Fantasy Golf Picks, Odds, and Predictions for The Northern Trust
The Northern Trust 2017 Fantasy Preview
Now that’s how you lead into the FedExCup playoffs. Henrik Stenson grabbed the sixth PGA TOUR title of his career at the Wyndham Championship on Sunday – but needed to post a course record to see off the hopes of young Ollie Schneiderjans.
The Swede compiled three straight birdies on 15-17 to confirm his one-shot victory, but boy was it close when fast-finishing Schneiderjans drew level heading into the final throes. The 24-year-old birdied three of his final four holes, but it would prove to be not quite enough as Stenson held his nerve to post a four at the last and finish on -22; one stroke less than the previous course record holder, and defending champion, Si-Woo Kim.
There were celebrations all round as four players gained enough points to move into the FedExCup playoffs. Rory Sabbatini, the in-form South African, finished T4 to book his spot at this week’s Northern Trust Open alongside Martin Flores, JJ Henry, and Harold Varner III. Geoff Ogilvy, who was in the 125th and final FedExCup spot, did just enough to book his spot in New York this week.
So we’re off to the Big Apple this week for the first of the FedExCup Playoff events, and regular followers of the Northern Trust should note that the host venue this year, and for the first time in rotation, is Glen Oaks, of the Old Westbury suburb. It’s a course that is yet to host a professional golf tournament, so it could be tin hat and shield time for DFS gamers!
Last Week’s Fantasy Results from the Wyndham Championship
It proves the point that Fantasy Golf is difficult when a guy like Henrik Stenson who has put together a shaky 2017 campaign goes out and beats a field of hot players. Hats off to the Swede who rolls into the playoffs with a win, but it was the winning combo of Henrik-Webb-Ollie which proved to be the recipe for fantasy earnings last week.
Despite their poor finishes, Kisner finished the week with 75 FP and our alternate sleeper pick Sabbatini banked a healthy 112.50. In total, our main picks segment made 5 cuts of 7 players picked, with a total of 466 fantasy points.
It was extremely difficult to win last week without Stenson’s impressive 146 fantasy points! We’re kicking ourselves for opting to steer clear of Stenson, but we hope to rebound strongly this week.
The Northern Trust 2017 Field
So the top 125 in the Fed ExCup standings are confirmed, and this week’s field is locked in place.
The nature of how the rankings system works means we’ve got the most consistent players on Tour taking their place in NYC; for what it’s worth, the FedExCup standings, as of right now, serve up a top-10 that reads:
Hideki Matsuyama (1), Justin Thomas (2), Jordan Spieth (3), Dustin Johnson (4), Rickie Fowler (5), Jon Rahm (6), Brooks Koepka (7), Daniel Berger (8), Kevin Kisner (9), Brian Harman (10).
Don’t forget, the harsh nature of the playoffs means that only 100 players will tee up at Deutsche Bank Championship next week, which puts the likes of Emiliano Grillo, Branden Grace, Jimmy Walker, Luke Donald, and Bubba Watson in the spotlight.
But there are plenty of points to play for this week….who will trouser enough to progress to the next stage of the playoffs?
This Week’s Course Preview
Glen Oaks will be a new course for the vast majority in this field, and information regarding its layout is scarce.
The PGA TOUR website is running a piece at the moment which features some nice quotes – most notably from Scott Brown, who played the stretch 12 months ago, as well as the thoughts of course superintendent Craig Currier.
To offer a sort of potted view of Glen Oaks, this is a fairly typical Par 70 at 7,300 yards, and it has been renovated with the help of Joel Weiman to produce a classic test of ball-striking. Trees have been removed – partly by design, partly by hurricanes Irene and Hermine, and fairways widened a tad.
The greens are described as pretty fast and are Bentgrass in nature, and you don’t have to look too far for the first correlating course. Both Currier and Weiman worked together on a revamp of Bethpage Black, not a million miles from Glen Oaks and a stretch that hosted the 2009 US Open and two editions of the Barclays Championship.
When researching the track another name crops up on a number of occasions: Augusta National. Mark Brown, who won the 101st Met Open which was hosted by Glen Oaks, has described it as the ‘Augusta of the north,’ and namesake Scott Brown agreed: “It’s a fabulous golf course, similar to Augusta National in that you have to play shots to certain quadrants of the greens.”
