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BlogThe Northern Trust Preview and Picks

The Northern Trust

August 19th – 22nd, 2021

Liberty National G.C.

Jersey City, New Jersey

Par: 71 / Yardage: 7,410

Purse: $9.5 million

with $1,710,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Dustin Johnson

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

This week’s field includes:

The field includes 77 top-100 players from the latest Official World Rankings and 44 of the top 50. 24 of the top-25 players are in the field:  Those missing from the top-50 of the rankings is #7 Louis Oosthuizen (Injury), #31 Will Zalatoris (Not a full PGA Tour member), #28 Tommy Fleetwood (not in top 125 on FedEx Pts – is # 137), #145 Justin Rose (not in top 125 on FedEx Pts – is # 126), #47 Victor Perez (like Zalatoris, not full PGA Tour member) and #48 Christiaan Bezuidenhout (not full PGA Tour member).

The field includes 124 of the top-125 from the FedEx Cup rankings.  Not playing this week is #8 Louis Oosthuizen (Injury).

The field includes 7 past champions: Dustin Johnson (2019. ’17 & ’11), Patrick Reed (2016 & ’19), Bryson DeChambeau (2018), Jason Day (2015), Adam Scott (2013), Matt Kuchar (2010) and Sergio Garcia (2004 & ’01).

A perfect way for fantasy golfers to check on the past performance of all the players in The Northern Trust field is our performance chart listed by the average finish.  Another way to check who is the best is through a special formula worked out in Golfstats that gives us the best average performances at The Northern Trust field in the last five years or check out our sortable 8-year glance at The Northern Trust field.

A good cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmakers in England.

Another cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmaker in Las Vegas.

Time to look at our who’s hot and who isn’t:

