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Historic course—one of the oldest in the United States—hosts THE NORTHERN TRUST, August 21-26
PARAMUS, New Jersey – Paramus will have a new nickname in less than two weeks. The “retail capital of the world” will become the “golf capital of the world” when the PGA TOUR’s top stars come to The Ridgewood Country Club for THE NORTHERN TRUST.
All eyes on Ridgewood More than 1 billion households outside of the U.S. will receive the tournament broadcast of THE NORTHERN TRUST this month, which puts all eyes on the beautiful, historic and unique A.W. Tillinghast-designed golf course that is The Ridgewood Country Club. 2018 marks the fourth time Ridgewood has hosted THE NORTHERN TRUST and the first since 2014. One of the oldest country clubs in America (1890; the Paramus location was purchased in 1927), Ridgewood has hosted some of the most prestigious events on the golf calendar, including the 1935 Ryder Cup, 1974 U.S. Amateur, 1990 U.S. Senior Open and 2001 Senior PGA Championship. American-born architect and accomplished amateur golfer A.W. Tillinghast, who had a knack for championship designs, designed the 27-hole layout. 25 of his designs have hosted major championships. In addition, eight of his original designs still exist in New Jersey. Changes at Ridgewood since THE NORTHERN TRUST in 2014 From the moment the final putt dropped at Ridgewood in 2014, the staff has been hard at work getting ready for the PGA TOUR’s return. Bunker restorations, green expansions and fairway improvements have been made to restore the course back to its original design and improve the viewing experience for fans. "Through a long-term golf course master plan, architect Gil Hanse, who has been working with Ridgewood since 1995, helped us restore the course back to its original A.W. Tillinghast roots,” said Todd Raisch, golf course superintendent at Ridgewood. “Nearly 15,000 square feet of greens were recovered, fairways were expanded approximately six acres and bunkers were reshaped back to their Golden Age design with state-of-the-art construction methods. Several fescue areas now line the course and a few new tees have been added bringing the course to 7,385 yards." THE NORTHERN TRUST is being played on what is called The Championship Course, a composite of the more difficult holes from the three original nine-hole courses. This year’s composite layout is as follows:
Championship Course Hole #
RCC Hole #
Hole spotlight: The iconic “Five and Dime” hole One of Tillinghast’s trademarks was to give each hole its own identity. Ridgewood has a great example of this in the iconic Five and Dime hole (#12 at THE NORTHERN TRUST 2018), a 291-yard dogleg that stands as one of the first drivable par 4’s, long before such holes became fashionable. World Golf Hall of Famer Byron Nelson—who served as the club’s assistant pro from 1935-1936—coined the name “five and dime” because he played the hole with a 5-iron off the tee and a 10 wedge – the predecessor to a pitching wedge. Members also refer to the hole as “Nickel and Dime.” This hole’s putting surface measures less than 2,200 square feet and is one of the smallest in championship golf.
Top-5 most memorable moments at Ridgewood 5. Kevin Streelman’s homecoming: Ridgewood has a special place in Kevin Streelman’s heart. His parents were born and raised in Bergen County and his paternal grandparents’ graves are in George Washington Memorial Park, adjacent to the course. Streelman entered the final round in 2008 tied for the lead en route to a T4 finish in his first FedExCup Playoffs event. Two years later, Streelman shot a second-round 63—one shy of the course record—to climb into second place. He went on to finish T3. Streelman’s T4 and T3 finishes at THE NORTHERN TRUST still stand as his best two finishes in any FedExCup Playoffs event.
4. Matt Kuchar’s epic shot from the rough to win: Matt Kuchar entered the final round of the 2010 tournament five strokes behind leader Martin Laird but stormed back with a 5-under 66 to finish tied with Laird for the lead. On the first playoff hole, 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 have his ball settle two feet, six inches away from the cup. He made the putt for his third PGA TOUR title. 3. Sergio Garcia and World Golf Hall of Famer Vijay Singh’s playoff duel in 2008: Vijay Singh and Sergio Garcia shot matching 70s in the final round to join Kevin Sutherland in a three-man, sudden-death playoff and the unbelievable duel that followed was nothing short of spectacular. Immediately after Garcia sunk a 27-footer for birdie on the first playoff hole (looking up to Nick Faldo in the TV booth and shaking his fist after making it), Singh nailed his 26-foot birdie putt to extend the playoff. Sutherland was eliminated and the duo advanced to the second playoff hole. After getting into trouble off the tee, Garcia almost chipped in for birdie to stay alive, but with Singh safely on the green and leaving himself a tap-in for birdie, he sank the putt and secured his fourth win at THE NORTHERN TRUST. 2. Hunter Mahan picks up (and drops) the trophy: After making birdie on four of his last six holes to shoot a final-round 65 and earning a two-stroke victory over Jason Day, Stuart Appleby and Cameron Tringale at the 2014 tournament, Mahan had a little oops moment during the closing ceremony.
1. “Phil was here”: On back-to-back days, Phil Mickelson hit his tee shot on the drivable par-4, 291-yard hole (“Five and Dime”) straight into the bleachers in what would spark a viral “#PhilWasHere” meme craze. Nothing says front row seat like watching “Phil the Thrill” hit a shot from the bleachers!
Player quotes about Ridgewood PGA TOUR pros have no shortage of great things to say about Ridgewood and how excited they are to return to this championship venue that has hosted some of the most prestigious events on the golf calendar.
Kevin Streelman, who finished T4 in 2008 and T2 in 2010 at THE NORTHERN TRUST at Ridgewood: “Ridgewood holds a very special place in my heart. There’s a cemetery off the fourth hole (editor’s note: 10th hole for the 2018 tournament) there that both my grandparents are buried in, and it’s literally 20 yards off the fairway. My parents were born and raised there, my sister and brother were born and raised there. My parents moved to Chicago just before I was born so I was raised in Wheaton, Illinois, but Ridgewood and that Bergen County area is like a second home to me. What happened there in 2008, the putt I hit to just miss the playoff, man I still look back wishing that one hung in there, but it was really special for me and my family. It’s a course I love. It’s a classic, traditional layout. Beautiful, tree-lined traditional golf course. Just a special place to me and my family. A win at Ridgewood would be the ultimate for me to be honest. There’s things bigger than golf tournaments—the journey along the way and the people you meet—and for me and my family, and for where they’re from and I was from, with grandma and grandpa right there, looking down, it would mean a lot. Russell Knox, who played in his very first FedExCup Playoffs event at Ridgewood in 2014: “I remember it being a great course. Tree-lined. Big trees. A lot of shape to the holes. I remember it being a really fun course that suit my eye. I look forward to going back there for sure.” Stewart Cink, who posted two T-15 finishes at Ridgewood in 2010 and 2014: “[THE] NORTHERN TRUST is a big event. It’s important to have a good stride going that week, and Ridgewood is a fabulously old, traditional golf course with the kind of features you would expect in a northeastern course that’s been there for a long time. I enjoy playing that kind of golf. I didn’t grow up on anything like it whatsoever but I’ve always enjoyed it. The thing about Ridgewood is that the greens are very unique. Every one of them is quite different from one another, but they all seem to have a connecting feature—sort of like a vein that runs through all of them that draws them all together. If I had to pick one hole there I think the 17th hole is a really cool, dramatic hole. It’s a pretty long par-5, not really a hole that many players are going to go for in two, but interesting. Big dogleg off the tee, right to left, and the layup area is very slopey right to left and then the green is small with a pretty big backstop so a really unique designed hole and a hole where you see some birdies. It’s a fun hole to play and I think it would be fun for every type of player, not just PGA TOUR players.”
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