The Northern Trust Preview 2018

The Northern Trust Preview 2018

2018 THE NORTHERN TRUST
Dates: August 21-26, 2018
Where: The Ridgewood Country Club, Paramus, New Jersey
Par/Yards: 35-36–71/7,385
2017 Champion: Dustin Johnson
Purse: $9 million total purse, $1.62 million to the winner
FedExCup: 2,000 points to the winner
Format: 72-hole stroke play
Field: Only the top 125 from the 2017-2018 FedExCup regular season standings qualify, with 121 committed to play. The top 100 in the standings following THE NORTHERN TRUST advance to next week.
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Four Things To Know

  • Do-or-die drama: The top-125 players in the FedExCup standings qualify for THE NORTHERN TRUST, making it an elite field based entirely on merit and play throughout the
  • One in five players will see their season end at The Ridgewood Country Club as only the top 100 in the standings advance to the Dell Technologies
  • The Ridgewood Country Club in Paramus, NJ, is one of the oldest country clubs in America (1890—the current Paramus location was purchased in 1927), designed by American-born architect and accomplished amateur golfer W. Tillinghast. With a composite of the most interesting and challenging holes from the three original nine-hole courses, this year marks the fourth time The Ridgewood Country Club has hosted THE NORTHERN TRUST.
  • Whether or you are family, a golf fanatic, a socialite, a foodie or a fashionista, there is something for everyone at THE NORTHERN TRUST. New this year, fans can print out a customized fan journey fromthenortherntrust.com to make the most of their experiences at the tournament.

A look back at THE NORTHERN TRUST – 2017

  • Jordan Spieth entered the final round leading Dustin Johnson by three shots, and the two walked to the 72nd hole tied for the lead. In a memorable back-and-forth battle, Johnson rolled in a curling 17-foot putt for par to extend the tournament into a playoff with
  • On the first playoff hole, Spieth took the conventional line on the hard dog-leg left par-4. Johnson opted to go over the water in one of the more memorable tee shots of the 2017 season. Johnson hit a 341-yard drive—the longest of the week on the 18th hole—to leave himself just 95 yards to the pin. Meanwhile, Spieth’s drive – which he also cranked, hitting it 315 yards – left him 174 yards from the pin. Spieth’s approach left him on the far edge 25 feet from the pin, a difficult putt. Johnson knocked his 60-degree wedge to inside 4 feet and made the putt for his 16th PGA TOUR
  • The win was Johnson’s fourth of the season and moved him to 1 in the FedExCup standings at the time.

 

THE NORTHERN TRUST and the FedExCup

Everyone is battling for position at THE NORTHERN TRUST. Every spot counts in the FedExCup Playoffs, starting with getting into, or staying in, the top 100 in the standings to move on to the next event at the Dell Technologies Championship. From there, players want to get inside the top 70 to advance to the following event, the BMW Championship. Every player includes reaching East Lake Golf Club and the season-ending TOUR Championship as a major goal for the season, which means getting into the top 30. With 2,000 points available to the winner of each Playoffs event, players can move into the coveted top five in the standings. A spot in the top five means that with a win at the TOUR Championship, a player is guaranteed the FedExCup trophy and the $10 million that comes with it.

Players on the bubble entering the week

Pos.

100

Player

Ryan Palmer

 

109

 

William McGirt

 

118

 

Brian Stuard

101 Richy Werenski 110 J.T. Poston 119 Nick Taylor
102 Nick Watney 111 Bronson Burgoon 120 Sam Saunders
103 Danny Lee 112 Vaughn Taylor 121 Sean O’Hair
104 Sung Kang 113 Martin Laird 122 Bud Cauley (WD)
105 John Huh 114 Sam Ryder 123 Jhonattan Vegas
106 Harold Varner III 115 Grayson Murray 124 Harris English
107 Scott Stallings 116 Ryan Blaum 125 Seamus Power
108 Tyler Duncan 117 Scott Brown

 

Top Five: 

Dustin Johnson No. 1 – Defending champion Dustin Johnson returns to THE NORTHERN TRUST in the same spot in the FedExCup rankings where he left after his playoff victory last year, No. 1.