Who’s Hot in the field for the The Northern Trust

Player Wyndham Champ. WGC FedEx St. Jude Barracuda Champ. Olympics 3M Open British Open Barbasol Champ. John Deere Scottish Open Rocket Mortgage Irish Open Travelers Champ. U.S. Open
Collin Morikawa
(345.33 pts)
DNP T26
(36)
DNP T4
(80)
DNP Win
(176)
DNP DNP T71
(0)
DNP DNP DNP T4
(53.33)
Paul Casey
(273 pts)
DNP T5
(105)
DNP T4
(80)
DNP T15
(46.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T36
(4.67)
T7
(36.67)
Abraham Ancer
(254 pts)
DNP Win
(198)
DNP T14
(36)
DNP T59
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP 4
(26.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
Jon Rahm
(244.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T3
(120)
DNP DNP 7
(36.67)
DNP DNP DNP Win
(88)
Hideki Matsuyama
(234.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
T2
(150)
DNP T4
(80)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP WD
(-1.67)
DNP DNP T26
(16)
Xander Schauffele
(233.33 pts)
DNP T46
(6)
DNP Win
(132)
DNP T26
(32)
DNP DNP T10
(26.67)
DNP DNP DNP T7
(36.67)
Harris English
(229.33 pts)
DNP 4
(120)
DNP DNP DNP T46
(5.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP Win
(44)
3
(60)
Daniel Berger
(219 pts)
DNP T5
(105)
DNP DNP DNP T8
(66.67)
DNP T34
(10.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T7
(36.67)
Jordan Spieth
(211 pts)
DNP T12
(57)
DNP DNP DNP 2
(133.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T19
(20.67)
Roger Sloan
(201.67 pts)
T2
(100)
DNP 6
(60)
DNP T16
(22.67)
DNP T31
(12.67)
71
(0)
DNP T21
(9.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Kevin Na
(201.5 pts)
T2
(100)
T23
(40.5)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T2
(66.67)
DNP DNP DNP T47
(1)
CUT
(-6.67)
Scottie Scheffler
(183.67 pts)
DNP 14
(54)
DNP DNP DNP T8
(66.67)
DNP DNP T12
(25.33)
DNP DNP T47
(1)
T7
(36.67)
Sam Burns
(177 pts)
DNP T2
(150)
DNP DNP DNP T76
(0)
DNP DNP T18
(21.33)
DNP DNP T13
(12.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
Rory McIlroy
(172.33 pts)
DNP T12
(57)
DNP T4
(80)
DNP T46
(5.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T59
(0)
DNP T7
(36.67)
Kevin Kisner
(172 pts)
Win
(132)
63
(0)
DNP DNP DNP 73
(0)
DNP DNP DNP T8
(16.67)
DNP T5
(23.33)
T55
(0)
Cameron Smith
(167.67 pts)
DNP T5
(105)
DNP T10
(40)
DNP T33
(22.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T30
(6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
Jhonattan Vegas
(161.67 pts)
T15
(35)
DNP DNP T16
(34)
T2
(66.67)
DNP DNP T11
(26)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T57
(0)
Ian Poulter
(156.67 pts)
DNP T10
(60)
DNP DNP DNP T26
(32)
DNP DNP T4
(53.33)
DNP DNP T36
(4.67)
T40
(6.67)
Brooks Koepka
(156.67 pts)
DNP T54
(0)
DNP DNP DNP T6
(80)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T5
(23.33)
T4
(53.33)
Dustin Johnson
(149 pts)
DNP T10
(60)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T8
(66.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T25
(8.33)
T19
(20.67)
Adam Scott
(148.67 pts)
T2
(100)
T36
(21)
DNP DNP DNP T46
(5.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T13
(12.33)
T35
(10)
Seamus Power
(148.33 pts)
T60
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP Win
(88)
T8
(33.33)
DNP T8
(16.67)
DNP T19
(10.33)
DNP
Adam Schenk
(146.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP 4
(80)
DNP T51
(0)
DNP T15
(23.33)
T4
(53.33)
DNP T41
(3)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Branden Grace
(143.33 pts)
T2
(100)
DNP T30
(20)
DNP DNP CUT
(-13.33)
DNP DNP T54
(0)
DNP DNP DNP T7
(36.67)
Joaquin Niemann
(140.17 pts)
DNP T17
(49.5)
DNP T10
(40)
DNP T59
(0)
DNP DNP DNP T2
(33.33)
DNP T36
(4.67)
T31
(12.67)
Webb Simpson
(138.83 pts)
T7
(55)
T15
(52.5)
DNP DNP DNP T19
(41.33)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
Cameron Champ
(132.5 pts)
DNP T31
(28.5)
DNP DNP Win
(88)
DNP DNP T11
(26)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
Justin Thomas
(131.33 pts)
DNP T26
(36)
DNP T22
(28)
DNP T40
(13.33)
DNP DNP T8
(33.33)
DNP DNP DNP T19
(20.67)
Sebastian Munoz
(131 pts)
T29
(21)
DNP DNP T4
(80)
DNP CUT
(-13.33)
DNP T4
(53.33)
DNP T67
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
Mackenzie Hughes
(129.33 pts)
T37
(13)
DNP DNP 50
(1)
DNP T6
(80)
DNP DNP DNP T14
(12)
DNP T76
(0)
T15
(23.33)
Shane Lowry
(128.17 pts)
DNP T23
(40.5)
DNP T22
(28)
DNP T12
(50.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T23
(9)
DNP T65
(0)
Erik Van Rooyen
(125 pts)
T37
(13)
DNP Win
(132)
DNP T58
(0)
CUT
(-13.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
Bryson DeChambeau
(120.67 pts)
DNP T8
(75)
DNP DNP DNP T33
(22.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T19
(10.33)
T26
(16)
Scott Piercy
(118.33 pts)
T15
(35)
DNP 3
(90)
DNP T71
(0)
DNP DNP T69
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Brian Stuard
(118.33 pts)
T15
(35)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T6
(40)
DNP T15
(23.33)
T8
(33.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T30
(6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
Si Woo Kim
(118 pts)
T2
(100)
65
(0)
DNP T32
(18)
DNP DNP DNP WD
(-3.33)
DNP T58
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T40
(6.67)
Sergio Garcia
(114.67 pts)
DNP T26
(36)
DNP DNP T25
(16.67)
T19
(41.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T19
(20.67)
Kevin Streelman
(109.67 pts)
T7
(55)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T19
(41.33)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T15
(23.33)
Viktor Hovland
(104.33 pts)
DNP T36
(21)
DNP T14
(36)
DNP T12
(50.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP WD
(-3.33)
Russell Henley
(102.67 pts)
T7
(55)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-13.33)
DNP T11
(26)
DNP DNP DNP T19
(10.33)
T13
(24.67)
Matt Fitzpatrick
(98.67 pts)
DNP T57
(0)
DNP DNP DNP T26
(32)
DNP DNP T2
(66.67)
DNP DNP DNP T55
(0)
Sam Ryder
(97.67 pts)
T35
(15)
DNP T34
(16)
DNP T25
(16.67)
DNP T3
(60)
T58
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T54
(0)
CUT
(-6.67)
Charl Schwartzel
(93.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP T2
(66.67)
DNP T26
(16)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T19
(20.67)
Maverick McNealy
(92.33 pts)
DNP DNP T18
(32)
DNP T16
(22.67)
DNP DNP T18
(21.33)
DNP T21
(9.67)
DNP T30
(6.67)
DNP
Brandon Hagy
(91.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP 5
(70)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP T18
(21.33)
DNP T6
(20)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Corey Conners
(91.33 pts)
DNP T36
(21)
DNP 13
(37)
DNP T15
(46.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
Luke List
(90 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP T58
(0)
DNP T5
(46.67)
T4
(53.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Brian Harman
(89.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
T36
(21)
DNP DNP DNP T19
(41.33)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP T5
(23.33)
T19
(20.67)
Patrick Reed
(88.83 pts)
DNP T31
(28.5)
DNP T22
(28)
T34
(10.67)
CUT
(-13.33)
DNP DNP DNP T32
(6)
DNP T25
(8.33)
T19
(20.67)
Sungjae Im
(88.67 pts)
T24
(26)
T46
(6)
DNP T22
(28)
DNP DNP DNP T47
(2)
DNP T8
(16.67)
DNP DNP T35
(10)
C.T. Pan
(87.67 pts)
T29
(21)
DNP DNP 3
(90)
DNP CUT
(-13.33)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Andrew Putnam
(85.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP 2
(100)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T13
(12.33)
DNP
Tony Finau
(75.33 pts)
DNP T34
(24)
DNP DNP T28
(14.67)
T15
(46.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
Sepp Straka
(71.67 pts)
T15
(35)
DNP DNP T10
(40)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T10
(13.33)
DNP
J.T. Poston
(71.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP T28
(14.67)
DNP 2
(66.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T40
(6.67)

