Indeed not the week we had hoped for at the Wyndham Championship. Cameron Percy topped the charts for us, tied for 37th. He was in prime position for a much higher placing going into the final round but ran out of steam to finish level par for the round. Seamus Power couldn’t live up to his name and struggled to get things going over the weekend, finishing down in 60th. Finally, Hank Lebioda fell short and missed the cut by a single shot to condemn a poor week.
This week we’re heading to the Liberty National Golf Club for the first leg of the FedEx playoffs. Let’s see if we can bounce back from last week and get back in the win column. We will begin, as always, by taking a look at the history of the tournament as we start to build this week’s Beerlife profile.
The Northern Trust, formerly known as the Barclays and the Westchester Classic, is an annual PGA Tour event that alternates between the Boston and New York City areas. Since 2007, it has started off the FedEx Cup playoffs. Liberty National Golf Course has hosted the Northern Trust three times since its debut in 2006 and is poised to host this week.
This week, the wealthiest postseason event in professional sports kicks off with The Northern Trust, the opening leg of the three-event FedExCup Playoffs. The 125 will be pared down to one over the next three weeks: a FedExCup Champion who will be given professional golf immortality and $15 million. You can decide for yourself which one of those two you rank higher.
Julius Boros, Arnold Palmer, Johnny Miller, Raymond Floyd, Seve Ballesteros, Hale Irwin, Ernie Els, and Vijay Singh were among the prominent winners of the tournament since its inception in 1967.
Singh, who won three of his titles at Westchester Country Club, won his fourth and final title at Ridgewood Country Club in 2008, the first time the tournament was not held at its legendary birthplace. The Fijian defeated Kevin Sutherland and Sergio Garcia, a two-time winner attempting to match Singh’s three career titles. With two victories each, Nicklaus, Ballesteros, and Els are the other multiple winners.
Let’s turn our attention to the form of the previous five winners, analyze their rounds and see if we can find some crucial links to begin our BeerLife profile.
2020 Dustin Johnson – 254 (-30) – Form 2/12/WD/CUT
2019 Patrick Reed – 268 (-16) – Form 22/12/10/23
2018 Bryson DeChambeau – 266 (-18) – Form CUT/30/51/WD
2017 Dustin Johnson – 267 (-13) – Form 13/17/8/54
2016 Patrick Reed – 275 (-9) – Form 22/11/11/13
First and foremost, the golf club is one of the most recent additions to the PGA Tour’s schedule. The facilities, which were built and opened in 2006, include a standard clubhouse, guest villas, a teaching area, and a variety of luxurious amenities such as a yacht service, helipad, and spa. Robert E. Cupp and Tom Kite, master course architects, were in charge of the putting greens. The result is a par-72 course with bentgrass greens and fairways.
The course has a total length of 7,387 yards and a course rating of 77.7. However, it is Liberty National’s point of view that sets it apart. The course, which is located in New York Bay, has a spectacular view of downtown Manhattan.
Additionally, the grounds are adjacent to a nature reserve and bird sanctuary, providing visitors with one of the few opportunities to interact with animals in the tri-state New York area. Liberty National has members like Phil Mickelson, Justin Timberlake, and Mark Wahlberg because of its proximity to the city and its exclusive views.
The weather looks poor this week, with rain set to continue from Wednesday onwards, right through to the tournament’s conclusion. Therefore, expect to see some challenging conditions.
The field is once again loaded with talent, with six FedExCup champions, including defending champion and three-time event winner Dustin Johnson. In addition, the tournament will include 28 of the top 30 players in the Official World Golf Ranking, led by Jon Rahm, and nine of the top ten players in the FedExCup Standings, led by Collin Morikawa.
