The stakes are high entering The Northern Trust 2021, the first of three stops in the FedEx Cup Playoffs, as the winner here will start The Tour Championship in two weeks with a major shot advantage and set themselves up well for the $15 million first prize that goes with being FedEx Cup champion.
This year’s Northern Trust is being held at Liberty Golf Club in Jersey City, New Jersey, and 124 of the 125 golfers who qualified for the playoffs are entered—the lone holdout is Louis Oosthuizen, who is nursing a neck injury and also skipped last week’s Wyndham Championship. Of the 124, the cut will shave the field down to the top 65 plus ties after Friday’s second round. Following the event, the top 70 in FedEx Cup points will advance to next weekend’s BMW Championship.
Last year’s Northern Trust winner was Dustin Johnson (who also won the 2020 FedEx Cup), and he’s +1500 to win here, but that event was held in Boston, and DJ’s track record at Liberty isn’t as good—his best finish is tied for 15th. In his last 10 starts, he’s finished in the top 10 three times and also missed the cut on three occasions.
Jon Rahm is the odds-on favorite at +1000, but he hasn’t played since The Open Championship, as the U.S. Open winner missed the Olympics due to a positive COVID-19 test and then skipped the Wyndham and the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, so shaking off some rust could be a factor for Rahm.
Collin Morikawa (+1500), the Open champ in July and fourth-place at the U.S. Open, has continued to play well, reaching a seven-way playoff for bronze in the Olympics but stumbled with a 26th at St. Jude. But top-10s in six of his last nine events is tough to ignore.
Jordan Spieth (+1500) has been quiet in recent years but has had a resurgence in 2021, winning at the Valero Open in April before finishing fourth at the Masters and second at The Open. His consistency put him in second in the FedEx Cup standings going into this event, and it would surprise no one to see him hoist the trophy here.
Further down the odds board, there are some major names at +2000 that provide betting value, as no one would flinch if Brooks Kopeka, Justin Thomas, or Bryson DeChambeau won this event. Further down, Harris English (+4100) is a solid play, as he led St. Jude for 3 ½ days before slumping on the back nine in Memphis. He has two wins on the season and finished in the top four in three of his last four events, including a win in a playoff at the Travelers Championship.
|GOLFER||ODDS TO WIN THE NORTHERN TRUST|
|Scottie Scheffler / Daniel Berger / Patrick Cantlay||+2200|
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