The Northern Trust
August 20th – 23rd, 2020
Par: 71 / Yardage: 7,308
Purse: $9.5 million
with $1,710,000 to the winner
Off to the playoffs
Hard to believe that just like that we are already into the playoffs. It seemed like light years ago when the season got started with Joaquin Niemann winning in the mountain resort of White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia at Greenbrier, gosh that was 11 months ago. Things were rolling along until COVID-19 hit and in mid-March when the Players Championship was canceled after the first round, and for the next 13 weeks, no golf was played. It returned in mid-June at the Charles Schwab Challenge and has been going on since, but as we get ready for the three weeks FedExCup playoffs it’s a weird feeling seeing the end of the season with only one major championship being played.
Making things even odder, two weeks after the Tour Championship is completed, the U.S. Open tees up at Winged Foot which is like playing the World Series and then two weeks later having the Los Angeles Dodgers play a series against the New York Yankees. Guess that’s our reality in this COVID-19 world.
The good news on all this is that The Northern Trust will be going for the first time to TPC Boston, a beloved course for those on the PGA Tour which use to be a venue of the FedExCup playoffs. It was taken off a few years back and now returns on a rotating basis. Sounds confusing, it is and it isn’t. To make a long story short, Deutsche Bank was the sponsor of the event since it started in 2003 but when the bank had money problems in 2017 it decided to back out of its sponsorship of the event. The tour was able to get Dell Technologies as a short term solution but at the same time the tour needed to cut out one playoff event and unfortunately, this one was in the wrong place at the wrong time. The people of Boston love the event and it was well attended plus the players loved the course and you never found players not wanting to come so that is when Northern Trust agreed to put TPC Boston on a rotating basis.
So that is why this is the first year the Northern Trust is going up north to Boston after being in the New York area for all these years. Everyone, including fantasy players, will love the move because TPC Boston created one of the easier scenarios of players to pick. If you look at the 15 players that won the 16 championships (Rory McIlroy won it twice) every one of them but three are household names and even those three weren’t flunked winners like last week’s Wyndham winner Jim Herman. The players love it because it has links feel to it, plays firm and fast and you just have to rear back and hit it hard and as long as you can. It’s the Ultimate bombers delight and even short hitters feel they can score well and make lots of birdies on the par 4s.
Just look at the last four winners at TPC Boston, Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas and Bryson DeChambeau. All four of them probably had heart palpitations all last week in anticipation of playing TPC Boston they all knew what the prospects for them are. With Bryson DeChambeau’s added length he could render TPC Boston almost obsolete this week. Guys that never played a factor when TPC Boston was a regular on tour could be a factor now, Collin Morikawa, Tony Finau, Matthew Wolff, Viktor Hovland, Scottie Scheffler, Doc Redman, Patrick Cantlay and Cameron Champ. Then there are past champions like Rory McIlroy, Webb Simpson, and Justin Thomas who could find the place right up their alley again. What happen some old guys that have been forgotten, guys like Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Charley Hoffman who have won at TPC Boston, could those memories be stirred and they find some magic this week?
Again this week is going to be something special and we can expect a lot of things happen and I expect a lot of big names on the leaderboard on a course that is easy to predict.