Congratulations, you have made it. It’s the beginning of the end. It’s the time of year when you reload those DK accounts in a last ditch effort to win job-quitting money. Let’s take a deeper look into what the Northern Trust Open holds for us and hope we are filing out two weeks notice after Sunday.
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The 2019 Northern Trust will take place at Liberty National Golf Club. The first leg of the FedEx Cup Playoffs will host the top 125 players in FedEx Cup standings, and players will need to finish inside the top 70 of the FedEx Cup Standings after this week to advance to next week’s BMW Championship. The field will host only feature 122 golfers this week as Paul Casey, Henrik Stenson, and Sam Burns all have withdrawn. With only 122 golfers playing this week more lineups will have 6 out of 6 make the weekend so you will have to find other ways to differentiate yourself to win.
Unfortunately, this week we do not have much course history to drive decision making as Liberty National has not been played on tour since the 2017 Presidents Cup and the 2013 Barclays Championship. In 2013 Adam Scott won the Barclays and the Americans trounced the world 19-11 in the 2017 President’s Cup with Dustin Johnson leading the way with 4.5 points. What we do know is that is the course is littered with bunkers (close to 90) and has its far share of water. With the course being 7,370 yards and only featuring 3 Par 5s, players will have to use their drivers this week and be careful not to end up in the fescue along the edges of the rough.
2019 Northern Trust: Key Stats
SG: Off The Tee
Good Drives Gained (When a player either hits the fairway or hits the green in regulation after missing the fairway. Basically combination of distance and accuracy.)
SG: Par 4s
SG: Sand Saves
SG: P Bent Grass
SG: Approach 200+
Course: Liberty National Golf Course
Greens: Bent grass
Pick of the Week – Patrick Cantlay – $9,200
Patrick Cantlay is quickly becoming an elite player in the world. He’s been showing up every week with quality starts and has made 15/17 cuts this season with nine top 10 finishes.
Patty C currently sits sixth in FedEx Points and tenth OWGR, and had his first victory on tour winning the Memorial Tournament back in May. He ranks out first in SG Par 5 scoring and top 10 in both SG Approach and SG OTT gaining .8 and .5 strokes respectively per round. He has two top 10 finishes in majors this year showing he can hang in there with the big boys in fields of this magnitude.
Cantlay is a great value play compared to some of the other names priced ahead of him and look for him to be making a push come Sunday.
Justin Rose – $9,600
Rumors around Liberty National is that the roses are about to BLOOM this weekend!
Justin Rose is the defending FedEx Cup champion and coming into the playoffs in solid for. Rose has five top 20 finishes since the beginning of May. He is a great overall player hitting on most of our key stats this week as he ranks out 19th in SG putting, 16th in approach and 3rd from the sandbox.
One of the world’s best golfers for a reason, Rose will have solid outing this weekend.
Collin Morikawa $8,500
Morikawa has been throwing darts at greens ever since he got on tour this year. He currently ranks first in the field in SG: APP and has been impressive on par 4s and off the tee, ranking fourth in SG Par 4s and 7th in GDG.
Collin hasn’t played in a tournament of this caliber yet in his early career, but his numbers are too good to ignore. Plus, he is currently ranking 48th in the the FedEx Cup standings and needs a strong week to make sure he qualifies for the BMW Championship.
We trust Collin to continue his strong play and post a high finish at Liberty this week.
Patrick Reed- $8,100
Do not expect Reed to be breaking any wedges this weekend at Liberty National.
He’s had solid results since the end of June with five straight top 25 finishes and is popping on all of our important stroke gained stats. I know people were a bit disappointed on his 22nd place finish last week at the Wyndham, but once we get him back on bent grass, we think he will have much better results.
Reed is gaining 6.3 SG total on the field in his last 5 events and rounding back into form. The former Masters champ also sits 14th in SG ARG and most importantly has .38 SG putting on bent grass in his career.
