- FedEx Cup kicks off in New Jersey with the Northern Trust
- See the Insider’s 4 chances, ranging from $26 to $101
This is the first of three events (reduced down from the four events used last year) which make-up the FedEx Cup play-offs. Which are, for all intents and purposes, another excuse to fill the bank accounts of the world’s best players.
Before turning our attention to matters in New Jersey, last week saw several of our players perform well in the Wyndham Championship, even if they didn’t get the full reward we deserved.
Billy Horschel (who we’re backing again this week) finished tied in 6th at Sedgefield – generating an each-way return with some bookies – and we also had Joaquin Niemann finish in 13th spot, and Corey Conners also play much better than his odds suggested to come in 22nd.
Anyway, aiming to do better this week, without further ado let’s head off to the US.
Here’s a preview of the action in “the Garden State”…
Formerly known as “The Barclays”, the “Buick Classic”, and the “Westchester Classic”, this event has been played since 1967. More recently, starting in 2007, it moved to this spot in the schedule and became part of the FedEx Cup* series of late Summer, mega-bucks tournaments. And the lure of the almighty dollar has all the big names competing this week in what isn’t too far off a Major-quality field.
*The FedEx Cup is contested by the top 125 players of the PGA Tour, as determined by the annual points table (which is finalised after the Wyndham Championship). Then over the space of three tournaments, these players are whittled down to 70 and then a final 30 qualifiers… who compete in the Tour Championship. And the winner of the Tour Championship is the overall FedEx Cup winner, and pocket about $10,000,000 for their trouble. Nice work if you can get it! So it’s effectively a way of creating those end-of-season play-offs that the Americans love so much in sports such as the NFL, basketball, baseball and so on.
This year the players head to Liberty National GC in New Jersey – just a short boat or helicopter ride from Manhattan. It was the host venue of the 2017 Presidents Cup, and opened in 2006 the Tom Kite/Robert Cupp designed course is highly rated by the players. The venue has a parkland field to it, with plenty of water coming into play. The set-up will be a par 71 over 7,370 yards and last used in 2013, it should provide the players with a stern test.
Good morning from Liberty National. 🗽⛳️
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) August 7, 2019
72-Hole Record: 261, Jason Day (2015)
18-Hole Record: n/a
Past Winners: Bryson DeChambeau (2018), Dustin Johnson (2017), Patrick Reed (2016), Jason Day (2015), Hunter Mahan (2014).
A reduced field of 125 golfers for the latest in the series of FedEx Cup events. Brooks Koepka is the 8/1 favourite.
There appears to be minimal chance of rain this week, with light cloud cover and temperatures hitting the 80 degree mark on each of the four days. And with wind speeds hitting a maximum of 10mph, playing conditions for this week’s field should be almost perfect.
Tommy Fleetwood – $26 available
“One of the key stats for this week has to be Strokes Gained: Tee-to-green, where Fleetwood ranks 11th this year on the PGA Tour. And one thing we do know about the Englishman is his highly impressive, and accurate, all-round game. He recently bounced back from what must have been a hugely disappointing loss in the Open Championship (finishing 2nd to Shane Lowry) with a very solid 4th in the WGC-FedEx St. Jude. This week’s test should be right up his street, and with a healthy number of places on our side (you’ll get 8 in a field of 125) he seems a decent each-way bet on a course that few players have played before – which should be a real leveller. Rested after a week off, Fleetwood should play well this week.”
Billy Horschel – $51 available
“Horschel played well last week when we backed him at Sedgefield, and his ever-improving scores 68-67-65-64 were not quite enough to put more pressure on the eventual podium finishers. But Billy has form in these end of season play-offs, winning the Tour Championship in 2014, and he has the ability to come good in a field of this quality. Having made 22 of 24 cuts this season he’s in solid scoring form, and bouncing back from a MC at Portrush with a 9th place in the WGC-FedEx, and then 6th last week, shows that Horschel is swinging well at the moment. A good putter, and plenty tidy enough from tee-to-green, I think Horschel is a much different proposition from the player who MC here in 2013.”
Rory Sabbatini – $101 available
“Sabbatini has been rolling back the years this season and a win looks just around the corner. He’s had six Top 10’s from his last 11 starts making him one of the most in-form players on the PGA Tour. He finished 6th last week at the Wyndham Championship, thanks to his continual quality ball-striking, and he’ll be looking forward to returning to Liberty National where he finished 13th in 2013 when this event was last played here. Sabbatini has played here twice which gives him a slight edge over a large chunk of this field. He’s playing great and is suited to the course which makes 80/1 look too appealing to ignore.”
Matthew Wolff – $101 available
Making the most of their time in the Big Apple. 🍎
The bubble boy heading into the week?
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) August 6, 2019
“Wolff, like Morikawa, has taken the PGA Tour by storm since arriving on the scene a few months ago. Since his win at the 3M Open, Wolff has reeled off three more impressive displays at the John Deere, St. Jude and Wyndham Championship. His play from tee-to-green is extremely impressive with his long booming drives a huge asset. For such a big hitter he has excellent control with his wedges and shorter irons, and doesn’t appear to have any weaknesses. Playing at Liberty National will be a big advantage for the likes of Wolff this week, as most of this field have only played this venue once or twice before with many players also making their debut – which means Wolff, unlike previous weeks, is not at a disadvantage in terms of course knowledge. Wolff’s win at the 3M Open was at a new venue which bodes well for this week. I’m surprised he’s such a big price this week considering what Wolff has done since joining the tour and he’s a must bet all things considered.”