The climax to the PGA Tour is here as the finest Stateside gather in New Jersey for the first of trio of season ending Play-off events. So who is going to forge a claim to get their hands on the FedEx Cup? Here are my Northern Trust betting tips
The venue: Liberty National GC, Jersey City, New Jersey, USA
Date: August 8-11, 2019
Course stats: Par 71, 7,370 yards
Course summary: A former wasteland, oil refinery and even an internment camp – that’s quite a past – Liberty National has been transformed, with the help of $300 million, into a bentgrass paradise boasting sensational views of the New York skyline and Statue of Liberty. This is the first time the course has hosted a PGA Tour event since the former Barclays tournament six years ago.
Purse: $9.25 million
Defending champion: Bryson DeChambeau (-18)
Thursday: Sky Sports Golf and Main Event, 12.15pm (featured groups); Sky Sports Red Button, 3.30pm; Sky Sports Golf, 7pm; Sky Sports Main Event, 9.30pm
Friday: Sky Sports Golf and Main Event, 12.15pm (featured groups); Sky Sports Red Button, 3.30m; Sky Sports Golf, 7pm
Saturday: Sky Sports Golf, 6pm
Sunday: Sky Sports Golf, 5pm
Northern Trust betting tips: Steve’s players to follow
Given it’s six years since Liberty National last staged a PGA Tour event – when this was called the Barclays – course form won’t be as important as it is week to week.
Even so, Adam Scott (40/1) was a runaway winner in 2013 and I’m optimistic the Australian will be able to forge a decent challenge once again.
But he saved his best round for last at TPC Southwind, a 67, and Royal Portrush clearly wasn’t to everyone’s tastes in some difficult conditions.
Prior to that, he’d finished runner-up at Memorial, T7 at the US Open at Pebble Beach and T8 at Bethpage Black at the PGA Championship.
That’s plenty of decent form in top events for a player with six top 10s in 15 events this season.
His stat numbers are as reliable as you would expect – 5th strokes gained approaching the green, 10th around the green, 7th tee to green, 4th in total – and he’s due another massive week. Why not start at a place that will give him such fond memories?
Tied 5th, at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, is the Ryder Cup hero’s best finish of the year so far but his final-round heroics at Sedgefield followed T12 at the St Jude and 10th at the Open.
It’s the 28-year-old’s best run of the year and he could be running into form at the right time.
Joaquin Niemann (100/1) also recorded a 63 on a day of low scoring at the Wyndham and the Chilean looks a lively each-way contender.
Take out the missed cut at the Open and Niemann has three top 10s in his last six starts. He has 18 rounds in the 60s from his last 22 and, regardless of what you think of the various course’s difficulties, that is seriously consistent scoring.
I’ll also look at Rory Sabbatini (80/1), who racked up another top 10 at the Wyndham, could continue some good form at a big price having finished T13 in 2013.
So what does our tipster think of the favourites? And there’s one player he is definitely not putting money on. His Northern Trust betting tips continue on the next page…