His success on bent grass at tournaments like the Masters and recent form make him a top play this week.
Billy Horschel – $8,000
Good ole Billy has been on a tear lately and has been frequently teeing off late on Sundays. Considered a grinder, Horeschel has the ability to stick around on tough courses and this track looks to have a winning score around -10.
Horschel currently ranks 44th in FedEx cup points and is the 37th ranked golfer in the world. His ball striking has been in near the top ranking 22nd in SG:APP and 16th in SG: OTT is 16th. Lastly, not only is Horschel an excellent putter but bent grass is his strong suit.
Joaquin Neimann- $7,500
CHOOOO CHOOOOO! Hop aboard the Niemann gravy train in the first round of the playoffs.
Coming off a strong 13th place finish at last weeks Wyndham, Niemann will look to build off his current high level of play. Although there are some concerns with Niemann’s track record at tougher tournaments, his approach numbers say he will be just fine this week.
The young stud ranks out tenth in approach, third in par 4 scoring over the past 24 holes and has been consistent off the tee box all season. Over his past five events he has gained 3.2 strokes tee to green per event.
Value Play: Emiliano Grillo $7,000
Emiliano’s ball striking of late has been on point gaining 1.1 strokes on approach per round over the last 24 rounds and ranking second in the field. He has also been good with his historically accurate driver, ranking sixth in Good Drives Gained and 39th in SG: OTT.
The only thing holding Emiliano back is historically bad putter. This year at the US Open he gained 8.4 strokes on the field in approach and lost an ungodly 6.3 strokes putting. Although he has been putting like a 10-year-old at your local putt putt, Emiliano has actually gained strokes on bent grass in his career.
Earlier this year at the Memorial he gained 1.8 strokes putting against the field which was played on bent grass. We’re betting this week that his putter shows up along with his great ball striking and we are all screaming EMILIOOOOOOOOOOOOOO come Sunday.
Value Play: Corey Conners $6,500
Liberty National should set up well for ball strikers this week and Corey Conners is one of the best in the field around his price range.
Conners is third in SG: OTT, 2nd in GDG, and 39th in SG: APP. Down in the 6k range, you won’t find many guys who have been hitting the ball as well as him.
Also, in the past four years, three of the champions in the first leg of the FedEx Cup Playoffs have already won on tour in that season. Corey accomplished that earlier this year at the Valspar Championship.
If you are looking for a cheap guy who can balance out some lineups with heavier hitters, this young Canadian fits the mold this week.
Fade: Dustin Johnson $10,700
Sometimes history does not repeat itself. Although DJ wrecked this course during the Presidents Cup in 2017, we think this week will be differently. He has not been playing like the world’s #2 golfer in recent weeks.
Over the past 24 rounds, Dustin ranks 64th in GDG, 71st in SG: P on bent grass, and 60th in Sand Saves. DJ already has enough points to advance to next week’s play, and we see him working on the kinks this week with a focus on the last two events. For the price tag, you are better off going with another top golfer who is coming in with better form.
Fade: Tony Finau $8,300
Tony Finau is coming off an impressive third place finish at the British Open, but has really been struggling the past two months. In the past six tournaments, he has missed three cuts and lost strokes on approach in four of the past six tournaments.
Over the past 24 rounds, Tony ranks poorly in most of our key stats for the week sitting 57th SG: APP, 81st GDG, 98th SG: APP 200+, and 79th SG Sand Saves. At $8,300, there are too many other good options than Tony this week.
Webb Simpson $11,200 – T2
Viktor Hovland $9,500 – T4
Joaquin Niemann $9,100 – T13
Adam Hadwin $8,500 – MC
Scott Piercy $8,100 – T36
Kevin Streelman $7,800 – MC
Sepp Straka $7,700 – T39
Ryan Armour $7,100 T22
Peter Malanti $7,100 – MC
Fade – Jordan Spieth – MDF
Fade – Hedecki Matsuyama – MC
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