Entering the week

#1                           FedExCup
#1                           OWGR
9                              Starts at THE NORTHERN TRUST 2 (2011, 2017)         Wins at THE NORTHERN TRUST
237                         PGA TOUR starts
19                           PGA TOUR victories
16                           PGA TOUR starts in 2017-18
10                           Top-10s in 2017-18

 

Wins (19): 2008 Turning Stone Resort Championship. 2009 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. 2010 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, BMW Championship. 2011 The Barclays. 2012 FedEx St. Jude Classic. 2013 Hyundai Tournament of Champions. 2014 World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions. 2015 World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship. 2016 U.S. Open, World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational, BMW Championship. 2017 Genesis Open, World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship, World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play, THE NORTHERN TRUST. 2018 Sentry Tournament of Champions, FedEx St. Jude Classic, RBC Canadian Open.

 Best 2017-2018 results: 1st Sentry Tournament of Champions, FedEx St. Jude Classic, RBC Canadian Open

  • Two-time winner at THE NORTHERN TRUST in 2011 at a weather-shortened 54-hole event and last year’s playoff victory over Jordan Spieth.
  • Has finished inside the top 10 in the FedExCup standings in six of the last eight
  • Has won at least one PGA TOUR event in 11 consecutive seasons, dating to his rookie season in 2008, the longest active streak on TOUR.
  • One of three players on TOUR this year with three victories along with Justin Thomas and Bubba
  • His 10 top-10 finishes are the most on the PGA TOUR this
  • Leads the TOUR in scoring average so far this year at 597
  • In two previous starts at The Ridgewood Country Club, missed the cut in 2008 and finish T9 in 2010 after entering the final round
  • Johnson is tied with Rory McIlroy for the most victories at FedExCup Playoffs events with
  • Johnson is also tied for the most top-10 finishes in FedExCup Playoffs events with 16 (Jim Furyk).

 

Justin Thomas – No. 2 – Defending FedExCup champion Justin Thomas comes to THE NORTHERN TRUST looking to become the first player in the 12-year history of the FedExCup to defend his season-long title.

 

Entering the week

#2                         FedExCup
#3                         OWGR
3                            Starts at THE NORTHERN TRUST
T6 (2017)             Best finish at THE NORTHERN TRUST
113                       PGA TOUR starts
9                            PGA TOUR victories
19                         PGA TOUR starts in 2017-18
8                            Top-10s in 2017-18

Wins (9): 2016 CIMB Classic. 2017 CIMB Classic, SBS Tournament of Champions, Sony Open in Hawaii, PGA Championship, Dell Technologies Championship. 2018 THE CJ CUP NINE BRIDGES, The Honda Classic, World Golf Championships- Bridgestone Invitational.

Best 2017-2018 results: 1st THE CJ CUP NINE BRIDGES, The Honda Classic, World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational.

  • The 2016-2017 FedExCup champion has followed his five-win season with three victories thus far in 2017-2018.
  • After recording one victory in his first 66 events on TOUR, he has won eight times in his last 43
  • Entered last year’s FedExCup Playoffs at No. 2 in the standings. Secured the FedExCup title with finishes of T6, 1st, T47 and 2nd to win the season-long points
  • Will be playing for the fourth time at THE NORTHERN TRUST but for the first time at The Ridgewood Country Club.
  • In 2017, Thomas and Jon Rahm played all 16 rounds of the FedExCup Playoffs at par or better, becoming the only players in Playoffs history to record all 16 rounds at par or
  • Thomas is one of four players to win a Playoffs event under the age of 25 joined by Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and Xander
  • Thomas is one of two players under the age of 25 to win the FedExCup, joined by Jordan

 

Brooks Koepka – No. 3 – With two major championship victories this season, Brooks Koepka enters the Playoffs at a career-high No. 3 in the FedExCup standings.

Entering the week

#3                         FedExCup
#2                         OWGR
3                            Starts at THE NORTHERN TRUST
T49 (2017)          Best finish at THE NORTHERN TRUST
100                       PGA TOUR starts
4                            PGA TOUR victories
13                         PGA TOUR starts in 2017-18
5                            Top-10s in 2017-18

 

Wins (4): 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open. 2017 U.S. Open. 2018 U.S. Open, PGA Championship.

