodges launched himself well inside the playoff’s top 70 threshold, he also made a big jump in the U.S. Ryder Cup standings, moving from 52nd to 27th with a month left to qualify for the U.S. Team.
Hodges, however, wasn’t the only one at the 3M Open who increased their chances of teeing it up in Rome, Italy, at the Ryder Cup later this year.
J.T. Poston finished runner-up for his third top-10 this month. And though he carded a triple bogey on TPC Twin Cities’ closing par-5 to fall into a three-way tie to second, rather than finishing solo second, the 30-year-old went from 43rd to 31st on the U.S. Ryder Cup points list and 60th to 49th in the FedExCup standings.
“Unfortunately, made 8 there at the last,” Poston said, “but overall it was a good week. Game's in a great spot, I'm playing good, so excited about where it's at going into the rest of the season.”
Keith Mitchell finished one stroke back of Poston for his fifth top-10 of the season, jumping two spots to No. 26 in the Ryder Cup standings.
One of the toughest shots in golf.@K_M_Mitchell makes it look easy @3MOpen 🤌 pic.twitter.com/grNLqDlJUy
Now, the Tour heads to Greensboro, North Carolina, for the Wyndham Championship, the circuit’s regular-season finale. Then, if a player is inside the FedExCup standings’ top 70 at the end of the week, three playoff events remain this season, presenting a final opportunity for someone to make their case for one of the U.S. Ryder Cup team’s 12 spots.
So even though the clock is ticking for a player to punch their ticket to Rome, there’s still time to make it after all.
“Anytime you win, you really set yourself up for some special stuff,” Hodges said.
The moment he became a champion 🏆Lee Hodges was emotional after the final putt dropped @3MOpen. pic.twitter.com/dU75mG1SKX
U.S. Team Captain Zach Johnson first announced the 2023 qualifying structure last year. Points in 2023 are awarded as follows:
- 1 point per $1,000 earned at regular PGA Tour events beginning January 1, including the Zurich Classic and WGC events, through the BMW Championship (August 20)
- 2 points per $1,000 earned for winner of the Masters, PGA Championship, U.S. Open and The Open
- 1.5 points per $1,000 earned for all others that make the cut at the Masters, PGA Championship, U.S. Open and The Open
- No points available at PGA Tour opposite-field events
Points qualification will conclude immediately after the second FedEx Cup Play-Off event (BMW Championship) on August 20, 2023, with the top six eligible players on the points list securing spots on the U.S. Team.
The six remaining slots on the U.S. Team will be Captain’s Selections and will be announced by Johnson following the 2023 Tour Championship.
For a full list of the Top 100 in the U.S. Ryder Cup standings, click here.