Horses for Courses: FedExCup Playoffs THE NORTHERN TRUST

For the fourth time in Playoff history, Liberty National will kick off the FedExCup Playoffs. Of the 125 qualified all but Louis Oosthuizen are in Jersey City this week to attempt to move on.

Time ran out on the regular season after the Wyndham Championship last week and now the FedExCup Playoffs take center stage at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, New Jersey.

For the fourth time in history, Liberty National will be kicking off the FedExCup Playoffs.

Bob Cupp and Tom Kite’s collaboration opened July 4, 2006 and was thrust into the Playoffs just three years later crowning Heath Slocum the inaugural champion in 2009.

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Returning in 2013, Adam Scott dodged bullets on the final holes to pick up his first title.

Awarded the 2017 Presidents Cup, Liberty National hosted Scott and his international teammates but they were swept away by a newly crowned “Captain America” Patrick Reed and the USA.

Reed returned for THE NORTHERN TRUST in 2019 and picked up the big check in the last major event held here.

Designers Bob Cupp and Tom Kite have laid out 7,410 yards (36-35, Par-71) with spectacular views of New York Harbor and the Manhattan skyline. Lady Liberty will smile but lady luck might be just as important this week. With only 23 acres of fairway and A4 bentgrass greens averaging just over 4,500 square feet, keeping the ball in play tee-to-green this week will be paramount. A double-tiered cut of bluegrass rough will reward those slightly inaccurate (1.25 inches). Three inches of bluegrass, 98 bunkers and 13 water hazards (in play on 12 holes) won’t be as forgiving for the bigger misses.

The objective this week for the qualified field (no alternates) of 125 is simple: Finish the week in the top 70 of the FedExCup standings in order advance to Caves Valley in Owings Mills, Maryland, next week. From there, the top 30, as usual, will head to East Lake to chop up $70 million in bonus money for their season-long efforts.

Recent Event Winner Stats

 Patrick ReedAdam ScottHeath Slocum
To Par16-under13-under9-under
Disantance – All DrivesT1140T49
Driving AccuarcyT8T11T9
Putting: Birdie or Better %29T39T46
SG: Off-the-Tee22613
SG: Approach-the-Green2774
SG: Around-the-Green21614
SG: Putting203225
SG: Tee-to-Green422
Bogey Avoidance1T4T4
Par-3 ScoringT9T29T32
Par-4 ScoringT2T7T7
Par-5 ScoringT36T4T1

Recent Winners

2019 – Patrick Reed (-16, 268)

Posted a final round 69 to win by a shot from the final group. … 54-hole leader picked up his seventh TOUR win at age 29 in event 202. … Only made one bogey thru 54 holes and just four for the week (1st). … T8 Fairways and T5 GIR. … Circled 20 birdies. … Opened 66-66 but trailed by two after 36 holes. … One of five to post all four rounds in the 60s. … Second post season win (2016 TNT) joins a list of now 13 players to win two or more FedExCup Playoff events. … First win on TOUR since 2018 Masters. … Joins the club of winning a major, WGC and FedExCup Playoff event. … T32 or better in his seven previous events with two top 10s entering the week. … Member of the winning team at the 2017 Presidents Cup.

Notables in the field this week:

Abraham Ancer (2nd) led the field in Strokes-Gained: Off the Tee and Tee to Green. … Jon Rahm (T3) co-led the field GIR. … Harold Varner III (T3) posted nothing worse than 68. … 2013 winner Adam Scott (5th) shared the co-low round on Sunday with 65. … Rory McIlroy (T6) holed over 350 feet of putts but was T60 GIR. … Brandt Snedeker (T6) was the only player in the top 23 with two rounds of par or worse on the card. … Jordan Spieth (T6) sat one shot off the 36-hole lead. … Louis Oosthuizen (T6) has decided not to play this week. … Ian Poulter (T10) backed up his T9 from 2009 in his second start. … Troy Merritt (T12) equaled the course record, 62, in Round 1. … Dustin Johnson (T24) opened with 63 and led by one after 36 holes before fading. … Bryson Dechambeau (T24) joins the club as no champion, regardless of course, has ever defended ANY Playoff event. … Only one bogey-free card on the weekend of 16 total. … Scoring average 70.246. … Cut was Even. … 17 players 10-under or better. … Course played 7,370 yards.