Best 2017-2018 results: 1st U.S. Open, PGA Championship.

  • Playing for the fourth time in the FedExCup Playoffs, Koepka is looking for his first finish inside the top five after finishing a career-best 10th last
  • In his 100th career start on the PGA TOUR at the PGA Championship, birdied three holes in a row and two of his last four to claim his second major championship of the
  • Is joined by Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas and Bubba Watson as three-time winners this season on the PGA TOUR
  • Joins Tiger Woods (2000), Jack Nicklaus (1980), Ben Hogan (1948) and Gene Sarazen (1922) as the only players to win the U.S. Open and PGA Championship in the same season
  • Will be playing at The Ridgewood Country Club for the first time in his

 

Justin Rose – No. 4 – Justin Rose has two wins in one PGA TOUR season for the second time in his career and first since 2010, helping him notch the No.4 ranking in the FedExCup standings.

Entering the week

#4                         FedExCup
#4                         OWGR
12                         Starts at THE NORTHERN TRUST
T2 (2013)             Best finish at THE NORTHERN TRUST
319                       PGA TOUR starts
9                            PGA TOUR victories
14                         PGA TOUR starts in 2017-18
8                            Top-10s in 2017-18

 

Wins (9): 2010 the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance, AT&T National. 2011 BMW Championship. 2012 World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship. 2013 U.S. Open. 2014 Quicken Loans National. 2015 Zurich Classic of New Orleans. 2018 World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions, Fort Worth Invitational.

Best 2017-18 results: 1st – World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions, Fort Worth Invitational.

  • Has yet to miss a cut in 14 starts this season with 8 top-10
  • Since winning his first event of the season at the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions, Rose has never been outside of the top 20 in the FedExCup standings all
  • Rose is one of 10 players who has qualified for the FedExCup Playoffs in each of the 12 years that the FedExCup system has existed. (Charley Hoffman, Matt Kuchar, Charles Howell III, Phil Mickelson, Zach Johnson, Ryan Moore, Brandt Snedeker, Bubba Watson and Adam Scott).
  • Last year, Rose was one of three players (Rose, Spieth and Jon Ram) who recorded top 10- finishes in all four FedExCup Playoffs Rose finished the four tournaments T10, T10, T2 and T10, respectively, to finish 9th in the overall standings.

 

Bubba Watson – No. 5 – Bubba Watson is one of three players (Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson) to win three tournaments this season and begins the playoffs at No. 5 in the FedExCup standings.

Entering the week

#5                         FedExCup
#14                       OWGR
12                         Starts at THE NORTHERN TRUST
3 (2015)               Best finish at THE NORTHERN TRUST
293                       PGA TOUR starts
12                         PGA TOUR victories
20                         PGA TOUR starts in 2017-18
5                            Top-10s in 2017-18

Wins (12): 2010 Travelers Championship. 2011 Farmers Insurance Open, Zurich Classic of New Orleans. 2012 Masters Tournament. 2014 Northern Trust Open, Masters Tournament. 2015 World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions, Travelers Championship. 2016 Northern Trust Open. 2018 Genesis Open, World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play, Travelers Championship.

Best 2017-18 results: 1st – Genesis Open, World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play, Travelers Championship.

  • Has played at The Ridgewood Country Club in all three past playings finishing T12 (2008), T31 (2010) and T30 (2014).
  • Watson is one of 10 players who has qualified for the FedExCup Playoffs in each of the 12 years that the FedExCup system has existed. (Charley Hoffman, Matt Kuchar, Charles Howell III, Phil Mickelson, Zach Johnson, Ryan Moore, Brandt Snedeker, Justin Rose and Adam Scott). Watson is also one of eight players to reach the Dell Technologies Championship in each of the past 11 FedExCup
  • Last year, Watson entered the Playoffs at 113 in the standings and with a T10 at THE NORTHERN TRUST was one of three players to move from outside the top 100 into the field at the second playoff event along with Harold Varner III and David Lingmerth.