In conversation with the New York Post Currier continued with the theme. “the bunker styling is similar to Augusta,” he said. “They’re really deep, flashed sand. We have a lot of great vistas where you can see across three, four, five holes and the bunkers are popping out at you.”
In a week where we are grasping wildly for course-based information, we’ll take this gladly.
Weather Forecast for Old Westbury, New York
At last a week of golf unadulterated by winds and thunderstorms. The forecast is for sunshine and cloudy weather all week, with temperatures ranging from 77 degrees (Sunday) to 82 degrees (Thursday).
Wind speeds will max out at about 10 mph, and so really the only weather-related item of note is the humidity. It’s set to be a sultry week in NYC, and that humidity should enable the golf ball to travel further than normal.
That set-up could help Glen Oaks to provide a stern test this week – the PGA TOUR website states that ‘…if similar conditions [fast and dry] exist August 24-27 for The Northern Trust, Scott Brown suggested his brethren will be tested.’
Greens will surely be as fast as they can be, while the shaved run-off areas around the dancefloors could really make any errant balls fly far from the putting surface.
Last Year’s Results from The Northern Trust
There’s a slight disconnect to note here. In the 2016 season, the Northern Trust Open was played in February at Riviera CC in the Pacific Palisades. Consequently, it was not part of the FedExCup, and so it is of very little relevance this week. Fact fans can note that Bubba Watson lifted the trophy, beating Adam Scott and Jason Kokrak by a single stroke.
The relevant tournament in last year’s campaign was the Barclays Championship, which was the first event of the FedExCup in 2016 and played on the Black course at Bethpage State Park (the same one mentioned earlier in this preview).
There, Patrick Reed bagged the full 2,000 FedExCup points and the trophy, seeing off the challenge of Emiliano Grillo and Sean O’Hair by a solitary stroke. Scott, Jason Day, and Gary Woodland rounded out the top five but they could not catch Reed, whose rounds of 66-68-71-70 suggest he was clinging on by the close of play on Sunday.
Where to Play Fantasy Golf for The Northern Trust this Week
The last of the big field events on the PGA TOUR has witnessed both of the main DFS operators bring out the heavy artillery this week, and while the FanDuel slate is appetizing enough we’re going in with a pair of DraftKings’ finest:
- PGA $550k Dogleg: There’s no mucking about here with this mid-range contest; $33 entry, $100k top prize, the top 12.5% at least doubling their entrance fee at the very minimum.
- PGA $250k Mini 8’s Championship: A new type of contest from DK here, and this Mini 8 (so-called because of the $8 entry) delivers cash prizes to the top 25% of finishers. The jackpot is an agreeable $25,000.
This Week’s Fantasy Notes for The Northern Trust
With so little course information to work with – albeit form at Bethpage Black and Augusta duly noted – we must seek out new ways to formulate our picks this week.
We can use current form as a guide. The Wyndham Championship was a birdie-fest played out by a mostly weak field, so that’s of minimal relevance, but the PGA Championship (quality field) and WGC Bridgestone Invitational (tough course) are certainly worth a look.
Is motivation a factor? The FedExCup points get reset after the BMW Championship in three weeks’ time, so those already near the top of the standings have little to play for here.
That didn’t stop Patrick Reed, who was seventh at the point he won the Barclays 12 months ago, although O’Hair (108th), Kokrak (65th), Woodland (42nd), and Grillo (32nd) clearly made great strikes with their top-10s at Bethpage.
We may be clutching at straws here, but three players finished inside the top-10 at both the Northern Trust Open and the Barclays in 2016 – despite the two events taking place six months apart. Decide for yourself whether there’s a valid connection between the two courses (Riviera and Bethpage) that drove Adam Scott, Jason Kokrak, and Ryan Moore to perform admirably in both.
Our Top 5 (and Top 2 Sleeper) Fantasy Picks and Odds to Win The Northern Trust
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Fantasy Golf Predictions This Season (2016-2017)
Total Top 3s
Total Top 10s
Total Top 25s
Total Winners Picked
Total Runners-Up Picked
Total Made Cuts (Includes Sleepers)
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