How Player Rankings are Computed

Who’s Not Hot in the field for the The Northern Trust

Player Wyndham Champ. WGC FedEx St. Jude Barracuda Champ. Olympics 3M Open British Open Barbasol Champ. John Deere Scottish Open Rocket Mortgage Irish Open Travelers Champ. U.S. Open
Wyndham Clark
(-36.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
Garrick Higgo
(-34.5 pts)
DNP WD
(-7.5)
DNP T53
(0)
DNP CUT
(-13.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T41
(3)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
Tom Hoge
(-27.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T66
(0)
T46
(2.67)
Peter Malnati
(-26.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP T58
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T54
(0)
CUT
(-6.67)
Brian Gay
(-23.33 pts)
T51
(0)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP T64
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Brendan Steele
(-20 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T67
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
Matthew NeSmith
(-19.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP T50
(0.67)
DNP T58
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Doc Redman
(-19 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T49
(1)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T61
(0)
DNP
Kyle Stanley
(-17.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP T41
(6)
DNP T41
(3)
DNP T54
(0)
DNP
Matt Kuchar
(-15.67 pts)
T29
(21)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-13.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)

How Player Rankings are Computed

The Buzz:

It’s the home stretch of the 2021 PGA Tour season.  After 48 events spread over the last 11 months, for many their season is over.  Guys like Justin Rose (126), Camilo Villegas (130), Rory Sabbatini (133), Rickie Fowler (134), Tommy Fleetwood (137), Charles Howell III (139), Francesco Molinari (142), Ryan Moore. (144), Jason Dufner (154), Andrew Landry (155), Jimmy Walker (166), Rafa Cabrera Bello (170), Jim Herman (171), Ted Potter, Jr. (182) Luke Donald (184), Henrik Stenson (187), Graeme McDowell (195), Nick Watney (204), J.B. Holmes (210), Martin Kaymer (216), and D.A. Points (232) are finished for this year.

For many that finish worst than 126th, they won’t have the month off because they will have to attend the Korn Ferry Tour finale, which for many will be a grind just like Q-School used to be.

But for those going into the playoffs, it’s all about making as much money as they can. For each level or playoff event they play in the bonus money gets even bigger and for one really lucky guy there is a $15 million award awaiting him (out of a total bonus pool of $70 million).

This year we will see the end of an iconic event as the PGA Tour will make some changes in 2022. Since the playoffs first started in 2007, the Northern Trust has always been the first event of the playoffs.  Before it was a part of the FedExCup playoffs, it was known as the Westchester Classic that was begun in 1967 when Jack Nicklaus won.  Between 1967 and 2007, it was played at Westchester C.C., a gem of a course. The players loved it, but it was inadequate because of its physical footprint to hold a tournament.  But the one common factor of the Northern Trust, it was always based in the New York area.  Last year that changed when the event was played outside of Boston.  That’s another story, but to give you the cliff note edition, the Northern Trust would rotate between New York and Boston.

But things are going to change. In announcing the new schedule for 2022, the sponsor, Northern Trust is out. A new sponsor FedEx, stepped up to the table and will sponsor the Northern Trust, with it moving to Memphis.  The reason for that happening is another story, but the bottom line is that the PGA Tour has lost the World Golf Championship known as the WGC-FedEx St. Jude, and the Northern Trust will be its replace in Memphis, but instead of it being a WGC event, it will remain the first FedExCup playoff event.  It’s a little more complicated than that and we don’t know the ramifications, but the event known as the Northern Trust, which had its roots 54 years ago in Westchester will now start a new chapter in Memphis.  We don’t know if the PGA Tour will call it an inaugural event or carry over the records from the last 54 years but the sad factor is that the New York area (also the Boston area) will lose this iconic event.  No more will we see this event at either Westchester Country Club, Ridgewood Country Club, Plainfield C.C., Bethpage State Park, Glen Oaks Club, or Liberty National Golf Club.  On top of that, the Boston area who thought they would see this event played at TPC Boston every other year will be without the PGA Tour.  For the Boston area, it’s not that bad because next year the U.S. Open will be played in Boston.  The same for the New York and New Jersey area, they will get the U.S. Open in 2026 when Shinnecock hosts that event, but that is five years from now.  For the time being the only close year-to-year event will be in Hartford for the Travelers.

I realize how this sucks for those in the New York area that have supported the Northern Trust.  Even though technically the event isn’t leaving the PGA Tour schedule, for fans in the New York and Jersey area this spells death to an iconic event.  We have seen this before on the PGA Tour. Iconic courses like Firestone, Doral, Cog Hill, and La Costa that held PGA tour events on those courses for decades are now gone from the schedule.  The same thing has happened to the Chicago area who for decades had the Western Open only to see it change to the BMW Championship.  It has continued with its historic roots in Chicago, but in the last 8 years has only been played in Chicago four times.  The good news, it will one day go back to Chicago, but nobody knows when.  This year it’s going to Baltimore and Caves Valley, in 2022 it goes to Wilmington C.C. in Delaware.

So the news is sad, but for this year anyway, the PGA Tour will have its last go around for one of the most memorable events in the most significant area of the world.

Tournament information:

This is the 55th annual Northern Trust. Originally dubbed the Westchester Classic, the tournament has undergone a slew of name changes over the years. Just a decade after Jack Nicklaus captured the inaugural tournament in thrilling fashion back in 1967, the tournament became the American Express Westchester Classic.

Three years later, in 1979, American Express pulled out as title sponsor and the event became known as the Manufacturers Hanover Westchester Classic. The name lasted until 1990 when Buick became the title sponsor. In 2005, Barclays took over as chief sponsor of the event and lasted for 12 years.  Northern Trust took over sponsorship in 2017.

The Northern Trust, use to be played the week before or after the U.S. Open in June, was shifted to the middle of August to accommodate being the first event in the FedEx Cup playoffs.

The first year of the playoffs,  Westchester was used and Steve Stricker won.  Since then the Northern Trust has moved away from Westchester, and never went back. Lot’s of reasons for it not ever going back, but most of them were because of the logistics and not because of the course itself.

