(CBSNewYork)- The PGA Tour’s playoffs person begun with the Top 125 golfers successful the FedEx Cup rankings descending upon Liberty National Golf Club successful Jersey City, NJ for The Northern Trust. The course, with scenic views of the New York City skyline presents a visually stunning backdrop for the archetypal circular of the pursuit for the FedExCup.
“The happening that jumps retired the astir is the determination and views due to the fact that wherever it’s situated close adjacent the Statue of Liberty with views of Manhattan, it’s conscionable fascinating,” CBS Sports play expert Trevor Immelman said. “It’s an unthinkable acquisition to really beryllium connected the spot and from a clump of antithetic holes look crossed and spot that. It’s humbling truly to spot that benignant of power, spot and size close determination arsenic you’re playing connected a play course.”
The tract is stacked with the biggest names successful the sport, each looking to pursuit down existent standings person Collin Morikawa and past year’s champion Dustin Johnson successful pursuit of a $15 cardinal prize. The 37-year-old Johnson enters the play 17th successful the standings but is the defending champ astatine The Northern Trust winning astatine TPC Boston successful 2020 with a people of 30 nether par.
The victor of the past Northern Trust to beryllium played astatine Liberty National is besides successful the tract arsenic 22nd-ranked Patrick Reed looks to repetition his 2019 show that saw him decorativeness 16 nether par. Along with Johnson and Reed, erstwhile FedExCup champions Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Billy Horschel and Brandt Snedeker volition each tee disconnected this weekend.
The tract volition instrumentality connected a Liberty National Course designed by Tom Kite and Bob Cupp that spans 7,410 yards with 15 holes that diagnostic those views of the Statue of Liberty that Immelman referred to. A par-71 people features bent writer fairways and greens that, successful the words of its designers, is meant to trial a blend of golfer’s skills.
“You request to thrust it reasonably consecutive astatine Liberty National, and the greens are specified that if you don’t thrust it consecutive it is pugnacious to get to the pin,” Kite said. “What I effort to bash is not person immoderate 1 portion of the crippled dominate. I don’t privation it to beryllium conscionable a putting people oregon conscionable a bombers course. I privation you to beryllium rewarded for length, accuracy, robust shots, chipping and bunker shots. And, of course, putting volition ever beryllium there.”
There is accidental to spell debased astatine the people Immelman notes and it’s not 1 that plays to immoderate peculiar golfer’s benignant which leaves the doorway wide unfastened arsenic to who whitethorn beryllium successful contention travel the weekend.
“Just taking a look astatine radical who person won present successful the past, you’ve had winners of antithetic styles,” Immelman said. “I deliberation it leans much towards being wide unfastened peculiarly erstwhile you person this precocious people of a field. All of these guys are truthful good, they’re the champion successful the satellite astatine their craft. If they negociate to drawback a small occurrence present during the week and they clip things correctly, the benignant of the play people is not going to halt them.”
The spot of the tract is eye-catching with 44 of the Top 50 golfers successful the satellite rankings teeing it up. Entering the weekend, Morikawa is of people among the apical names to ticker arsenic his existent 2021 FedExCup ranking of No. 1 marks the highest of his career, his erstwhile champion coming successful 2020 erstwhile helium finished sixth successful the last standings. His lone erstwhile travel to Liberty National resulted successful a 52nd spot decorativeness successful 2019. But, Immelman points retired that this play we’ve seen Morikawa truly fastener successful nether unit of the brightest lights.
“Winning The Open and present astatine specified a young property winning 2 majors, this feline has proven that erstwhile the stakes are the highest, he’s 1 of the guys you person to ticker retired for,” Immelman said. “Under the astir pressure, successful the biggest moments, helium starts to truly marque those putts which is thing we truly don’t often spot from him. He’s going to beryllium a fistful for much than a decennary for these guys due to the fact that he’s shown helium has the endowment and guts for it.”
Right down him successful the standings is Jordan Spieth who Immelman besides likes heading into the play due to the fact that helium has gotten his swagger backmost successful his game.
“Confidence is increasing week aft week. We saw him play good astatine The Open, helium had a coagulated decorativeness astatine the WGC successful Memphis. I’ve been liking him, he’s been connected apical of my database present for astir of the season,” Immelman said.
While Morikawa and Spieth are names astir would expect to beryllium successful the hunt fixed their spot successful the standings, Immelman besides points to Adam Scott who has won astatine Liberty National previously. Currently 82nd successful the standings, Scott volition person immoderate enactment to bash successful bid to marque it to adjacent week’s BMW Championship erstwhile the tract is chopped to 70. And that should supply him with immoderate other quality to play free.
“He has that motivation. He has the signifier having played good past week astatine the Wyndham Championship,” Immelman said. “And helium has the bully vibes and the memories arsenic good of winning astatine this venue, this tourney successful 2013. I consciousness similar there’s a batch going connected determination with the motivation, the signifier and the bully vibes connected this play course. Quite honestly, helium has thing to lose, if he’s not going to beryllium successful the Top 70 Sunday night, his play is done. I deliberation that volition escaped him up a small spot to beryllium capable to conscionable fto it fly.”
Getting disconnected to a triumph is important for respective reasons, not the slightest of which is that the winners of the archetypal 2 events of the playoffs successful each of the past 2 years person started nary worse than 4th astatine the Tour Championship. Since the starting presumption astatine the Tour Championship gives players staggered scores based connected the archetypal 2 events, a triumph tin spell a agelong mode towards adding a important sum to the slope relationship erstwhile each is said and done astatine East Lake successful 2 weeks.
“Now it’s down to crunch clip here. The regular play is over, the playoffs are present and truthful clip is moving retired for them to beryllium capable to get into that presumption to marque a bully coagulated tally astatine the Tour Championship and triumph that cookware of gold,” Immelman said. “You’re going to commencement seeing the strength ramp up from the players. They cognize however important the adjacent 3 weeks are for them. It’s going to beryllium a batch of amusive due to the fact that we person truthful galore of the apical players connected form.”