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What the odds say: How Thomas can keep playoff hopes alive

Warren Little / Getty Images Sport / Getty

To say Justin Thomas is having a disappointing 2022-23 PGA TOUR season would be an understatement.

Thomas reached as high as No. 5 in the Official World Golf Ranking last year following his PGA Championship victory but has plummeted to 26th following missed cuts in five of his last seven starts.

However, Thomas can flip the script at this week's Wyndham Championship with a strong showing. He'll need to accumulate enough FedEx Cup points to jump from his current position of 77th to a top-70 spot, which is the cutoff for next week's FedEx St. Jude Championship.

Exactly how many points are needed, or where on the leaderboard he must finish to make the playoffs, isn't straightforward. All the players he's battling with to claim one of the final few tickets into the postseason are also in the field this week.

But one thing is known: Thomas needs to finish at least solo 18th or better to keep his hopes alive. Even a top-10 finish wouldn't guarantee him a spot and would depend on how his competitors do.

Finishing position Odds Implied probability Help required
Top 18 or better +180 35.7% A lot
Top 10 or better +330 23.3% Some
Top 5 or better +950 9.3% None
Winner +4000 2.4% None

(Odds via theScore Bet and Barstool Sportsbook)

With only a 35.7% implied probability of finishing top 18 or better, chances for Thomas extending his season are fairly low. Add in the fact that Thomas only has four top-18 results in 18 starts this season - a 22.2% rate - and his chances seem even more far-fetched.

To take matters into his own hands, a top-five result is needed. But Thomas is only given a 9.3% chance of earning that result, so he's likely going to need some help.

The 30-year-old isn't only playing this week to make the playoffs. It could be his final opportunity to show U.S. Ryder Cup captain Zach Johnson that he still needs to be considered as a captain's pick for late September. Thomas is currently 14th on the American points list; the top six are guaranteed to make the team and Johnson will pick six more players to round out the roster.

Thomas has made the FedEx Cup Playoffs every year since his 2014-15 rookie campaign. He's also represented the United States in the last five team competitions. There's a lot on the line in the PGA TOUR's regular-season finale.

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