The future of the Northern Trust changed a bit with the new schedule coming out for 2019.  With the Dell Technology leaving, that left the Boston market with no PGA Tour events.  But Northern Trust stepped up and said they would put TPC Boston into its rota and the course would hold the Northern Trust in 2020 and 2022.  After that, it was supposed to move around the New York and New Jersey area, but we now know that won’t happen as the event moves to Memphis in 2022.  For this year it will be played for the last time in the New York, New Jersey area at Liberty National Golf Club.

Course information:
  • Liberty National Golf Club
  • Jersey City, N.J.
  • 7,370 yards     Par 36-35–71

For the first 41 years of this event, it was held at Westchester Country Club which had the reputation of being one of the most demanding courses on the PGA Tour. In 2007 it was decided to have the FedExCup playoffs and this event was one of the four ported over. It was held that first year at Westchester and then determined to move each year.  With the change to Ridgewood in 2008, the reputation of this event being played on a tough course didn’t change as players loved the A.W. Tillinghast course.  But the next year the event went to Liberty National, which was opened in 2006.

Located on the western shores of New York Harbor, just 1,000 yards from the Statue of Liberty, Liberty National which was designed by Bob Cupp and Tom Kite, opened in 2006. Built at a cost of $250 million, it sits on a formerly contaminated site on the Jersey City waterfront with spectacular views of the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline. The course is a high-end golf club that has an initiation fee of $450,000 to join, were developed by former Reebok CEO Paul Fireman and his son Dan. Three million cubic yards of earth were brought in during course construction because there could be no digging on the site and everything had to be built up. The resulting course is still relatively flat, with many holes having the feel of a Florida layout, with water hazards, and others of a links course, with bentgrass. Its course rating of 77.7 and slope of 155 are among the highest in the New York metropolitan area.

The course is totally different than previous Northern Trust courses, Westchester, Bethpage, Glen Oaks, Plainfield, and Ridgewood because those venues were traditional courses with lots of mature trees on them.  Liberty National is more links-style and could have wind play a part of the week since there is a lack of trees and the course is on the Bay.  The greens aren’t that big at 6,300 square feet and there are 90 bunkers with 12 holes being affected by water.

The course was not very popular among many of the players when the Barclays was held on it in 2009.  The owners made major renovations the following year, making extensive changes to 15 of the 18 holes.  Greens were rebuilt and the high rough was shaved back but the most important aspect in making the course better was time.  The four years of maturity made the course play better and when players got together for the 2013 Northern Trust they were shocked at the change.  They were surprised at how the greens which in 2009 were too severe, were fairer.  They also were surprised that the course that in 2009 looked contrived in a span of 4 years looked like it was there for a hundred years.  Players loved Liberty National even more during the 2017 Presidents Cup and the players saw every more change at Liberty National in 2019 with more maturity.  Nothing has changed since 2019 so look for the course getting more favorable reactions with another two years of maturity on it.

In 2009 the course played to a 72.28 average making it the 8th hardest course on the PGA Tour that year.  In 2013 the course played considerably easier as it played to a 71.15 average (over a shot easier than 2009) and was the 22nd hardest course on the PGA Tour in 2013. In 2019 in perfect weather conditions saw it play to a 70.25 average, the 26th hardest course on the PGA Tour that year.

Still, for this year the course will have one big thing that will make it tough, it’s exposed to the Upper New York Harbor and will be susceptible to unpredictable winds.  In looking at long-range weather forecasts, winds will pose a little problem as they will blow at about 7 mph, since the course is unprotected this will be exaggerated a bit making the course more challenging.  It’s going to be hot and muggy each day and a threat of thunderstorms will have to be watched.

So all of that will be in play and if history repeats itself, then there will be a fair share of marquee players on top of the leaderboard on Sunday afternoon.  In 2009 Tiger along with Ernie Els, Steve Stricker, Padraig Harrington and Webb Simpson fought on the back nine in the final round before Heath Slocum birdied the 13th hole and finished his last five holes with five pars to win by a shot.  In 2013 Tiger along with Justin Rose, Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, and Gary Woodland fought on the back nine on Sunday before Adam Scott birdied 14 and 16 and then made par on the last two holes for a one-shot victory.  In 2019 Scott was again in contention but finished 5th.  Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Jon Rahm, and Abraham Ancer were also in the running before Patrick Reed made birdies at 14 and 16 to win by a shot over Abraham Ancer.  So with the last three events, all of them have been won by a one-shot margin so it should be a great week of golf.

Let’s take a look at vital stats that are important for those playing at Liberty National

For the fourth time, Liberty National is hosting the Northern Trust. It previously held the 2009, 2013, and 2019 events, plus it was the home of the Presidents Cup in 2017. Located on the western shores of New York Harbor, just 1,000 yards from the Statue of Liberty, Liberty National, opened in 2006. Built at the cost of $250 million, it sits on a formerly contaminated site on the Jersey City waterfront with spectacular views of the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline. The course and high-end golf club, which has an initiation fee of $450,000 to join, were developed by former Reebok CEO Paul Fireman and his son Dan. Three million cubic yards of earth were brought in during course construction because there could be no digging on the site and everything had to be built up. The resulting course is still relatively flat, with many holes having the feel of a Florida layout, with water hazards, and others of a links course, with fescue grasses. Its course rating of 77.7 and slope of 155 are among the highest in the New York metropolitan area.
The first year the course was used was in 2009 for the Northern Trust, the players panned it. The worst came from Tiger Woods, who was runner-up. The course owners took in the criticism and, after consulting players and architects and the following year, went through a significant renovation making extensive changes to 15 of the 18 holes. Greens were rebuilt, and the high rough was shaved back, and when the tour returned in 2013, many of the players liked the changes. When the Presidents Cup was played in 2017, the course received excellent reviews as the players said the course was more playable and fairer as a test. Because of its location in New York City, which means lots of hospitality money, it was important for the PGA Tour that the players liked Liberty National.

