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Golf betting tips: Preview and tips for the 2021 Northern Trust

The Northern Trust is played in August to lead off the FedEx Cup Playoffs. The Top 125 players qualify for The Northern Trust based on FedEx Cup points amassed during the regular PGA Tour season.

The Northern Trust (formerly The Barclays tournament) began in 1967 as the Westchester Classic and was played at the Westchester Country Club in Rye, New York. In 2008 the Tournament left the Westchester Country Club and was rotated amongst different clubs mainly in the New York / New Jersey metropolitan area.

This year marks the final playing of the Northern Trust as the tournament is being axed from the 2021-2022 PGA Tour schedule. Next year, the FedEx St Jude at TPC Southwind will take the place of the Northern Trust as the first FedEx Cup playoff event.

As of 2019, the FedEx Cup Playoffs were reduced from four events to three. The Playoffs feature a progressive cut, with fields of 125 for The Northern Trust, 70 for the BMW Championship and 30 for the Tour Championship.

The Northern Trust will cut the field to low 70 and ties after 36 holes, while the BMW Championship and Tour Championship are no-cut events.

The first two Playoff events award 2,000 points to the winner (quadruple points of regular season events), while the Tour Championship, features a strokes-based system called the FedEx Cup Starting Strokes.

FedEx Cup Starting Strokes

  • The leader leader after the first two Playoff events will begin the Tour Championship at -10.
  • The No. 2 player will start at -8.
  • The No. 3 player at -7.
  • The No. 4 player at -6.
  • the No. 5 player at -5.
  • Players 6-10 start at -4.
  • Players 11-15 start at -3.
  • Players 16-20 start at -2.
  • Players 21-25 start at -1.
  • Players 26-30 start at even par.

The player with the lowest aggregate score over 72 holes when combined with his FedEx Cup Starting Strokes will win the Tour Championship and also be crowned FedEx Cup Champion.

This year, Liberty National Country Club in Jersey City, serves as host for the Northern Trust.

Course Overview

The Par 71 course opened for play in 2006 and can stretch to 7,353-yard from the championship tees.

Tom Kite and renowned golf course architect Bob Cupp, collaborated on the design. Cupp had previously worked for Jack Nicklaus for over 15 years as a senior designer. The course has the enviable backdrop of both the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan Skyline.

It is reported to have cost over $250M to build, making it one of the most expensive golf courses in history.

Liberty National has some notable members such as Cristie Kerr, Eli Manning, Phil Mickelson, Justin Timberlake and Mark Wahlberg to name just a few.

Liberty National played host to the Presidents Cup in 2017 and has also hosted The Northern Trust in 2009, 2013 and 2019.

2009The BarclaysHeath Slocum-9 (275)
2013The BarclaysAdam Scott-11 (273)
2019The Northern TrustPatrick Reed-16 (268)

The feedback after the 2009 playing of The Barclays from the pros was mixed to say the least. Most had issue with the greens.

“I don’t think we’ve ever played greens with this much movement, about half your putts were double breaking”

Tiger Woods

Unsurprisingly, after all the negative feedback, changes were made to 15 of the 18 holes. The greens were partially levelled, fairways widened and there were changes to the bunkering.

“You need to drive it fairly straight at Liberty National, and the greens are such that if you don’t drive it straight it is tough to get to the pin. What I try to do is not have any one part of the game dominate. I don’t want it to be just a putting course or just a bombers course. I want you to be rewarded for length, accuracy, iron shots, chipping and bunker shots. And, of course, putting will always be there.”

Tom Kite

2019 Northern Trust | Patrick Reed

Venue Liberty National GC

Winning Score -16 (268)

Patrick Reed
SG Category
Strokes GainedFinishing Position
(SG Category)

Reed finished 4th in the Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green stat gaining an impressive 10.198 strokes on the field average for the week. Just over half of this gain came from his play from the tee.

He also finished 20th in Strokes Gained Putting which yielded a gain of 3.168 strokes or almost a quarter of his overall gain. He squared only 4 bogeys for the week and racked up 5 Birdies in each of the four rounds. Other stats for the week include T8 for Driving Accuracy, 9th for Driving Distance, T5 for GIR and 30th in Putts per GIR..


Liberty National has a links feel and good course management will be key, particularly if the wind gets up. The ‘go-to‘ statistic for relatively unfamiliar courses is Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green which continues to highlight the best golfing talent on Tour.

Players will need to drive well and iron play on approach will need to dialed in. The layout is a solid all-round test of golf and in particular players will need to putt and scramble well.

As you would expect from the FedEx Cup Playoffs this is a top-class field with a wealth of talent. Those in tune with distance and accuracy who sink their fair share of putts should thrive.

Northern Trust Tips

Rory McIlroy golf betting tipsRory McIlroy 20/1 (E/W) – no surprise that the World No.15 is a regular at the Northern Trust. His best result in the tournament is a T6 in 2019 when last played at Liberty National. Easy to forget that he is already a winner this season, winning the Wells Fargo back in May. More recently he finished T4 at the Olympics and followed with a T12 at the WGC FedEx St Jude. His statistics this season are mediocre at best and reflect somewhat his overall season. By his lofty standards there is an expectation for more. Has shown flashes of brilliance recently that would suggest his ‘A-game‘ is not that far away. With his talent, he is hard to ignore at these odds.

Daniel Berger golf betting tipsDaniel Berger 28/1 (E/W) – finished T3 in last year’s edition of the Northern Trust when played at TPC Boston. Has 8 Top 10’s among 13 Top 25’s this season including a win at the AT&T Pebble Beach. These results also include a T8 in the Open Championship which was followed by a T5 in his last outing at the WGC FedEx St Jude. Statistically sound, the 28 year old from Florida places 4th in this week’s Stats Analysis. He is also 8th on Tour for GIR and 5th for Scoring Average. All things considered, he is a good fit for Liberty National. Literally ticks all the boxes.

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