The FedExCup Playoffs are set to begin on August 19th, with the first of three events to cap off the PGA Tour season. The Northern Trust is back from the Liberty National Golf Course in Jersey City, New Jersey, and the A-listers are already committing to the course. The prize pool sits at a cool $9.5 million, with $1.71 million awarded to the winner of the tournament.
The Northern Trust will see the top 125 golfers in the FedExCup standings as of the completion of the final tournament of the regular season at the Wyndham Championship. From that 125, the top 70 spots at the Northern Trust qualify for the BMW Championship the week after, and then the top 30 players from that tournament head to the final tournament of the year: the Tour Championship.
FedExCup Playoffs: What to Expect
It’s going to be hard for any golfer to follow up on Dustin Johnson’s masterful performance at last year’s Northern Trust. Johnson shot a tournament record -30 for the third Northern Trust win of his career. He defeated the second-place golfer Harris English by a staggering 11 strokes, in one of the more dominant wins of the PGA Tour season.
The Liberty Country Golf Course has hosted a number of PGA tournaments in the past including the 2019 Northern Trust and the 2017 Presidents Cup. The course itself is scenic despite being built upon a landfill and oil refineries. The Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline can be seen from much of the course, which gives it one of the nicest backdrops on the PGA Tour.
In terms of difficulty, the fairways are narrow and the greens are known to be fast and firm throughout the year. The course is well taken care of and receives high marks for its conditioning and caretaking. The weather looks to be sunny with some overcast for the Northern Trust weekend, but nothing that should affect the ball.
Favorites for this year’s Northern Trust include some of the biggest names on tour that have already committed. Defending champion Dustin Johnson is going to be at the top of everyone's list, even though he hasn’t had his best season so far. Colin Morikawa has yet to officially commit, but it would not shock me if he did as he has a narrow lead atop the FedEx Cup standings. Morikawa leads second-place Jordan Speith by only 32 points, so don’t be surprised to see both golfers commit.
The always controversial Bryson Dechambeau should also be a popular play, especially given the clear weather and importance of a long first drive on this course. Finally, Justin Thomas, Patrick Reed, and Rory McIlroy have all committed and are looking to make up some ground on Morikawa.
FedExCup Playoffs: Best Bets to Place
What bets will be popular at the Northern Trust? Tournament Winner is always popular given the high odds that come with the difficulty of picking just one winner. If you are just starting to bet the PGA, I wouldn’t put too much of a wager on one winner, but scatter a half unit across a few golfers you think have a chance to win the tournament.
Sportsbooks like Bet365 offer Group Betting, which splits the field up into different groups of golfers, where bettors can wager on which golfer will win from that group. Matchups are also fun bets to place. These are a hypothetical matchup between two golfers, and bettors can select which golfer they think will score the better round that day.
The safest bets for the Northern Trust are essentially the same golfers we’ve been betting on each and every week this season. Colin Morikawa has had an incredible season for a 24-year old, with 2 wins and 8 top-ten finishes in 20 FedEx Cup events. Spaniard Jon Rahm has been just as consistent this season and has actually played in fewer events than each of the four golfers ahead of him in the standings. His 12 top ten finishes lead the PGA this year.
If I were to have one pick for this tournament, it would be Rahm. I love his reduced odds compared to other names like Morikawa, and I think Rahm has played just as consistently throughout the season. On a course where putting on these fast greens is going to be crucial to success, all we have to do is look at Rahm’s US Open win in June to know his putter is locked in this year.