 

Past Champions of THE NORTHERN TRUST in the field

Player Year(s) won 2018 FedExCup Rank
Dustin Johnson 2017, 2011 1
Patrick Reed 2016 9
Jason Day 2015 6
Adam Scott 2013 73
Nick Watney 2012 102
Matt Kuchar 2010 (at Ridgewood CC) 64

 

During the 2016-17 season, 12 rookies finished in the top 125 and advanced to the FedExCup Playoffs, the most ever to qualify for the FedExCup Playoffs. This season, eight rookies are in the field at THE NORTHERN TRUST: Aaron Wise (27), Austin Cook (31), Keith Mitchell (68), Satoshi Kodaira (77), Peter Uihlein (81), Brandon Harkins (94), Tyler Duncan (108), Sam Ryder (114)

 

Year Rookies to qualify for FedExCup Playoffs
2017-18 8
2016-17 12
2015-16 6
2014-15 9
2013-14 2
2013 9
2012 11
2011 11
2010 7
2009 6
2008 9 (field was 144)
2007 11

 

 

Players who have moved into the top 100 from outside each year at THE NORTHERN TRUST dating back to 2009 – 2017

Player Rank Before Finish Rank After
Harold Varner III 123 T20 91
Bubba Watson 113 T10 72
David Lingmerth 103 T29 87
2016
Player Rank Before Finish Rank After
Sung Kang 122 T18 88
Derek Fathauer 118 T31 99
John Huh 111 T32 90
Sean O’Hair 108 T2 15
Tyron Van Aswegen 104 T41 93
2015
Player Rank Before Finish Rank After
Camilo Villegas 123 T30 99
Luke Donald 119 T24 87
Spencer Levin 115 T16 80
Mark Wilson 114 T24 85
Carlos Ortiz 112 T24 83
Zac Blair 106 T4 45
Jason Dufner 103 T30 82
Johnson Wagner 101 T45 92
2014
Player Rank Before Finish Rank After
Morgan Hoffman 124 T9 72
Gonzalo Fdez-Castano 119 T15 81
Paul Casey 118 T22 85
Danny Lee 116 T38 96
Andres Romero 110 T38 92
Stewart Cink 109 T15 77
Bo Van Pelt 104 T13 73
2013
Player Rank Before Finish Rank After
Stuart Appleby 123 T41 96
Greg Chalmers 122 T37 93
Erik Compton 117 T43 94
Camilo Villegas 110 T54 100
Martin Kaymer 103 T50 90
2012
Player Rank Before Finish Rank After
Jason Day 113 T24 88
David Hearn 108 T10 67
Bob Estes 103 T10 62
Tommy Gainey 102 T38 91
Jonas Blixt 101 T46 97
Graham DeLeat 106 T5 44
2011

Player

 

Rank Before

 

Finish

 

Rank After

William McGirt 125 T24 96
Padraig Harrington 124 T13 80
Ernie Els 118 T32 99
Ian Poulter 114 T18 78
Camilo Villegas 109 T6 51
Chris Stroud 106 T18 75
John Merrick 104 T43 98
Bill Lunde 103 T32 85
2010

Player

 

Rank Before

 

Finish

 

Rank After

Andres Romero 115 T52 100
Troy Matteson 114 T36 91
Tiger Woods 112 T12 65
J.P. Hayes 108 T27 76
Ryuji Imada 107 T27 73
Kevin Streelman 102 T3 18
2009
Player Rank Before Finish Rank After
Troy Matteson 125 T20 83
Health Slocum 124 1 3
Richard S. Johnson 108 T31 85
Fredrick Jacobson 107 T6 48

 

 

  • The lowest-ranked players to enter the FedExCup Playoffs and advance to the TOUR Championship are Morgan Hoffmann (2014) and Heath Slocum (2009) who started the Playoffs at No.
  • Starting THE NORTHERN TRUST at 69 in the standings in 2014, Billy Horschel is the lowest-ranked player starting the FedExCup Playoffs to be crowned the FedExCup Champion.
  • Vijay Singh is the only player to win THE NORTHERN TRUST and go on to win the FedExCup (2008).

