Course: Glen Oaks Club (Old Westbury, New York)
Yardage: 7,350 – Par 70
Field: Top 125 players in FedEx Cup points to date
Recent Northern Trust Champions (was The Barclays until end of 2016)
The 2017 PGA Tour regular season wrapped up with the 2013 FedEx Cup champion showing he’s ready to make another run at the $10 million prize. Henrik Stenson started the week with an eight-under 62, and kept the pedal to the metal the whole week shooting 22-under par for the week. With seven holes to play on Sunday, Stenson, Ollie Schniederjans, Ryan Armour, and Webb Simpson were all tied at 18-under. Stenson would turn it on from there making birdies on 13, 15, 16, and 17, while Schniederjans did all he could with birdies on 15, 16, and 18. Stenson and Schniederjans shot matching 64s on Sunday, but Stenson had come into the day with a one shot lead. The effort was enough to get Stenson his 20th professional win, and 6th win on the PGA Tour.
Major season may be over, but the PGA Tour FedEx Cup Playoffs will begin this week with the newly branded event “The Northern Trust.” Most recently, this tournament was branded as The Barclay’s and was played on a rotating schedule of courses that included Bethpage Black and Liberty National. The Glen Oaks Club will host this week for its first ever PGA Tour event, so there will be no course history to go by. Going forward, this tournament will continue its rotation among the clubs in the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area where the Barclay’s previously has been played. The Top 125 players in the FedEx Cup Standings will make up the field this week for the first round of the PGA Tour playoffs. There’s already been some great FedEx Cup drama with four players jumping from outside to inside the Top 125 on Sunday at the Wyndham. Most notably, Martin Flores, who started last week ranked 139 in FedEx Cup points, was able to jump into the Top 125 on Sunday after hitting the shot of his life on the Par 3 16th. Not only does making the Top 125 mean he’s in the playoffs, it also means that he retains his PGA Tour Card for next year. There’s always someone who makes an improbable late run all the way to the Tour Championship; maybe Flores can be that guy this year. With a field comprised of the Top 125 qualifiers in FedEx Cup points, we will have a very deep field of talent to choose from this week for daily Fantasy. The only difference between this and a major field is you won’t have your amateur qualifiers, and you won’t have your top Euro Tour players such as Alex Noren, Tommy Fleetwood, and Thomas Pieters.
For the first time, the world’s best will take a tour of The Glen Oaks Club in Old Westbury, New York for the Northern Trust. Playing at Par 70, the course measures out to a very stout 7,350 yards. Fairways are enclosed by tree lines, many large fairway bunkers, and thick rough. Strokes gained: off-the-tee will loom large this week. Players who get off the tee well will have a much easier time getting around as nearly every hole has the potential for players to lose a shot if they don’t hit the fairway. Par 4 Scoring is a must this week, as it usually is on Par 70 courses with only two par 5s. The Par 4s at this course are extremely long. Excluding the driveable 315 yard 11th hole, the par 4s on this course average over 475 yards. So ,players who excel in Par 4 450-500 yard scoring, and approach proximity 175-200 yards will need to use those skills heavily this week. Another way to make 475 yard par 4s a little easier is to bomb your drives. Driving Distance should be a key factor at Glen Oaks, but this isn’t Erin Hills. You can’t just bomb it as far as you can in some vague direction, players must also have some strategy off the tee here. Along with being long and steady off the tee, your DFS picks must be accurate on the approach as well. Strokes gained: Approach is also necessary for players to excel here. There will not be many approach shots coming from inside 150 yards this week, so good ball striking will be crucial. Something tells me the winning score this week will be a little higher than 22-under par. There should be some great golf played this week, as some players will be tuning up for the Tour Championship, while others will be scrapping just trying to make it to next week.
2017 The Northern Trust Key Stats
Strokes gained: off-the-tee
Par 4 Scoring
Par 4 450-500 yard scoring
Approach proximity 175-200 yards
Strokes gained: Approach