It was another close call last week, as course horse and betting favorite Webb Simpson finished one stroke behind J.T. Poston at the Wyndham Championship. Webb was featured in last week’s article, along with Horschel and Niemann — who both finished top-15, respectively. The PGA season has now officially ended, and we are headed into the FedEx Cup Playoffs.
The Northern Trust Open will kick-off the beginning of the 2019 playoff season. This event is the first of three playoff tournaments to be played in order to crown the winner of $15 million. We will see 122 of the top-125 FedEx Cup point leaders participate at the Northern Trust this week. To be able to advance to next week’s BMW Championship, golfers will have to be in the top 70 in the FedEx Standings. FedEx Cup points are quadrupled in the first two playoff events. Like a normal cut event, the top 70 with ties will advance to the weekend.
- Liberty National Golf Club, Jersey City, NJ
- Par 71
- 7,353 yards long
- Greens: Bentgrass
- Course Difficulty in 2013: 22/43
Known for its stunning views of the New York City skyline, Liberty National Golf Club will put every facet of a golfer’s game to test. The course has only hosted the event twice (2009, 2013), so there is not much course history to go off of this week. Liberty National also hosted the 2017 Presidents Cup. Dustin Johnson and Team USA beat the International squad 19-11. We will need to target elite ball strikers and sharp iron players this week, as position off the tee will be pivotal on many of these long and challenging holes.
- Strokes Gained: Ball Striking
- Par 4 Scoring: 450 – 500 yards
- Greens In Regulation
- Par 5 scoring
- Performance on Bentgrass greens
Liberty National Golf Course has a wide variety of holes that vary in distances and challenge your overall golf game. There are five Par 4s that measure between 450-500 yards. These will be the most difficult holes on the course so long iron proximity is key to look at when choosing our golfers. A 611 yard-long par 5 and a 250 yard-long par 3 is also on the card. Despite these mammoth holes, golfers will see three Par 4s that are under 400 yards — something unheard of on the PGA Tour.
Jon Rahm (16/1 on William Hill Sportsbook)
The talented Spaniard is playing some of the best golf of his career over the last couple of months. He has five consecutive top-15 finishes in his last five events — highlighted by his Irish Open win on the Euro Tour. Rahm is 19th in strokes gained: ball striking, first in Par 4 scoring on holes between 450-500 yards, and fifth in birdie-or-better. His long iron proximity is very elite, and he should have no troubles on these long, challenging holes.
Patrick Cantlay (22/1 on William Hill Sportsbook)
Cantlay checks all the boxes for what a golfer needs to do to succeed at Liberty National this week. Cantlay is fourth in strokes gained: ball striking, sixth in Par 4 scoring (450-500 yards), first in Par 5 scoring, 11th in strokes gained: approach, third in scoring average, and second in bogey avoidance. It has been a remarkable season for the young golfer, as Cantley currently sits sixth in the FedEx Cup standings thanks to his 11 top-15 finishes.
Bryson DeChambeau (40/1 on William Hill Sportsbook)
The defending champion of the Northern Trust Open, DeChambeau will be highly motivated heading into Liberty National this week. Another golfer with a polished all-around golf game, I expect him to do well at this course. He is 21st in strokes gained: off-the-tee, 24th in strokes gained: putting, seventh in birdie-or-better, and 11th in Par 5 scoring. DeChambeau is supremely accurate with his long irons as well, something that sill come in handy with the long Par 4s this week.