 

The Ridgewood Country Club – Par/Yards: 35-36–71/7,385 – The Ridgewood Country Club in Paramus, NJ, is one of the oldest country clubs in America (1890) and has played host to some of the most prestigious events on the golf calendar, including the 1935 Ryder Cup, 1974 U.S. Amateur, 1990 U.S. Senior Open and 2001 Senior PGA Championship. Designed by American-born architect and accomplished amateur golfer A.W. Tillinghast, the layout features 27 holes, with THE NORTHERN TRUST being played on what is called The Championship Course, a composite of the most interesting and challenging holes from the three original nine-hole courses. This year marks the fourth time The Ridgewood Country Club has hosted THE NORTHERN TRUST. The three previous playings have produced two playoffs (Vijay Singh/2008; Matt Kuchar/2010) and a two-stroke victory (Hunter Mahan/2014).

 

Championship Course RCC Hole # Par Yards
1 1 East 4 380
2 2 East 3 190
3 3 East 5 588
4 4 East 4 444
5 5 East 4 440
6 6 East 3 230
7 7 East 4 485
8 2 Center 4 475
9 3 Center 4 471
10 4 Center 4 486
11 5 Center 3 217
12 6 Center 4 291
13 4 West 5 626
14 5 West 4 412
15 6 West 3 155
16 7 West 4 431
17 8 West 5 594
18 9 West 4 470

 

One of Tillinghast’s trademarks was to give each hole its own identity. The Ridgewood Country Club has a great example of this in the iconic five-and-dime hole (#12 at THE NORTHERN TRUST 2018), a 291-yard dogleg that stands as one of the first drivable par 4’s, long before such holes became fashionable. Byron Nelson coined the name “five and dime” because the way to play it was with a 5-iron off the tee and a 10 wedge –the predecessor to a pitching wedge. Members also refer to the hole as “Nickel and Dime.” This hole’s putting surface measures less than 2,200 square feet and is one of the smallest in championship golf.

 

Byron Nelson and The Ridgewood Country Club:

In 1935, when Nelson was a “scrawny” 23-year-old, he accepted the assistant pro position at The Ridgewood Country Club, a position he held until 1936.

Before the first round of the 1935 Masters Tournament, Augusta National’s head pro Ed Dudley introduced the young Byron to George Jacobus, head professional at Ridgewood. Dudley knew Nelson from Texas, where Nelson had made a name for himself in the golf circuit despite his humble beginnings as the son of a cotton farmer in the town of Waxahachie. Jacobus interviewed Nelson at the 1935 Masters the same day they met and then hired him the next day before the second round. Nelson went on to finish T9 that week and then drove back home to pack for New Jersey.

This decision undoubtedly launched Nelson’s professional career, as he would go on to win his first pro event at the New Jersey State Open that same year. He won by three strokes and earned $400 for the victory.

In a letter introducing Byron Nelson to The Ridgewood Country Club’s membership in April 1935, George Jacobus wrote, “He is a very fine golfer and has, in my opinion, wonderful possibilities for becoming one of the big money-winners of the game.” Jacobus sure turned out to be a good fortune teller, as Nelson would amass 52 PGA TOUR wins (currently 6th all- time). His 18 wins in the 1945 season alone and 11 straight wins from March to August that year still stand as PGA TOUR records.

 

Interesting stories from Nelson’s time at The Ridgewood Country Club:

  • Flagpole story: In 1935, Nelson responded to a challenge from some caddies to try to hit a flagpole 93 yards away. He did so on the second try with his 3-iron and walked away 55 cents richer, all in nickels. A plaque still stands outside of the clubhouse to mark the exact spot where Nelson hit the Nelson, in his final in-depth interview, shared the story: “When I was a pro at Ridgewood Country Club in New Jersey, I was coming back from the range with my 3-iron. Some of the caddies were next to the clubhouse, about 60 yards away from a flagpole. They each bet me a nickel that I couldn’t drop a ball on the terrace and hit the pole. My first shot missed, but I gripped down and hit a draw and, sweet as you please, got that pole dead center! The caddies stared, their mouths open. I picked up my 55 cents, gave them a little smile and walked away.”
  • Nelson shoots the (then) course-record 63 on June 29, 1947: Nelson’s best score at Ridgewood during his time as assistant pro was a 68. However, Nelson returned to Ridgewood in 1947 and shot a course-record 63 on the 6,804-yard East-Center course, including a 30 on the East course. His scorecard is displayed in the golfer’s entryway of the clubhouse. Note: the current course record at The Ridgewood Country Club is 62, shot by Hunter Mahan
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