2013 – Adam Scott (13-under, 271)

Bogey free 66 on Sunday saw him win by one. … Trailed by six shots entering the final round. … Picks up win No. 10 at 33 years old. … Also posted 66 in Round 2 but was four shots back. … Played his final 24 holes in eight under. … Made 16 birdies and two eagles. … Has now won a major, WGC, THE PLAYERS and FedExCup Playoff event. … Won the 2013 Masters, cashed T3 at The Open and picked up T5 at the PGA Championship two weeks before his victory. … Never missed in three tries (T58, 2009) at Liberty National. … Also played the 2017 Presidents Cup here.

Notables in the field this week:

Gary Woodland (T2) posted 64 in Round 2 and played in the final group Sunday. … Phil Mickelson (T6) posted 65 on Sunday, the co-low round of the day. … Jason Kokrak (T9) backed up his T12 from 2009. .. Kevin Chappell (T15, not entered) posted the course record of 62 in Round 3. … Keegan Bradley (T33) set it with 63 in Round 2. … Webb Simpson (T15) has never finished outside T18 in three starts here. … Matt Kuchar (T18) shot 78 from the final pairing Sunday. … Kevin Streelman (T19) was ranked third in GIR. … Rory McIlroy (T19) only broke par once with 65 in Round 2. … Scoring average was 71.151. …  Cut was 1-over. … Just six players had all four rounds of 70 or better. .. Only one player signed for all four rounds in the 60s (Tiger Woods, T2; not entered). … Just five players 10-under or better. … Course played 7,353 yards.

2009 – Heath Slocum (9-under, 275)

Sank a 21-foot par putt on the last to avoid a playoff. … Wins for the third time on TOUR at age 35. … Closed with 67 to make up four shots on the 54-hole leaders. … Trailed by four after 36. … Opened with 66. … First of three straight winners here to be in the top three in ball-striking (T1). … First of three straight winners here to be in the top four Strokes-Gained: Tee to green (2nd). … Only winner from position 100 or higher in Playoff history as he was No. 124 entering the week. … Did not have a top 25 in his previous seven events before winning.

Notables in the field this week:

Webb Simpson (8th) led by two after 36 holes but closed 72-72. … Ian Poulter (T9) was T3 in total putting. … Jason Day (T12) led the field with 23 birdies. … Brandt Snedeker (T12) closed 67-66. … Dustin Johnson (T15) set the course record of 64 in the final round. … Sergio Garcia (T31) was one of three to share the 18 hole lead after 65. … Steve Stricker (not eligible) was the only player to put four rounds in the red. … Cut was 6-over. … Scoring average was 72.82. … Played 7,419 yards.

Key stat leaders

Top golfers in each statistic on the 2020-2021 PGA TOUR are listed only if they are scheduled to compete this week.

Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green
1Collin Morikawa
2Jon Rahm
3Patrick Cantlay
4Keegan Bradley
5Justin Thomas
6Bryson DeChambeau
7Paul Casey
8Rory McIlroy
9Sergio Garcia
10Brooks Koepka
11Hideki Matsuyama
12Viktor Hovland
13Corey Conners
15Tyrrell Hatton
16Xander Schauffele
17Dustin Johnson
18Tony Finau
19Daniel Berger
20Russell Henley
21Matthew Wallace
22Shane Lowry
23Charley Hoffman
24Seamus Power
25Jordan Spieth
26Abraham Ancer
Greens in Regulation
1Cameron Percy
2Collin Morikawa
3Jon Rahm
4Emiliano Grillo
5Matthew NeSmith
7Russell Knox
8Daniel Berger
9Aaron Wise
10Kyle Stanley
11Sergio Garcia
12Stewart Cink
14Corey Conners
15Bo Hoag
16Russell Henley
17Patrick Cantlay
18Keegan Bradley
19Kevin Streelman
21James Hahn
23Hank Lebioda
24Henrik Norlander
25Martin Laird
26Abraham Ancer
1Patrick Cantlay
2Webb Simpson
4Hank Lebioda
5Seamus Power
6Cameron Tringale
9Ian Poulter
10Russell Henley
11Abraham Ancer
13Brian Harman
16Pat Perez
17Harris English
18Scott Stallings
19Chris Kirk
20Andrew Putnam
21Si Woo Kim
22Brice Garnett
24Talor Gooch
26Kevin Na
28Daniel Berger
29Paul Casey
30Patrick Reed
FedExCup Event Winners (Entered this Week)
Dustin Johnson 6
Rory McIlroy5
Patrick Reed2
Justin Thomas 2
Bryson DeChambeau2
Jason Day2
Billy Horschel2
Phil Mickelson2

Horses for Courses

Top golfers entered this week and other exceptions

Player (Starts/Cuts Made)Top 10s Top 25Most RecentOther/Notes
Patrick Reed (1/2)11Win (2019)Posted all 4 rounds in the 60s; MC 2019
Abraham Ancer (1/1)112nd (2019)Top 5 in both Fairways and GIR
Jon Rahm (1/1)11T3 (2019)Co-led the field GIR
Harold Varner III (1/1)11T3 (2019)68 was the worst score of the week; T9 GIR
Adam Scott (3/3)225th (2019)2013 winner; 18-under his last five rounds
Rory McIlroy (2/2)12T6 (2019)Posted 65 here twice; T19 2013
Brandt Snedeker (2/3)12T6 (2019)T12 2009 included 63; 4 rounds of 67 or better career
Jordan Spieth (2/2)12T6 (2019)T19 2013; Of 8 rounds 5 are in the 60s
Ian Poulter (2/3)22T10 (2019)T9 2009; One of two players entered with multiple top 10 finishes
Gary Woodland (2/2)11T2 (2013)22 birdies with a double and triple in 2013; T52 2019
Phil Mickelson (3/3)11T6 (2013)T52 before, T71 after with 5 of 12 rounds OVER par
Jason Kokrak (2/2)12T9 (2013)T12 2019; all 8 rounds are 70 or better
Webb Simpson (3/3)138 (2009)T18 2019, T15 2013
Others without Top 10s    
Justin Thomas (1/1)01T12 (2019)T1 GIR, made nothing on the greens
Troy Merritt (1/1)01T12 (2019)62 Rd 1 = course record
Patrick Cantlay (1/1)01T12 (2019)All 4 rounds 70 or better
Kevin Kisner (1/1)01T12 (2019)Opened with 64; T8 Fairways, T5 GIR
Wyndham Clark (1/1)01T18 (2019)Opened 67-66
Cameron Champ (1/1)01T21 (2019)Closed 66-69
Billy Horschel (1/2)01T21 (2019)Led field in SG: Putting
Bryson DeChambeau (1/1)01T24 (2019)All 4 rounds par or better
CT Pan (1/1)01T24 (2019)68-67 open
Adam Schenk (1/1)01T24 (2019)67 to open and close
Brooks Koepka (1/1)0T30 (2019)All 4 rds 70 or better
Hideki Matsuyama (1/1)00T30 (2019)Never worse than T30 to open
Joaquin Niemann (1/1)00T30 (2019)Closed 66
Matt Jones (2/2)00T30, T33T33 or better the last 2 events here
Jason Day (2/3)02T12 (2009)T25 2013; MC 2019
Charley Hoffman (3/3)00T31T77, T70 and T31

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