Dustin Johnson is the defending champion, but anything can happen in the playoffs.
Playoff PGA Time
The PGA playoffs are upon us. The first event of the FedEx Cup Playoffs is The Northern Trust at Glen Oaks Club in Westbury, New York. But it won’t necessarily feature the most high-profile winner.
World No. 1 Dustin Johnson won it last year, and he could easily win it again this year (since his 2011 19-under par sits tied as the best tournament score.) But normally, it’s not a big deal if a Top 10 golfer doesn’t win it all at The Northern Trust since they already have enough points to make it onto the next round of the playoffs.
But before we go further, let’s break down how the playoffs work.
Out of 260 golfers on the PGA Tour, the top 125 in FedEx Cup points qualify for The Northern Trust. From there, 25 get cut, leaving the Top 100 to move onto Dell Technologies. Then the top 70 play the BMW Championship and then the top 30 make it to the Tour Championship. The best five at that event have the best shot of winning the overall title.
So yes, DoJo won the Northern Trust twice (prior to 2017 it was known as The Barclays), but a repeat is unlikely since not even Vijay Singh repeated.
All They do is Win, Win, Win
Only 83 points sit between Johnson and World No. 2 Justin Thomas. Both won three events this season.
Brooks Koepka recently doubled his win total when two weeks ago, while everyone’s Tiger Tracker was on full blast for Tiger Woods’ second-place finish, Koepka was named the PGA Champion when he shot -16 under at Bellerive. The title was his second of the year—he also won the U.S. Open—and his fifth top 10 finish. He is ranked No. 3 in the FedEx Cup standings.
It’s not a big deal if a Top 10 golfer doesn’t win it all at The Northern Trust since they already have enough points to make it onto the next round of the playoffs.
Then last week at Sedgefield, Brandt Snedeker shot -21 under to win the Wyndham Championship. It was his lone title of the season, but his fourth Top 10 finish. But really, it was a huge boost in the rankings, since Snedeker went from 80th to 30th. However, his appearance in the playoffs isn’t a surprise to anyone. He’s qualified for all 12 playoffs in his career, but sat out last year due to a sternum injury.
Oh yeah, and Tiger made the postseason for the first time in five years.
Started From the Bottom Now We’re Here
Ok, we know that can’t just be a side note. Sitting at No. 20, Woods isn’t entering The FedEx Cup race where he last entered it. He was ranked No. 1 when he last made the playoffs in 2013. He finished the season ranked No. 2 to Henrik Stenson, but here’s a bit of hope for fans of the Big Cat that we learned from the Golf Channel.
If Woods continues to advance through all four events this season, that will give him 18 total PGA Tour starts this season. That’s only the second time he’s made 18 or more starts in a season since turning 30. (Hint: He’s 42.)
Can DJ do a Double?
DJ may have the odds, but we wouldn’t go for him as a sure bet. While there’s money and a bigger gap in points between him and JT to gain, a whole lot more golfers have a lot to lose, like Jordan Spieth.
DJ and Spieth went into overtime last year at this same course and Spieth could use a victory in 2018.
But we don’t think it’ll be any of them. We’re leaning toward Koepka. He’s already had two big wins this year. Why not start the playoffs by edging closer to Johnson and Thomas in the points race?