DeChambeau (2020 U.S. Open), Johnson (2020 Masters), Hideki Matsuyama (2021 Masters), Phil Mickelson (2021 PGA Championship), Rahm (2021 U.S. Open), and Morikawa (2021 U.S. Open) are among the six major championship winners from the 2020-21 Super Season who will tee it up at Liberty National this week (2021 Open Championship). In addition, Justin Thomas, the winner of the 2021 PLAYERS Championship, and Olympic medalists Xander Schauffele (Gold) and C.T. Pan (Bronze) round out the field.
Chesson Hadley, who is ranked No. 125 in the FedExCup standings, shot a career-low nine-hole total of 29 on his first nine holes at the Wyndham Championship on Sunday, which featured his first hole-in-one, to earn a spot in THE NORTHERN TRUST.
After a bogey on the 18th hole at the Wyndham Championship dropped him to No. 126 in the FedExCup standings, 2018 FedExCup winner Justin Rose will miss the playoffs for the first time in the FedExCup era (2007-present). The pressure-packed drama of THE 2021 NORTHERN TRUST will be unrivaled, with only 70 players advancing to the BMW Championship.
We run each player in the field through our BeerLife Sports profile analysis to come up with our selections. This is what we are looking for this week:
Being a saint – The last two winners of this tournament finished 12th at the St. Jude Invitational.
2021 St. Jude Invitational – 12th placed finishers
Lucky 13 – The same two winners as above, both finished 13th at the PGA Championship.
2020 PGA Championship – 13th placed finishers
Si Woo Kim
Ding, ding, round two – There has been a clear second-round bias over the past five years here, so players who do well on day two tend to do well.
Round 2 Scoring Average
- Collin Morikawa
- Sam Burns
- Tony Finau
- Harris English
- Daniel Berger
Approaching from deep – Nearly 32% of approach shots around here are over 200 yards, which is much higher than the tour average.
GIR Percentage – 200 Yards+
- Keegan Bradley
- Ben Taylor
- Scott Stallings
- Sergio Garcia
- Martin Laird
Big Bombers – This course suits big bombers, highlighted by past winners such as DeChambeau, McIlroy, and Thomas.
Strokes Gained Tee To Green
- Collin Morikawa
- Jon Rahm
- Patrick Cantlay
- Keegan Bradley
- Justin Thomas
After looking at the above data and running the field through our Beerlife profile builder, we have selected the following picks.
Must-Have Players – These players may cost a bit more but are sure to be worth it.
|Odds To Win +2800|
|Draft Kings $9,100|
|Berger has had three top-ten finishes in his previous four tournaments, came third here last year, and has made the cut eight weeks in a row. Therefore, he indeed has one of the best chances this week. Not only that, he ranks sixth for strokes gained, eighth for greens in regulation, has the fifth-highest scoring average on tour, and has a great putting game, making him a fantastic all-rounder and an excellent addition to any fantasy lineup.|
|Odds To Win +800|
|Draft Kings $11,500|
|The U.S. Open champion has also finished inside the top ten in three of his last four outings, and it indeed would have been four from four had he not withdrawn from the Memorial when leading. He hasn’t been seen since winning the U.S. Open, which is a slight concern, but he has finished sixth, third, and fifth around here in the last four years, which is reassuring. Rahm also has the best scoring average on tour this year.|
|Odds To Win +1600|
|Draft Kings $10,400|
|We have stuck with the FedEx leader all season, so it would be foolish to desert him now, especially as it has been profitable for us. Morikawa had finished in the top four in his previous four events before the St. Jude Invitational, which means he is the most form player right now. In addition, he is probably the best iron player on tour this season, which has resulted in him having the best birdie average of any player.|
Long Shots – These guys will cost a lot less but still have a decent chance and can undoubtedly make up a team if you’re running low on funds.
|Odds To Win +13000|
|Draft Kings $7,500|
|Despite his poor recent form and his mediocre record at this event, Bradley remains a dark horse this week. He is big off the tee and meets a lot of the criteria set by our BeerLife profile builder. However, his poor form recently has pushed his odds out to be too attractive to ignore.|