The NBA and the NHL aren’t the only ones in the midst of playoff season. This week, the PGA Tour heads to TPC Boston for the Northern Trust Open and the start of the FedEx Cup playoffs. This three tournament stretch includes the Northern Trust Open, the BMW Championship and the Tour Championship in three consecutive weeks. Only the top-125 players in the FedEx Cup Standings are eligible to participate. The field shrinks to 50 players by the Tour Championship. The player who finishes first takes home a comfortable $10 million purse.
So yeah, these guys want to win.
Nine out of the ten top ranked players in world will be present this week: Justin Thomas, Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Colin Morikawa headline this stacked field. The only one missing will be Brooks Koepka who withdrew Wednesday due to an injury. The same one that kept him out of the President’s Cup.
Plenty to pay attention to this week. Let’s get into the course.
Oh yeah, Patrick Reed won last year but who cares about that.
This track was originally designed by Arnold Palmer – ever heard of him? In 2007, the course got a complete redesign by famed golf course architect Gil Hanse and PGA pro Brad Faxon. It now sits at par-71, and 7,261-yards.
Hole 2, Par-5, 542 yards
This par five is pretty short for PGA Tour standards but sometimes distance isn’t everything – looking at you Bryson. This hole still calls for three strategic shots in order to make a birdie here. Bunkers defend the fairway up the right side, a mound challenges your accuracy in order to give yourself a decent wedge look into a sloping green. That slope runs towards the water. Yikes.
Hole 11, Par-3, 231 yards
An uphill, 231 yard par 3 is about the most terrifying thing on the planet. A massive green side bunker sits several feet below the right side putting surface. Don’t you dare miss there. Also, don’t miss left because there’s a great deal of fescue waiting to steal your par chances. Player’s will look to send it to the center of the large green. Success will vary considerably.
Hole 18, Par-5, 530 yards
The finale plays out on a long journey to the most difficult green on the golf course. Even a layup is tough with a cruel pot bunker sitting directly in the middle of where you would normally aim. What makes this green so tough is not just the putting surface but the well armed defense that Hanse surrounded it with. Miss short and you’re in a hazard, right of the green is a deep green side bunker. The green itself is large and intimidating once you make it up there. Should set up for some fireworks.
Some guys to look out for
Jason Day (+2600)
Remember him? He only has 13 wins including a major and he’s back to playing at that winning level yet again. He disappeared from the tops of leaderboards for awhile, not making a top-five in over a year but those days are done. In his last four starts he went 4th, 6th, 4th, 7th. Not bad for a former number one.
He’s got a pretty special story too.
Rory McIlroy (+1300)
Rory has been average lately. He’s not entering the week on some heater looking to continue to build on momentum. In fact, he is without a top ten since the restart. However, this course suits him well and it usually treats him very well. He’s got a win here in both 2012 and 2016. On top of that, Rory is confident this week and confidence is key in this tricky little game.
Jordan Spieth (+6600)
Jordan come back to us! We know you have it in you! Okay, okay deep breaths. Spieth enters this week coming off another disappointing finish at the PGA Championship. He’s clearly going through it out there but still shows shines of brilliance. It’ll take some real soul searching and perhaps some team changes to turn the page back to a more enjoyable Jordan Spieth chapter. We’re rooting for him.
Where to watch
Thursday, August 20: 3-7 p.m. ET (Golf Channel)
Friday, August 21: 3-7 p.m. ET (Golf Channel)
Saturday, August 22: 1-3 p.m. ET (Golf Channel); 3-6 p.m. ET (CBS)
Sunday, August 23: 12:30-2:30 p.m. ET (Golf Channel); 2:30-6:30 p.m. ET (CBS)
This is a fun one to check out in between watching the Mavs and Stars try to win their perspective series.
Hope you enjoy it!
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