Former world No.
1 Adam Scott and hopeful Presidents Cup teammate John Senden are in the hot seat in New Jersey this week, playing to continue their US PGA Tour seasons.
Scott is the lowest ranked of just six Australians to have qualified for the lucrative end-of-season playoffs in 94th spot after a mediocre year by his lofty standards.
Without a top-three finish this season for the first time since 2002, Scott must perform under the pump at The Barclays at Plainfield Country Club this week if he is to make his sixth consecutive Tour Championship next month.
With 120 of the 125 qualifiers set to tee it up it is mathematically possible Scott could advance to next week’s Deutsche Bank Championship – only for the top 100 – with a missed cut, but it would be highly unlikely.
And just surviving is not what former Masters champion Scott is about.
A winner at The Barclays in 2013, the Queenslander still has designs on going all the way to claim the FedEx Cup and the $US10 million ($A14.03 million) bonus.
“The good part about the playoffs when you are in this position is if you just get to The Barclays you can win the whole thing,” Scott said.
“The playoffs is about how you play in these four weeks so I am a chance.”
For Senden, at 88th on the points list, The Barclays is both a test for survival and an audition for a coveted Presidents Cup position.
The veteran has made no secret of his desire to make the International team for October’s matches against the United States and after being a mainstay inside the top-10 automatic qualification zone all year has slipped to 13th with just two weeks remaining.
He needs to play well this week to ensure another week of audition time as if he’s unable to crack the top 10 he could still be picked as one of Nick Price’s two captain’s picks.
“I really want to make the team in the top 10 and earn my place rather than rely on a captain’s pick,” Senden told AAP.
“I know I have to play well to make the team and it just comes down to me doing the work and getting it done.
“It has been a bit hot and cold with results this year but I am determined to put my best effort forward. Sometimes when your back is against the wall you play better and that is what I am hoping to do.”
Steven Bowditch and Matt Jones are in a similar spot to Senden when it comes to the Presidents Cup, although both are through to next week in the playoffs.
Bowditch is 22nd in the FedEx standings and 12th on the International team list while Jones is 55th in the FedEx and 16th in the International rankings.
World No.3 Jason Day will spearhead both the International team and the Australian playoff tilt as he enters the playoffs behind only world No.1 Jordan Spieth on points.
Marc Leishman (50th) is a lock for the International side – in sixth spot in the rankings – and will also line up in New Jersey.