After an elongated regular season exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, the 2019-20 PGA Tour FedEx Cup Playoffs have arrived, and they have brought many interesting storylines along for the ride. All the big names will be in the Northern Trust field at TPC Boston this weekend as the three-week sprint for $60 million begins.
Let’s take a closer look at this week’s contest, with odds and prop bets provided via William Hill Sportsbook.
What: The Northern Trust
When: Aug. 20-23
Where: TPC Boston — Norton, Massachusetts
Three things to know
1. Massive movement: Last year, Harold Varner III jumped from outside the top 100 (going home) to inside the top 30 (going to East Lake) with a T3 here. Adam Scott and Ryan Palmer made similar moves in 2018. We will undoubtedly get somebody making the same type of leap this year at TPC Boston, which will make for an interesting narrative going into Round 2.
2. Needs a showing: Brooks Koepka, Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler and Tommy Fleetwood are among the golfers who need to jump 20 or more spots just to make it to next week’s BMW Championship. It’s weird to think about all five of them (two of them former FedEx Cup winners!) missing out on anything beyond the first round of the playoffs, but it’s almost a certainty that not all of them will move on.
3. Tiger stretch: Are we really going to get three consecutive weeks of Tiger Woods after he’s played just four times on the PGA Tour this calendar year? That seems improbable, yet it’s feasible as he’s just inside the top 50 in the FedEx Cup standings and playing good enough golf to make it into the top 30 and to the Tour Championship at East Lake. There could be a silver lining in not making it to East Lake, though, as the U.S. Open at tough Winged Foot will be two weeks after the Tour Championship and Woods will no doubt be preparing for the second major of 2020.
Grading the field
It’s major championship-like and will be from here on out. Sometimes at events like these we get the EBT (Everybody But Tiger) field, but this week’s has everybody including Tiger. This course should provide a pretty level playing field, too. TPC Boston is about as PGA Tour average as PGA Tour courses get and will provide an excellent leaderboard in a loaded week. Grade: A+
1. Xander Schauffele top 20 (+110): Schauffele has finished in the top 20 in five of his six starts since the PGA Tour returned in early June. In a field of heavyweights, he’s a nice top-20 bet because his name flies a little under the radar, even though he performs like a superstar.
2. Lucas Glover top 20 (+750): Following four straight top 20s, Glover has missed three straight cuts. Those MCs have mostly been because of an especially cold putter, though, and this is a good number to get Glover at in this field.
The Northern Trust picks
Who will win the Northern Trust, and which long shots will stun the golfing world? Visit SportsLine to see the projected leaderboard, all from the model that’s nailed six golf majors and is up almost $9,000 since the restart.