The First Look: THE NORTHERN TRUST
August 15, 2021
By Adam Stanley , PGATOUR.COM
Dustin Johnson wins by 11 shots at THE NORTHERN TRUST
The first leg of the FedExCup Playoffs tees of in New York at THE NORTHERN TRUST.
Only 125 players are now eligible to win the FedExCup and the $15 million prize and with much to be decided in just three weeks’ time, the run to the TOUR Championship begins now.
FIELD NOTES: The final field will be decided after the conclusion of the Wyndham Championship… Dustin Johnson looks to win the FedExCup for a second year in a row as he defends his NORTHERN TRUST title. Last year’s win for Johnson came at TPC Boston… Patrick Reed won the last NORTHERN TRUST event played at Liberty National, in 2019. He’s back looking for more magic in Jersey City… Harris English finished second at THE NORTHERN TRUST a year ago. It’s a different course for 2021, of course, but English is playing inspired golf through 2021 and has already won twice… Past FedExCup champions teeing it up at THE NORTHERN TRUST include Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Billy Horschel, and Brandt Snedeker … The top-5 in the current FedExCup standings – Collin Morikawa, Jordan Spieth, Patrick Cantlay, Harris English, and Jon Rahm – are all ready for their run to East Lake… Abraham Ancer is back in action after his first-career TOUR victory at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational. Ancer finished tied for second at the 2019 NORTHERN TRUST at Liberty National.
FEDEXCUP: Winner receives 2,000 FedExCup points.
COURSE: Liberty National Golf Club, par 71, 7,410 yards. The site where Liberty National now sits had previously been many things (including a landfill), but after a $300-million project came to fruition it’s become a solid TOUR stop and boasts some of the best views in golf with downtown New York City and the Statue of Liberty featured prominently. The course, a Bob Cupp and Tom Kite collaboration that features bent grass fairways and greens, also hosted the Presidents Cup in 2017. It underwent a renovation not long after the TOUR visited in 2009.
STORYLINES: Only the top 70 are eligible to continue to the BMW Championship. Fifty-five golfers will be eliminated after THE NORTHERN TRUST and will not move on to Caves Valley Golf Club in Maryland… THE NORTHERN TRUST is the only FedExCup Playoff event with a 36-hole cut… Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods are the only two-time FedExCup winners, but no one has ever won the FedExCup in back-to-back years. Dustin Johnson looks to become the first man to do that… Keep an eye out for Jon Rahm this week, who is playing his first event back on U.S. soil since his U.S. Open victory this summer. He finished tied for third at The Open Championship but then a positive COVID-19 test quashed his opportunity to play at the Olympic Games. He’s back at Liberty National, where he finished tied for third in 2019.
72-HOLE RECORD: 254, Dustin Johnson (2020 – TPC Boston)
LIBERTY NATIONAL RECORD: 268, Patrick Reed (2019)
18-HOLE RECORD: 60, Dustin Johnson (Second Round, 2020 – TPC Boston)
LIBERTY NATIONAL RECORD: 62, Kevin Chappell (Third Round, 2013), Troy Merritt (First Round, 2019)
LAST TIME: Dustin Johnson’s impressive ball-striking (and putting, and driving distance, and, basically, everything else) led him to finish at 30-under at THE NORTHERN TRUST in 2020. He won by 11 shots over Harris English. Daniel Berger, who finished third, and Kevin Kisner and Scottie Scheffler (tied for fourth) finished 12 and 13 shots back of Johnson’s winning total, respectively. Johnson fired a closing round 8-under 63 and tapped in for birdie on the final hole after a 75-minute rain delay on Sunday. Johnson’s 11-shot triumph was the largest margin of victory on TOUR since Phil Mickelson won at TPC Sugarloaf in 2006 by 13 shots.
HOW TO FOLLOW
Television: Thursday-Friday, 2 p.m.-6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Saturday, 1 p.m.-3 p.m. (Golf Channel), 3 p.m.-6 p.m. (CBS). Sunday, 12 p.m.-2 p.m. (Golf Channel), 2 p.m.-6 p.m. (CBS).
PGA TOUR LIVE: Thursday-Friday 7 a.m.-6 p.m. (Featured Groups). Saturday, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. (Featured Groups), 3 p.m.-6 p.m. (Featured Holes). Sunday, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. (Featured Groups), 2 p.m.-6 p.m. (Featured Holes).
Radio: Thursday-Friday, 12 p.m.-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday 1 p.m.-6 p.m. (PGA TOUR Radio on SiriusXM and PGATOUR.com/liveaudio).