The Northern Trust is the first of three PGA Tour FedEx Cup playoff events, taking place at Liberty National Golf Club across the Hudson River from New York City. Within sight of the Statue of Liberty, the 7,140 yard Bob Cupp and Tom Kite’s designed course layout plays to a par of 71.
The field of 125 will be competing to make it into next week’s BMW Championship, which will accept the top 70 players in the FedEx Cup standings at the conclusion of play on Sunday. The third and final playoff tournament is the Tour Championship, where the winner among the top 30 players in the standings will win the FedEx Cup and a $15 million first prize.
Dustin Johnson closed out a great 2020 season as last year’s champion. Still, despite a good start to the current season, including a victory in the delayed Masters’ Tournament, his recent play hasn’t been very impressive. The leader in the FedEx Cup standings entering the playoffs is Open Championship winner Collin Morikawa, followed by Jordan Spieth, Patrick Cantlay, Harris English, and U.S. Open champion Jon Rahm.
Two prominent players are absent from the field, with former U.S. Open champion and 2016 Olympic gold medalist Justin Rose just missing out at number 126 in the standings by a single point and popular Rickie Fowler continuing to struggle at 134th. Chesson Hadley was the last player to qualify for the playoffs, barely securing the 125th and final spot in the Northern Trust and securing full playing privileges on the PGA Tour for the 2021=2022 season.
Jon Rahm, who has been idle since a third-place finish in the Open Championship, is looking to cap off a spectacular season…
Jon Rahm, who has been idle since a third-place finish in the Open Championship, is looking to cap off a spectacular season, which saw him finish in the top ten 12 times in 19 starts, including a victory in the U.S. Open in June. At +1100, the 26-year-old from Spain is a clear favorite and is hoping to avoid any further Covid-19 related issues that forced him to withdraw from the Memorial and the Olympic Games.
At +1700 are Morikawa and Johnson, whose games appear to be headed in opposite directions. Morikawa was barely missing out on an Olympic medal while DJ has been struggling to find the groove he was in a year ago. Spieth has odds of +1800, followed by two four-time major champions Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka, at +2100.
Olympic gold medalist Xander Schauffele has odds of +2200, with Players Champion Justin Thomas at +2700 and struggling Bryson DeChambeau coming in with odds of +2900. Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama missed the cut at last week’s Wyndham Championship. Still, in his prior start, he lost the WGC – FedEx St. Jude Invitational to Abraham Ancer in a payoff and has odds of +3600.
PGA Champion and seemingly ageless Phil Mickelson has odds of +14000 and is sitting precariously in the 58th spot in the standings. Last week’s winner in the Wyndham, Kevin Kisner, is at odds of +6500, jumping 40 spots to number 29 after emerging from a six-man playoff for his fourth PGA Tour victory.