THIS week the Northern Trust at the Glen Oaks Club is the beginning of the 2017 Fed-Ex Cup Play-offs.
This is the first of four legs for the end of season climax and it always starts in New York. There is nothing better than watching the world’s top golfers fighting it out over four weeks.
The course is one of the longest par 70s, 7346 yards, on Tour, with only Firestone County Club (7400 yards) and East Lake Golf Club (7385 yards) longer. Known locally as the ‘Augusta of the North” the course has generous fairways and the greens are expected to run around 12.5.
This is really a stellar field and it could be a tournament to savour.
Jason Day looks a good fit for this week. He loves playing in the New York area where he has finished fourth in last year’s Barclays and T8 in the 2013 PGA Championship.
Day has finished 4-1-2 in three Fed-Ex openers on different courses and I don’t think this being a new track will affect him. The fact this course has wide open fairways will suit the Australian. He was well positioned during the third round at the PGA but a horrendous quadruple bogey eight at the last meant he dropped five shots on the lead.
He recovered from that 77 with a 70 in the final round and finished T9. Well back in the Fed-Ex rankings (49th) but after this week can see him beginning the climb.
Paul Casey hasn’t had a podium finish since last October but I do think he is not far away from winning. Last year in the play-offs he posted three successive top-four placings. The Englishman is one of the most consistent players on tour (nine top 15s from last 13 starts) and should be strong here. In his last 16 rounds he has scored 70 or under 13 times.
His putting, like Day, has not been great this year but his all-round game has been excellent with 3rd in SG:Approach to Green, 6th SG:Tee-to-Green, and 10th SG:Total. Really looks strong just now and will always give you a good run for your money.
Another consistent player on Tour is Charley Hoffman. This year he has had six top fives and sits 11th in the Fed-Ex placings. He didn’t have a great PGA (T48) but before that a third at the WGC-Bridgestone and a second at the Canadian Open showed his true form. His 65 in the first round at Augusta stands out for me along with his eighth in the Open. As I said a consistent player this season and with a lot of bookies pay sixth and seventh places, well worth a bet.
Not going to say a lot about my final selection as I have picked him consistently this summer and said all there is to say. I will say, however, it is hard to believe than Rickie Fowler has only won once this year. He will definitely win again before the end of the season and I shall be backing him until then (so hopefully its this week)
- 1.5pts ew Jason Day (Betfred 20-1)
- 1.5pts ew Paul Casey (Coral, William Hill 33-1)
- 1.5pts ew Charley Hoffman (BetVictor 66-1))
- 1.5pts ew Rickie Fowler (bet365 14-1)
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