The First Look: THE NORTHERN TRUST
August 02, 2019
By Ben Everill, PGATOUR.COM
Bryson DeChambeau wins by four shots at THE NORTHERN TRUST
The FedExCup Playoffs begin in the shadows of the Statue of Liberty with only 125 players now officially eligible to win the FedExCup and the $15 million bonus that goes with it. With the Playoffs dropping from four to three events, THE NORTHERN TRUST is set to be full of volatility. The run to East Lake starts now.
FIELD NOTES: With the top 125 eligible there are still a few positions set to be confirmed as the weekend at the Wyndham Championship plays out … Tiger Woods will be in the field, his first event since missing the cut at the Open Championship in Northern Ireland and just his fifth event since winning the Masters back in April … The big guns in the FedExCup regular season are all fronting up with top three Brooks Koepka, Rory McIlroy and Matt Kuchar all locked and loaded … Reigning FedExCup champion Justin Rose gets set to defend … Adam Scott, the winner of THE NORTHERN TRUST when it was last at Liberty National in 2013 also suits up ... The Rookie of the Year race will continue with Adam Long, Sungjae Im, Matt Wolff and Collin Morikawa.
FEDEXCUP: Winner receives 2,000 points. The Playoffs sees the points quadrupled as players try to force their way to East Lake in Atlanta and a shot at the $15 million.
STORYLINES: Who is going to advance to the BMW Championship? Only the top 70 are eligible for the start at Medinah meaning 55 players face the chopping block. It is the only Playoff event with a cut … Tiger Woods, who was runner up last two times THE NORTHERN TRUST was at Liberty National, tries to secure one of the few TOUR titles he doesn’t have on his resume. He also needs to play well in the Playoffs to have a chance to defend his TOUR Championship title … The time to make the top eight and as such gain automatic qualification for the Presidents Cup is almost up. Players for the Internationals and U.S. Teams have until the end of the BMW Championship (the second Playoff event) to secure points … Who is going to remain at the top of the FedExCup standings? The man who leads going to East Lake will have between two and 10 shots head start on the field.
COURSE: Liberty National Golf Club (Cupp & Kite), 7,370 yards, par 71. The site of Liberty National was – at times – an industrial wasteland, an oil refinery and even an Italian internment camp. That was before the former boss of Reebok Paul Fireman decided to embark on a project with his son. Over $300million was pumped into the course as first it was cleaned up, then soil was dumped in, and the entire place was built from scratch. Now it has the best skyline in sports with views of downtown New York City and the Statue of Liberty. The fairways and greens are bentgrass. For those visiting the New Jersey area, must-play courses include Galloping Hill Golf Course and Preakness Valley Golf Course. Make your reservations through TeeOff.com.
72-HOLE RECORD: 261, Jason Day (2015 – Plainfield Country Club). *At Liberty National – 273, Adam Scott (2013)
18-HOLE RECORD: 61, Brandt Snedeker (3rd round, 2011 – Plainfield Country Club). * At Liberty National – 62, Kevin Chappell (2013)
LAST YEAR: Bryson DeChambeau opened last season’s FedExCup Playoffs with a big win at Ridgewood Country Club. Highlighted by a third-round 63 which included nine birdies, DeChambeau converted a four-shot lead into a four-stroke victory. It was his third career PGA TOUR victory, and second of the season. He would add another win a week later. Tony Finau finished in second place despite leading the field in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green (+3.141) and Strokes Gained: Around-the-Green (+7.800). Brooks Koepka failed to convert a 36-hole lead. Six players played their way from outside in to continue in the Playoffs - Nick Watney, Bronson Burgoon, Jhonattan Vegas, Scott Stallings, Brian Stuard and Danny Lee.
HOW TO FOLLOW
TELEVISION: Thursday-Friday, 2-6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Saturday, 1-2:45 p.m. (GC), 3-6 p.m. (CBS). Sunday, 12-1:45 p.m. (GC), 2-6 p.m. (CBS).
PGA TOUR LIVE: Thursday-Friday, 7:15 a.m.-6 p.m. (featured groups). Saturday, 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m. International subscribers (via GOLF.tv): Thursday-Friday, 11:15 to 22:00 GMT. Saturday, 13:00 to 22:00. Sunday, 13:00 to 22:30.