So who does the course favor?
Since it’s not used regularly, it’s hard to judge this course and who to bet on. Some say it favors those that hit it long. Yes, many long hitters finished in the top five in 2009, 2013, and 2019. Of the three winners, Health Slocum, Adam Scott, and Patrick Reed, Slocum and Reed were not long hitters. As a matter of fact, Slocum was in the lower 20% of hitters on the PGA Tour, Slocum’s longest year on the PGA Tour was in 2009 when he ranked T-97th. As for Reed, he ranked T-97th for the year in 2019. But Scott has always been considered long hitters. At the same time, short hitters like Steve Stricker, plus medium short hitters like Padraig Harrington and Abraham Ancer, were runner-ups. We can say if a long hitter can have his most wonderful week of ball control (are you listening to this, Bryson?), he has a significant advantage. But as Gary Woodland, who finished runner-up in 2013, and Jon Rahm, who finished T-3rd in 2019, said, it’s best to throttle back and not hit drivers on half the holes. It’s the combination of rough, trees, and ten of the holes you can drive into water that comes into play if you don’t hit the fairway. So with that said, this course is on a pretty even playing field with all players and gives no advantage to long hitters unless they are willing to gamble on missing the fairway. So here are a few keys to playing Liberty National this week:
* Emphasis must be put on ball placement in the fairway to get the appropriate angle to the green.
* One thing that does stick out, when Heath Slocum won in 2009, he was T-6th in greens hit, when Adam Scott won in 2013, he was T-4th in greens hit, and in 2019 when Patrick Reed won he was T-5th in greens hit, this gives us a hint of what it will take to win this week.
* Another key for the past winners, two of them played the par 5s in 8 under and Patrick Reed in 2019 was 6 under on par 5s, but 8 underplaying the par 4s, so we can see two ways that players can do well on the course.
* The course is located on the Upper New York Bay and has no protection from the elements, especially wind. For the week, each day will produce wind speeds of 7 mph which is exaggerated when there is no real protection, plus look for Thunderstorms in the afternoon each of the four days, both of these will create a concern for players.

So with minimal history to work with, we will pick four Strokes Gained categories to reflect the best part of a player’s game and to help you make a better pick.

*Strokes Gained Off-the-tee: Able to translate in shots gained off of those that hit it far and straight off the tee

*Strokes Gained approach the green: Perfect stat to see who picks up the most strokes by hitting the green and getting it close

*Strokes Gained putting: So who saves the most strokes on the greens,

*Par Breakers: A look at the percentage of eagles and birdies are made by the players

Of the 124 players in the field, 123 have stats on the PGA Tour for 2021 (Garrick Higgo doesn’t have enough rounds to qualify).

Click any column title in the table header to sort columns.

For a link to the full starts of 124 players use this

DraftKings tips

*Here are the guys that cost the most on DraftKings this week:

  • Jon Rahm – $11,500
  • Dustin Johnson – $11,000
  • Jordan Spieth – $10,800
  • Xander Schauffele – $10,600
  • Collin Morikawa – $10,400
  • Brooks Koepka – $10.200
  • Rory McIlroy – $10,000
  • Justin Thomas – $9,800
  • Bryson DeChambeau – $9,600
  • Viktor Hovland – $9,500
  • Abraham Ancer – $9,400
  • Scottie Scheffler – $9,300
  • Patrick Cantlay – $9,200
  • Daniel Berger – $9,100
  • Hideki Matsuyama – $9,000

A week in which we will have to work hard in finding some good picks.  Most weeks we can find some marquee names or good players under $$9,000 but we have to search hard for one this week.  Of the first 15 some are good choices, yes a few are clunkers but most of them are viable players we would like to pick.  So our strategy has to be a bit different and we will have to pick from the bottom of the pool

