Over the next few weeks a series of high-quality tournaments will end up with another player dragging himself off the course with a wheelbarrow full of cash… but in the process we’ve at least got some terrific golf in prospect. It all starts this week with The Northern Trust.
The Northern Trust
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.
— THE NORTHERN TRUST (@TheNTGolf) August 16, 2021
The Northern Trust: The Course
This year the players return 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 Cup 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 2019, it should provide the players with a stern test.
72-Hole Record: 262 – Henrik Stenson (2013)
18-Hole Record: 61 – Vijay Singh (2006), Mike Weir (2008).
The Northern Trust: Past Winners
2020: Dustin Johnson
2019: Patrick Reed
2018: Bryson DeChambeau
2017: Dustin Johnson
2016: Patrick Reed
The Northern Trust: The Field
A reduced field of 125 golfers for the latest in the series of FedEx Cup events. John Rahm is the $9.75 favourite with TopSport.
The Northern Trust: The Weather
It will be a week of showers with a daily precipitation forecast of 40% – 20% – 40% – 30% over the course of the tournament. Temperatures though will reach the low 80s, with plenty of cloud cover. Wind speeds will be light, generally sub-10mph for the four days.
Adam Scott says he underestimated the toll that mental fatigue would have on his game, after a covid-affected year.
“The biggest mistake I made was not lowering my expectations on the golf course at the start of the year”https://t.co/2QIlUyiyOv
— PGA of Australia (@PGAofAustralia) August 12, 2021
The Northern Trust: Outright value bets
These are two each-way outright bets from the Golf Insider. Members receive all of his best bets for all markets – win and each-way, Top 10, Top 20, Round 1 Leader and 3-Ball groups. He covers every tournament on the PGA and European Tours.
Webb Simpson $31 with TopSport
Simpson’s form is trending nicely having finished 19-15-7 on his last three starts. He played the Wyndham Championship last week, an event which he has dominated for the last decade, and he ranked first in Strokes Gained: Approach which, if you had told me at the start of the week, I would have said he must have won by 5! His usually superb short game let him down, losing strokes both on and around the greens, otherwise I’m sure he would have been claiming another Wyndham title. I’m not too worried about the flatstick woes last week, but instead I’m much drawn towards his superb ball-striking numbers. Being first in approach play is a huge positive arriving a place like Liberty National, and Simpson will be looking at building on an already solid course record with the American finishing no worse than 18th here from three starts. His form is improving all the time, and his ball-striking looks in fine form, which makes Simpson a decent bet at around 30/1 on a course where he has solid form.
Adam Scott $44 with TopSport
Scott was back to his brilliant best last week, and would have won had he not missed a 4-foot putt on the first play-off hole. Despite the obvious disappointment he’ll be thrilled that his game looks back to his best, gaining strokes on the field in all five major stat categories, and rating fourth from tee-to-green. Scott is a player who in the past has posted back-to-back victories and, yes, I know he didn’t win last week, but it tells us that he’s a player who retains form excellently well. He’s a former winner at Liberty National, and also has a 5th place finish to his name from just three starts here, the Aussie obviously loves the course. Everything is pointing towards a great week for Scott, which makes him an easy addition at around 40/1.
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