The First Look: THE NORTHERN TRUST
August 16, 2020
By Adam Stanley, PGATOUR.COM
Patrick Reed wins THE NORTHERN TRUST
The three-week FedExCup Playoffs begin with THE NORTHERN TRUST at TPC Boston. The 125-man field will be cut down to the top 70 at the end of play Sunday, then the top 30 at the culmination of next week’s BMW Championship in Chicago.
As always, the season-ending TOUR Championship in Atlanta will then determine who wins the FedExCup, as current No. 1 Justin Thomas looks to join Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy as the only players to win it more than once.
Woods, who has slipped down the standings some since winning the inaugural ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP in Japan last fall, returns to action at TPC Boston. So does last year’s FedExCup winner McIlroy, while Patrick Reed defends his title from 2019 at THE NORTHERN TRUST.
FIELD NOTES: A few spots in the top 125 will be confirmed this weekend at the Wyndham Championship… For now, all 125 golfers who are eligible to play THE NORTHERN TRUST are committed… Current FedExCup points leader and Wyndham Rewards Top 10 winner Justin Thomas will lead the pack in Boston… Collin Morikawa will return to action for the first time since winning the PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park… There will be eight past winners at TPC Boston in the field, including Woods, McIlroy, Webb Simpson, Bryson DeChambeau, Adam Scott, Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler, and Charley Hoffman.
FEDEXCUP: Winner receives 1,500 FedExCup points.
COURSE: TPC Boston, 7,342 yards, par 71. Originally an Arnold Palmer design, the course was established in 2002 and redesigned five years later by Gil Hanse with eight-time TOUR winner Brad Faxon serving as a consultant. Golf Digest named the effort by Hanse and Faxon as the Best Private Remodel in 2007. TPC Boston’s par-5 18th hole was altered in 2012 to feature a smaller, elevated green.
STORYLINES: Only the top 125 golfers in the FedExCup standings are eligible for THE NORTHERN TRUST. The field for the BMW Championship gets trimmed to the top 70, while the TOUR Championship features only the top 30… THE NORTHERN TRUST will rotate between TPC Boston and Liberty National Golf Club. It will return to TPC Boston in 2022... This is the second year the FedExCup playoffs feature only three events, so look for it to be a sprint to East Lake… Tiger Woods is making just his sixth start this season after a T37 at the PGA Championship. He withdrew from last year’s THE NORTHERN TRUST, citing a mild oblique strain. This will mark the 11th time Woods has played TPC Boston; he won in 2006… THE NORTHERN TRUST is the only FedExCup event to feature a 36-hole cut.
72-HOLE TOURNAMENT RECORD: 261, Jason Day (2015 – Plainfield Country Club)
TPC BOSTON RECORD: 262, Henrik Stenson (2013), Charley Hoffman (2010), Vijay Singh (2008).
18-HOLE TOURNAMENT RECORD: 61, Brandt Snedeker (3rd round, 2011 – Plainfield Country Club).
TPC BOSTON RECORD – 61, Vijay Singh (2006), Mike Weir (2008).
LAST TIME: Patrick Reed won his second THE NORTHERN TRUST title by one over Abraham Ancer. After an up-and-down opening nine Sunday that featured three birdies and three bogeys, Reed birdied two of his final five holes for 69 and the victory. The runner-up was Ancer’s best on the PGA TOUR. Harold Varner III, Jon Rahm, and Adam Scott rounded out the top five. Past FedExCup champs Jordan Spieth, Brandt Snedeker and Rory McIlroy (who would go on to win the 2019 FedExCup) tied for sixth with Louis Oosthuizen.
HOW TO FOLLOW
Television: Thursday-Friday, 3 p.m.-7 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Saturday, 1 p.m.-3 p.m. (Golf Channel), 3 p.m.-6 p.m. (CBS). Sunday, 12:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m. (Golf Channel), 2:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. (CBS).
PGA TOUR LIVE: Thursday-Friday 7:10 a.m.-7 p.m. (Featured Groups). Saturday, 7 p.m.-3 p.m. (Featured Groups), 3 p.m.-6 p.m. (Featured Holes). Sunday, 7:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. (Featured Groups), 2:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. (Featured Holes).
Radio: Thursday-Friday, 12 p.m.-6:30 p.m. Saturday, 1 p.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, 1 p.m.-6:30 p.m. (PGA TOUR Radio on SiriusXM and PGATOUR.com/liveaudio).