Out of the gate, we have Jon Rahm at $11,500.  He is the favorite and should do well, in his only venture to Liberty National he was T-3rd in 2019, plus in his last three starts, he was T-3rd at the British Open, 7th at the Scottish Open, and won the U.S. Open.  You go back to the Memorial, he had a 7 shot lead going into the final round before he was forced to withdraw due to a positive Covid test.  So this isn’t on paper a good choice, we can say without a doubt he will contend on Sunday.  If you look at his last five starts he went into Sunday in the chase so we have to think again Rahm will be in the running.  The only problem, $11,500 really straps you and with a loaded field, it’s prudent to pass on him.  Now Dustin Johnson at $11,000 is an easy no, only because his Liberty National record is not the greatest, he was T-24th in 2019, missed the cut in 2013, and T-15th in 2009.  Its obvious course is not right for Johnson.  Jordan Spieth at $10,800 is also a tough person to ponder, over the course of his last 15 starts he has been in contention most of the time.  Other than the Players, PGA Championship, Memorial, and U.S. Open he has been in contention.  As for his Liberty National play he was T-6th in 2019 so he is a yes.  But again the price tag is very high at $10,800, he has to win or finish 2nd for you to realistically do well on him.  So I reluctantly say no to him, look for cheaper alternatives.  Xander Schauffele at $10,600 may be one, but he missed the cut in his only Liberty National start.  He has played well of late, winning the Gold medal at the Olympics.  But he was T-46th at the FedEx last week so it’s best to be pertinent and pass on him.  The same with Collin Morikawa at $10,400, yes he won the British Open last month, he almost medaled at the Olympics in finishing T-4th.  Last week he had one tough round and finished T-26th in Memphis, he is a great player but if we are going to make our life easier, it’s best to say no to him, sorry the price is way too high.  The same with Brooks Koepka at $10.200.  He has played great of late other than a poor final round at the WGC-FedEx last week, but he is a no.  Now the next three players we will admit are easy no’s.  Rory McIlroy at $10,000 and Justin Thomas at $9,800 is not running on all cylinders right now, yes we keep waiting for McIlroy to break out but I am blue in the face waiting for him.  As for Justin Thomas, he is a disaster right now with his putter so the no answer is easy.  Do I need to say anything but NO on Bryson DeChambeau at $9,600.  Yes, he finished T-8th last week at the FedEx but shot 74 in the final round.  He has been in the running in almost every event he has played in, but he finds some way of screwing it up.  We have to wonder when the day comes up that he gets smart like Tiger Woods and realizes that life is a lot easier on the fairway than bombing and gouging it.  There are too many headaches for DeChambeau out there to win, so let’s take another pass, even though his price is reasonable.  So you all must think that I am crazy, I have said no to nine of the greatest players in the game.  But now we are getting to the meat and potatoes, players that can win and are reasonably priced.  Viktor Hovland at $9,500 is the first.  I know he has never played in a competition at Liberty National but the course resembles other courses on the PGA Tour like Innisbrook in Florida where Viktor finished T-3rd.  The course is a lot like Concession in Florida, hey Viktor finished T-2nd there.  I can find other matches but the thing is, the price is right.  I also like that Viktor is 9th in birdie average and averages 81 DraftKings points which are third behind Jon Rahm and Xander Schauffele so he brings home the bacon shall we say.  So for the price, Hovland should be your man.  I also like Abraham Ancer at $9,400.  Do you know that Ancer was T-2nd at Liberty National in 2019?  He won the WGC-Fed Ex and was T-14th at the Olympics and 4th at the Travelers, just think for the dollars you spend for Hovland he will give you as good mileage as others like Rahm, Spieth, and Schauffele who are thousands of dollars more. Another advantage in taking Hovland, you can afford to take both Ancer and Hovland and still be ok in the salary cap.  You take a Rahm, Johnson, or Spieth, it gives you very little option on taking someone in the 9,000s.  Scottie Scheffler at $9,300 is also a good pick.  He has never played at Liberty National but has the game to do well on it.  He also has done well on courses like Liberty National like the Concession where he finished 5th.  He was 14th two weeks in Memphis and T-8th at the British Open in his last six starts he has only been worst than 14th once, a T-47th at the Travelers.  So we like him.  As for Patrick Cantlay at $9,200 he’s been ok, he was T-12th at Liberty National in 2019 and has played solidly so he is a good bet.  Same with Daniel Berger at $9,100, he has played solid of late, T-8th at the British Open and T-5th at Memphis two weeks ago.  But I like his stats for the year that match what it takes to win at Liberty National, he is a good pick.  I also like Hideki Matsuyama at $9,000.  He missed the cut last week shooting 69-69 but before that was T-2nd at FedEx and T-4th at the Olympics.  So what I am trying to preach, is to forget the players that are above $9,500 and you can do better with more balanced picks.

*Players in that $7,500 to $8,800 price range, which ones are worth the money?:

Many will be taking Webb Simpson at $8,900.  I like his record at Liberty National, he was T-18th in 2019, T-15th in 2013, and 8th in 2009.  He was T-7th at the Wyndham last week but missed the playoff by a shot.  The week before was T-15th in Memphis, on the whole, is season has been solid but in my eyes a bit disappointing as he only has been in the top-five once and hasn’t been in contention that much.  I am not going to pick him this week but I can’t see why he is a bad pick if you want to pick him.  Harris English at $8,800 is another of those guys I can go in either direction.  I still am worried over his complete breakdown while in the lead at Palmetto and Memphis, but on the other side of the fence, he has won twice this year in Hawaii and Travelers two months ago.  Patrick Reed at $8,600 will get a lot of interest, especially since he last won at Liberty National.  I find him very inconsistent and someone I find hard to pick because you never know what you will get.  The same with Adam Scott at $8,400, he seems to never do well when I bet on him.  Again I am going to try him this week, he has a great record at Liberty and was T-2nd last week.  The one thing that makes him safe, in 18 starts this year only missed one cut.  Another great pick is Joaquin Niemann at $8,100.  He has quietly had one of the best seasons of anyone this year.  In 25 starts made 24 cuts with six top-ten, three of them runner-up.  He was T-30th in 2019 at Liberty.  Another solid pick is Sam Burns at $8,000.  He has played great since the Masters including his first win at Valspar.  Think he is a very solid sleeper pick for this week.  Another good pick is Kevin Kisner at $7,900.  He was T-12th at Liberty in 2019 and won last week at the Wyndham.  Now the best player for the value is Ian Poulter at $7,700.  Everything is pointing to him busting out this week.  At Liberty, he was T-10th in 2019, miss the cut in 2013, and T-9th in 2009.  He is playing a lot this summer and would really love a Ryder Cup pick so look for him to make some good points this week.  While we are talking about Ryder Cup picks, Sergio Garcia is $7,600.  Not a great average in his three times he played Liberty with a best finish of T-31st.  Poulter is a better pick, but you never know when Garcia will bust out.  Russell Henley at $7,600 is worth a look, he was dominated at the Wyndham but a final round 71 derailed him.  Still, his good play could carry over.  Another that played well last week was Kevin Na who is $7,500.  Has played twice at Liberty National and the best was in 2009 when he was T-24th, you know he will make the cut so he is worth the cost.

