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Record low for Aussies in US golf playoffs

AAP logoAAP 22/08/2016 Scott Bailey

Jason Day and Adam Scott are papering over major cracks at the top of Australian golf, with a record-low five players qualifying for the US PGA Tour playoffs.

World No.1 Day (1st) and No.7 Scott (3rd) mark the first time two Australians have gone into the finals in the Fedex Cup top three, after magnificent seasons.

Day claimed a season-high three wins with Scott winning twice.

However, only Aaron Baddeley (45th), Marc Leishman (57th) and John Senden (99th) will join them among the top 125 who advance after the regular season ended on Sunday.

Matt Jones was desperately unlucky, dropping out only after he missed the cut at the Wyndham Championship on Friday and fell to 126th.

Since the Fedex Cup playoff series was introduced in 2007, six in 2015 was Australia's previous-lowest representation - and five is a long way down on the 10 in 2013 and 2014 and the high of 14 nine years ago.

Greg Chalmers was another Australian who could consider himself unlucky.

Finishing 142nd, he became just the fourth player in playoffs history to win a tournament but fail to make the top 125.

However he at least still has a PGA Tour card for the 2016-2017 season courtesy of his win at the Barracuda Championship last month, while Jones and Stuart Appleby will each be granted conditional status for finishing between 126th and 150th.

Meanwhile there was also heartbreak for Australians ahead of the secondary tour's finals series.

Teenager Ryan Ruffels missed out by two points, robbing him of a chance to qualify for a PGA Tour card next season.

His hopes of reaching the finals were ended when countryman Rhein Gibson parred each of his final six holes at the Wyndham.

Had Gibson, who had already qualified for the finals through results on the secondary tour and unaware of the situation, missed a shot, it would have gifted Ruffels a place.

The 18-year-old will now have to try to qualify for the secondary tour next season through the qualifying school, where he could be joined by cancer survivor Jarrod Lyle, whose medical exemption has now ended.

Meanwhile Geoff Ogilvy has the option to retain his main tour status through the finals, after his status expired for the first time since winning the US Open in 2006.

He could however play as a past champion in 2017, as Baddeley did this season to claim a tournament victory and regain his full tour card, or use a one-time career earnings exemption to play full-time.

Troubled Robert Allenby has also officially exhausted his main tour status.

With just two made cuts from 23 starts this season Allenby failed to even qualify for the secondary playoffs and will only have past champion status to lean on.

Unlike Ogilvy, who is likely to be afforded multiple sponsor invites, Allenby will get limited opportunities.

Cameron Smith, Cameron Percy, Brett Drewitt and Rod Pampling will each compete at the finals as they fight for promotion.

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