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2015 FedExCup champion, two-time U.S. Open winner and THE NORTHERN TRUST’s 2010 champion will tee it up in North Jersey in two weeks
Just two weeks remain before the world’s best golfers compete in the first FedExCup Playoffs event, THE NORTHERN TRUST, at The Ridgewood Country Club in Paramus. With Tiger Woods and Justin Thomas announcing their commitments last week, several of the game’s other top players have officially booked their trip to Bergen County, namely Jordan Spieth, Brooks Koepka and Matt Kuchar, tournament officials announced today.
With the addition of this powerful trio—who have 21 PGA TOUR wins amongst them—THE NORTHERN TRUST field is shaping up to be one of the best in tournament history. From August 21-26, the PGA TOUR’s top-125 players will tee it up for the chance to be crowned the season-long FedExCup champion and take home the $10-million top prize. Tickets to the tournament are still available and can be purchased at www.thenortherntrust.com.
Jordan Spieth will be playing in THE NORTHERN TRUST for the sixth time in his career after a runner-up finish in last year’s playoff with Dustin Johnson. This year will mark the second time Spieth has played Ridgewood—he finished T22 at THE NORTHERN TRUST in 2014.
Spieth enters the PGA Championship this week at Bellerive Country Club in search of the only major championship that is missing in his quest for the career Grand Slam. Should he win this week, he would join only five other players—Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Tiger Woods—who have won the four modern majors.
At No. 43 in the FedExCup standings, Spieth needs to make crucial moves over the next two weeks to put himself in prime position for a chance to join Tiger Woods as the only two-time winners of the FedExCup. Despite not recording a win thus far this season, Spieth has been consistent—posting five top-10 finishes.
· FedExCup Rank: 43
· History at THE NORTHERN TRUST: Five career starts at THE NORTHERN TRUST, with two top-10s and two top-25s. Spieth has played Ridgewood once, in 2014, where he posted a T22 finish.
· How he won the FedExCup in 2015: Spieth capped off a historic five-win season that included two major victories by winning the TOUR Championship to become the FedExCup champion. He made 21 of 25 cuts with 15 top-10s during a season when he earned Player of the Year honors. He entered the season finale at No. 2 in the standings before walking away with a four-shot victory, becoming the youngest winner of the FedExCup and of the TOUR Championship (22 years, 2 months). With this win, Spieth became the sixth player since 1980 to win five or more times in a season, joining Tom Watson, Nick Price, Vijay Singh, Tiger Woods and Jason Day.
· Wins this season: none; however, in 19 starts, Spieth has ten top-25 and five top-10 finishes, with his best finish solo-third at the 2018 Masters Tournament.
· FedExCup movement this season: Ranked as high as No. 92 in the standings in early 2018, but consistently strong play led to a steady rise in the standings. Since the Houston Open in April, Spieth has never ranked worse than No. 45.
Brooks Koepka made history earlier this summer by becoming the first repeat winner of the U.S. Open since Curtis Strange in 1989 and only the seventh player to win consecutive U.S. Open titles. His incredible performance at Shinnecock Hills earned him his third PGA TOUR victory and bumped him into the top-15 in the FedExCup standings.
Koepka enters the PGA Championship this week on the heels of a fifth-place finish at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. In two weeks, the long hitter will take on the A.W. Tillinghast-designed Ridgewood for the very first time as he looks to improve upon a career-best 10th place finish in the FedExCup standings last season.
· FedExCup Rank: 12
· History at THE NORTHERN TRUST: Three career starts, with one missed cut. His best finish was T49 in 2017. Koepka has never played Ridgewood.
· FedExCup movement this season: Dropped as low as No. 111 after a wrist injury sidelined him from competition for several months in the early portion of 2018. Returned to competition at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, where he missed the cut, but then made big moves thanks to a T11 at THE PLAYERS Championship and a solo-second finish at the Fort Worth Invitational, moving to No. 44 in the standings. His win at the U.S. Open several weeks later bumped him to No. 13. A T5 finish at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational moved him up one more spot heading into the PGA Championship this week.
· Wins this season: 1; U.S. Open Championship
· Best career finish in the FedExCup Standings: 10th; 2017
THE NORTHERN TRUST’s 2010 champion will make his twelfth consecutive start in this tournament, where he has only missed one cut. Kuchar produced one of the most memorable shots in THE NORTHERN TRUST’s history when, on the first hole of sudden-death in 2010, he hit a 7-iron from 190 yards to 2 feet, six inches to secure his third PGA TOUR win.
At No. 58 in the FedExCup standings, Kuchar enters the PGA Championship this week fresh off a T14 finish at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and in search of his first major championship title.
· FedExCup Rank: 58
· History at THE NORTHERN TRUST: 11 career starts at THE NORTHERN TRUST, with only one missed cut. Kuchar has a strong track record at this tournament, with five top-25s and four top-10s, two of which—a win (2010) and a T5 (2014)—came at Ridgewood. His only missed cut came at Ridgewood in 2008.
· How he won THE NORTHERN TRUST in 2010: Kuchar entered the final round five strokes behind leader Martin Laird but stormed back with a 5-under 66 to finish tied with Martin Laird at 12-under par, resulting in another sudden-death finish at Ridgewood. Kuchar hit a 7-iron from 190 yards out of the left rough and had a little help from the back edge of the green to settle two feet, six inches away from the cup. Kuchar made the putt to win his third PGA TOUR title and jump to No. 1 in the FedExCup standings. After a T25 finish at the TOUR Championship, Kuchar narrowly missed being crowned the season-long FedExCup Champion, finishing No. 2 behind Jim Furyk.
· Wins this season: none; however, in 21 starts, Kuchar has eight top-25 and four top-10 finishes, with a season-best finish ofT5 at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
· FedExCup movement this season: Ranked as high as No. 107 in the standings at the beginning of the season and has ascended the ranks steadily since. Kuchar is No. 58 heading into this week’s PGA Championship.
With just two weeks remaining before THE NORTHERN TRUST begins, here’s a look at the current top 20 in the FedExCup standings. The top 125 players in the standings will come to Paramus for THE NORTHERN TRUST.
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