Insights

The Northern Trust: Preview

Top 125 in the FedEx Cup standings will head to the Liberty National Golf Club for the start of the playoffs at the Northern Trust.

The top 70 in the standings after the completion of the tournament will qualify for the BMW Championship next week. 

Collin Morikawa enters the tournament in first, 32 points clear of Jordan Spieth and  115 ahead of Patrick Cantlay in third. 

Morikawa has been the standout player this season with a couple of victories, including the win at the Open Championship. 

Tough to pick a winner

The Northern Trust has been played at the Liberty National GC on two occasions in the last decade – 2013 and 2019 – which suggests that Australian Adam Scott is likely to go well. 

Scott won in 2013 and finished 5th two years ago. The Aussie has made his 15th consecutive FedEx Cup and should have won at the Wyndham last week, a similar performance will see him go close. 

Although Patrick Reed ended up winning the Northern Trust in 2019, it was Dustin Johnson who lead at the halfway point before falling away. 

Last year’s FedEx Cup winner won the Northern Trust by a whopping 11 shots at TPC Boston.

Johnson hasn’t been in that kind of form this year, but should come into the tournament reinvigorated after a short break. 

Another player with a great chance will be Jon Rahm, which is not going to surprise anyone. Jon Rahm has missed many of the recent tournaments because of personal choices and positive Covid results. His last result was a tied-third at the Open Championship. 

Abraham Ancer, Collin Morikawa and Webb Simpson could be there or thereabouts come Sunday, too. 

What is the course like? 

The Liberty National GC is a punishing course for anyone who doesn’t give respect to accuracy. The greens are relatively small for PGA standards, with huge run-off areas if players miss the green. 

Scrambling well and greens-in-regulation will play a huge part in determining the eventual winner. 

The course is peppered with strategically placed bunkers both around the fairways and the green, and a lot of opportunities for the players’ golf balls to get wet. 

The fifth hole will be the most demanding for accuracy as the players will aim for a relatively slim fairway that is next to a massive lake. 

However, it is the 18th hole that is the toughest on the course. The fairway is surrounded by bunkers on either side and the green slopes from back to front. 

If windy, it is a very fast putting surface. Expect dropped shots on the last for many players. 

Win or lose, at least they will have a view of the Statue of Liberty as they head to the clubhouse of this picturesque course.

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