*Some of the “bargains” this week at the Northern Trust

Gave you a lot of choices in the $7,500 to $8,900 category.  Good news some good, cheap bargains like Keven Streelman at $7,400.  He missed the playoff last week by a shot and has been solid this year.  Cameron Champ at $7,300 should do ok this week, he won last month at the 3M Open and still playing ok.  Branden Grace at $7,200 has also been playing well, he lost in the playoff. A couple of others to watch, Roger Sloan is just $6,800 and he was a loser in the Wyndham playoff and was 6th the week before at Barracuda.  Last is Harold Varner III at $6,700.  He was T-3rd in 2019 at Liberty and played ok this year.

Here are some of the secrets of what it takes to play well at Liberty National:

This week is a mix of tour stars like Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, and Brooks Koepka with a lot of first-time winners and a lot of non-winners.  In past years winning had a lot to do with the weather, when it’s good the tour stars seem to shine but in bad weather, it becomes a long shot delight.  Also in past Northern Trust’s look for those who play well with the lead, 28 of the 50 winners since 1970 have held the lead going into the final round and went on to win.  Since 1989, 18 of those 31 third-round leaders have won but since leaving Westchester the third-round leader has won just three times, in 2015 with Jason Day (2011 was reduce to 54 holes),  2018 with Bryson DeChambeau, and last year with Dustin Johnson.

The course was built to run dry and fast, just like a links course.  But there has been a lot of rain in the last month so this has left the course soft and the greens more likely to hold.  I still think a major key on links courses is the ability to get up and down on holes that the green has been missed.  Winner Heath Slocum was 5th in scrambling in 2009 while runner-up Ernie Els was 29th, Steve Stricker was 6th, Padraig Harrington was 4th and Tiger Woods was 2nd.   The 2013 winner Adam Scott was T-15th in scrambling,  while runner-up Tiger Woods was 8th, Graham DeLaet was 17th, Gary Woodland was 52nd and Justin Rose was T-38th. In 2019 winner Reed was T-27th in scrambling So study the PGA Tour list of top scramblers for 2019.

The key stat for the winner:

  • The Northern Trust’s has always been a test of survival and maybe that’s why in the 54-year history of the event it’s 44 champions have won 68 majors.
  • Hitting greens in regulation will be paramount. The tight venue will require good ball control, which will result in hitting lots of greens. Look for the winner to hit a plethora of greens in regulation this week, that was the way Dustin Johnson won last year at TPC Boston as he ranked 1st in Greens hit.  So when Heath Slocum won in 2009 at Liberty National he was T-6th in greens hit and when Adam Scott won in 2013 he was T-4th in greens, Patrick Reed was T-5th when he won in 2019 so that is a hint of what it will take to win this week.
  • One of the big hazards of missing fairways and greens is the bunkering at Liberty National.  There are 98 of them, and they aren’t the ones that pros are using to, flat, easy to get out of kind.  These are very steep banked, even in the fairway, and take the best of bunker players to maneuver through.  Players are used to hitting into bunkers and having an easy up and down, that won’t happen this week.  Another big hazard this week from the fairway is water.  There are 13 water hazards out there that come into play on 8 of the 14 par 4s and par 5s off the tee.
  • Good putting is a necessity for this event. The course has a stimpmeter rating of 12 with a lot of undulation in the greens, which means players who handle the flat-blade and have a good feel for the green will do well.
  • Is there any rhyme or reason for a player to win this week?
  • Wisdom says that a player with a lot of experience will win but since this course is not a well know entity a newcomer could do well.
  • The three par fives and the drivable 16th are all key scoring holes with players expecting to make birdies and eagles.
  • A player that drives the ball long and straight and will make almost all of his putts inside 8 feet.  That is very easy to say, is there a human being that can do that?  Yes, there will be a few but we won’t know it until the weekend.
  • Players ranking between about 70th and 125th have extra incentive because they need a good showing to stay alive in the lucrative FedExCup, with the top 70 moving on the following week’s BMW Championship. In 2009, Heath Slocum barely made the field at The Northern Trust but his victory helped him to ultimately finish eighth in the FedExCup. In 2010, Martin Laird was 95th heading into the week and lost in a playoff, eventually finishing 11th in the FedExCup. In 2014 we saw Billy Horschel begin the FedEx Cup playoffs ranked 69th and go on to win it.  So anything is possible.
  • Lastly, the outlook for the tournament couldn’t be any worst with hot muggy weather with afternoon thunderstorms.  With the rain that has fallen on Liberty National in the last couple of weeks, will make the course play very softly.   So look for those that hit it long to have an advantage plus those that scramble.

Who to watch for at The Northern Trust

Best Bets:

Jon Rahm

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T6 T3 CUT T3

Has taken a lot of time off in the last two months so he will be fresh and ready to roll through the playoffs has played the best over the last year. The last three starts, T-3rd at British Open, 7th at Scottish Open, and won U.S. Open. In his only Liberty National start was T-3rd in 2019 so those numbers are great.

Jordan Spieth

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
CUT T6 T25 2 T10 CUT T22 T19

Has had a brilliant year after what has happened the last two years. Since Phoenix, in February he has played 15 times and hasn’t been out of the top-20 two times and been in the top-3, five times. He was T-6th in 2019 at Liberty National, also in the 2017 Presidents Cup at Liberty had a 3-1-1 record so the course suits his game.

