As much sense as it made that familiar Sedgefield Country Club hosted the final stop to determine the field for the FedExCup Playoffs, it's just as apropos that THE NORTHERN TRUST is contested at what amounts to a neutral site.
In its debut as a host site for a PGA TOUR event, Glen Oaks Golf Club in Old Westbury, New York, opens the 11th edition of the Playoffs. More on the course, its history and what to expect beneath the ranking.
POWER RANKINGS: THE NORTHERN TRUST
RANK PLAYER COMMENT 1 Hideki Matsuyama 2 Brooks Koepka 3 Henrik Stenson 4 Justin Thomas 5 Jordan Spieth 6 Rickie Fowler 7 Rory McIlroy 8 Dustin Johnson 9 Patrick Reed 10 Paul Casey 11 Matt Kuchar 12 Francesco Molinari 13 Louis Oosthuizen 14 Jason Day 15 Charley Hoffman 16 Brian Harman 17 Jason Dufner 18 Jon Rahm 19 Kevin Chappell 20 Justin Rose
Kevin Kisner, Tony Finau, Zach Johnson, Gary Woodland and Daniel Berger will be among the notables included in Tuesday's Fantasy Insider.
Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, New Jersey, was originally eyeballed as the host of THE NORTHERN TRUST, but when it was selected as the site of the Presidents Cup, Glen Oaks moved into position.
Not unlike Eagle Point Golf Club in Wilmington, North Carolina, which hosted the Wells Fargo Championship because its traditional host, Quail Hollow, prepared for the PGA Championship, Glen Oaks draws a comparison to Augusta National Golf Club, host of the Masters. There is rough that measures as long as three-and-a-half inches at Glen Oaks, but for most intents and purposes, the visual is that of a wide-open canvas. Its straightforward from tee to cup, a proper setup both for a field of first-timers and as the launch pad for the Playoffs.
Unlike both Eagle Point and Augusta National, both of which are equipped with bentgrass greens, Glen Oaks putting surfaces feature Poa annua (with the common blend of bentgrass). Weather permitting, they will run as fast as 12-and-a-half feet on the Stimpmeter. The forecast is favorable. Rain is not expected. Daytime high temperatures will eclipse 80 degrees. Wind will be most challenging during the opening round, but barely enough to mention.
Designed by Joe Finger, Glen Oaks opened in 1971. While Joel Weiman of McDonald & Sons was hired to modernize and upgrade Glen Oaks in 2011, Mother Nature could share the credit. Hurricanes Irene (2011) and Sandy (2012) eliminated what amounted to about 1,000 trees.
Glen Oaks is a 27-hole facility comprised of a trio of nine-hole tests, and all three are represented in the composite course for THE NORTHERN TRUST. All nine on the Blue Course are in play. The other nine consist of seven from the White Course and two from the Red Course. The compilation is stock par 70, but it can stretch to 7,346 yards. Only Firestone Country Club (7,400 yards) and East Lake Golf Club (7,385 yards) are longer among the par 70s on the schedule.
The par-3 second and 17th holes can play over 230 yards and the par-5 third maxes at 625 yards, but the par-4 11th is a par 4 at just 323 yards. It's a converted par 5 with water left and right (and potentially fronting) the hole location on the downhill target.
As of midday on Monday, the field stands at 120. Five qualifiers will not compete: Sergio Garcia (22nd in the FedExCup standings), Brandt Snedeker (64th), Adam Scott (66th), Scott Piercy (85th) and Dominic Bozzelli (115th).
ROB BOLTON’S WRITING SCHEDULE
PGATOUR.COM’s Fantasy Columnist Rob Bolton will be filing his usual staples leading up to this week’s event. Look for the following columns this week.
MONDAY: Rookie Ranking, Reshuffle, Medical Extensions, Power Rankings (THE NORTHERN TRUST)
TUESDAY*: Power Rankings (FedExCup Playoffs), Sleepers, The Confidence Factor, Fantasy Insider
WEDNESDAY: One & Done
THURSDAY: Ownership Percentages in PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf and One & Done presented by SERVPRO
* - Rob is a member of the panel for PGATOUR.COM’s Expert Picks for PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf presented by SERVPRO, which also publishes on Tuesdays.