Five weeks ago, Justin Lower gave one of the most raw and candid interviews of the PGA Tour season.
The rookie three-putted the 72nd hole at the Wyndham Championship to fall outside the top 125 in the FedEx Cup standings and lose his PGA Tour card for the 2022-2023 season.
Fast forward to this week, and even before the conclusion of the Korn Ferry Tour Finals, Lower has his card for next season secured — and he has LIV Golf to thank for it.
The PGA Tour updated the FedExCup Playoffs and Eligibility Points List to remove six players: Cameron Smith, Joaquin Niemann, Marc Leishman, Anirban Lahiri, Harold Varner III and Cameron Tringale, who were suspended Friday after teeing it up in LIV Golf’s Boston Invitational. Each player is playing his first event on the Saudi-backed, PGA Tour rival circuit.
Because of the LIV golfers’ removal, Lower, along with Matt Wallace, Austin Smotherman, Doc Redman, Danny Willett and Kelly Kraft, all moved inside the top 125 of Eligibility Points List, secured PGA Tour cards and will have full status next season.
Lower and Redman were playing in the Korn Ferry Tour Finals to try and regain their cards, and both were inside the coveted top 25 of the finals points list before this week’s Korn Ferry Tour Championship. Neither teed it up at the Victoria National.
Kraft was just outside the top 25 and did play in the Tour Championship, but withdrew on Friday upon the suspensions of the LIV defectors after firing an opening round 68. All three players will be dropped from the Korn Ferry Finals as they cannot improve their standing on the eligibility list.
Additionally, the PGA Tour announced players will be paid their FedEx Cup bonuses based on the updated Eligibility Points List and not the Official FedEx Cup Standings. Players suspended by the Tour who are no longer on the Eligibility List will receive bonuses based on the Official FedEx Cup Standings.