Adam Scott

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T58 5 T5 T4 CUT T15 Win 62 T67 T9 T58

Finally got rolling at Wyndham with a T-2nd, too bad it was a year late. Still think it will carry over to this week. Has played the best overall at Liberty National, 5th in 2019, Won in 2013, and T-58th in 2009. His 2021 stats are very misleading on how good he really is, so looking at his stats at the Wyndham helps us with his game, T-8th in Greens in Regulation, 4th in Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green, and 44th in Strokes Gained Putting.

Best of the rest:

Brooks Koepka

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T30 T8 T49 T70 CUT

If he deems it important and “major-ready” he will play well. Despite his physical ailments the last year he still was T-2nd at the PGA, T-4th at the U.S. Open, and T-6th at the British. So the big question is, does Koepka deem this week “major-ready”? A bit concerning is the fact that he has struggled at Liberty National, was T-30th in 2019, and had a 2-2-0 record at the Presidents Cup at Liberty, have to dismiss this because he can play well on this course.

Harris English

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
2 CUT CUT T60 T30 CUT CUT T24

Has won twice this year and is playing well even though he has blown the Palmette Championship and WGC-FedEx St. Jude. But have to say his game is sharp, was 4th at WGC-FedEx, won the Travelers, and 3rd at U.S. Open. Stumbled at the British but was still T-46th. Has never played in a competition at Liberty National but he was 2nd last year in this event at TPC Boston.

Webb Simpson

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T6 T18 T28 T6 T48 T30 CUT T15 CUT T10 T36 8

His game has been trending upwards of late, T-7th at Wyndham, T-15th at FedEx St. Jude, and T-19th at British. Has been effective at Liberty National, T-18th in 2019, T-15th in 2013, and 8th in 2009.

Abraham Ancer

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
CUT 2 CUT

Has experienced ups and downs in 2021, but after winning the WGC-FedEx St. Jude you have to think he is rolling on all pistons coming into this week. Very encouraged that he was 2nd at Liberty National in 2019 show he has good karma on the course.

Solid contenders

Collin Morikawa

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
CUT T52

Has played once at Liberty National and that wasn’t the best at T-52nd in 2019, but he is older and wiser now. Since winning the British, was T-4th at the Olympics and T-26th at WGC-FedEx St. Jude.

Daniel Berger

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
3 T15 33 T70 CUT

Been hot all summer, T-5th at WGC-FedEx St. Jude, T-8th at British Open, and T-7th at U.S. Open. Has never played in a competition at Liberty National but he was 3rd last year in this event at TPC Boston.

Hideki Matsuyama

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T29 T30 T15 CUT CUT T13 T30

Yes, he has history at Liberty National, was T-30th in 2019, and in 2017 President Cup had a 1-2-1 record with a losing team. His game has been solid since the Masters win, was T-4th at the Olympics, T-2nd at WGC-FedEx. Yes, he missed the cut at Wyndham but I give it very little credence.

Ian Poulter

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T39 T10 T48 66 CUT CUT CUT T36 T18 T15 T9

His record at Liberty National is good at T-10th in 2019, Cut in 2013, and T-9th in 2009. Like Brooks Koepka whose game shines during majors, Poulter’s game always shines close to the Ryder Cup. Again finds himself on the bubble of making the team so he is playing well, T-10th in his last start at WGC-FedEx St. Jude. So don’t look at the stats, look at Poulter sending a message to European Ryder Cup Captain Padraig Harrington that he is ready to play well again.

Just think these players will struggle this week:

Rory McIlroy

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T65 T6 T34 T31 T22 T19 T24 T56

We have been down this path with Rory all year, he just gets self-destructive at some point. At the U.S. Open, it was the final round 73, at Memphis, it was the first round 72. Again his stats tell us he can’t be beaten, 5th in Strokes Gained Off-the-Tee, 11th in Par Breakers and 8th in Strokes Gained Off-the-tee. But the bottom line, he is 99th in Greens in Regulation and putting gets worst, 104th in Strokes Gained Putting. His game is still in disarray. Has played well at Liberty National, T-6th in 2019, and T-19th in 2013 still think this won’t help the season is dead and needs to be changed for next year.

Justin Thomas

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T49 T12 T8 T6 T10 T16

The good news, he was T-12th at Liberty National in 2019 and had a good record of 3-1-1 at the 2017 Presidents Cup but after that, we can see why his confidence is at a career-low. Since winning the Players Championship things have pointed downhill. Was T-8th at the Scottish Open but that has been his only top ten. Since then was T-40th at the British Open, T-22nd at the Olympics, and T-26th at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude. For some, these are good numbers but for Justin, he is in a serious slump and won’t get out of it this week. The big reason for him being on our naughty list, 126th in Strokes Gained Putting but what is really ugly for a player like him is he can’t make those putts that make you great. He ranks T-156th in putting inside ten feet. Can’t see it turn around in the next few weeks.

Dustin Johnson

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
Win T24 T11 Win T18 T9 CUT T3 Win T9 T15

Despite being the defending champion after playing great at TPC Boston, Liberty National record is not good, T-24th in 2019, missed the cut in 2013, and T-15th in 2009. Game is a step back, was T-8th at British, T-10th at WGC-FedEx, but also missed the cut at 3M. His game hasn’t been consistent this year.

Bryson DeChambeau

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
CUT T24 Win CUT

Has been on our naughty list so long it’s just becoming the norm. Until he learns that “bomb-and-gouge doesn’t work all the time and you have to be sure to avoid high numbers, he just won’t be a consistent player. Sure he will win from now and then, but he won’t get to this exclusive level of the elite in golf.

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