PGA Tour Picks: The Northern Trust Odds and Expert Betting Predictions
You may not have been paying too much attention to the Wyndham Championship last week at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, N.C., with a weak field, but relative unknown J.T. Poston accomplished something that modern greats like Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson, to name a few, have never done.
Poston became the first player since Hall of Famer Lee Trevino in 1974 (in New Orleans) to win a 72-hole stroke play event on the PGA Tour without a single bogey or worse. Amazing. Poston's card looked like this: one 2, 30 3s, 39 4s and two 5s. That's crazy. He needed every stroke, too, shooting an 8-under 62 on Sunday to beat Webb Simpson by a shot for his first PGA Tour victory.
I obviously didn't have Poston on my radar last week but liked Simpson for a Top 10. It was his second straight runner-up and his eighth Top-11 finish at the Wyndham Championship in 10 tries. My winning pick was Cameron Smith at +3300. Guy's worst round was a 69 and he still only finished T22.
The Wyndham Championship wrapped up the PGA Tour's regular season, and its three-event FedEx Cup playoffs begin this week. They have been shortened from four tournaments this year (and going forward). The Top 125 in points qualified for this week's Northern Trust at Liberty National in Jersey City, N.J. Some spectacular views from the course of downtown New York City and the Statue of Liberty.
If you are wondering, the unlucky No. 126 was Richy Werenski, who finished two points back of No. 125 Pat Perez. Andrew Landry played his way into the Top 125 last week, jumping from 132 to 123. Patton Kizzire jumped from 129 to 118. Poston skyrocketed from 83rd to 27th. Robert Streb and Alex Noren fell out of the Top 125. Guys like Jason Dufner, Bill Haas, Martin Kaymer, Zach Johnson, Jimmy Walker, Luke Donald and Ernie Els all finished outside the Top 125.
The Top 70 in points after Sunday advance to next week's BMW Championship outside Chicago, and then the Top 30 to the Tour Championship in Atlanta where every player in the field has a theoretical chance of winning the $15 million FedEx Cup prize. The Tour Championship has a very unique format this year (still stroke play) when it comes to determining the FedEx Cup champion, but we'll get into that when it rolls around.
Don't confuse the Northern Trust with the former Northern Trust Open that's played on the West Coast Swing at Riviera in Los Angeles early in the year. That tournament switched from Northern Trust Open to Genesis Open in 2017. The Northern Trust is the former Barclays event. Different courses in the New York/New Jersey area have hosted this and TPC Boston will next year. Bryson DeChambeau won it last year at Ridgewood in New Jersey, finishing at 18 under and four clear of Tony Finau. Liberty National, a par 71 at around 7,370 yards, last hosted this in 2013.
Golf Odds: The Northern Trust Favorites
World No. 1 and points leader Brooks Koepka is the +800 Bovada favorite to little surprise as the likely repeat winner of PGA Tour Player of the Year honors comes off a victory at the WGC-St. Jude Invitational two weeks ago in Memphis. He didn't play here in 2013 and was T8 last year.
Rory McIlroy is +1100 with John Rahm at +1400 and Dustin Johnson +1600. DJ has won this event twice, two years ago and in 2011 and neither event was held at Liberty National. Only Vijay Singh (four times) has won this tournament more than twice. McIlroy comes off a T4 in Memphis and was T19 here six years ago.
Tiger Woods is back playing this week for the first time since MC at the British Open and is +2500 to win the tournament for the first time. He finished one shot behind the winner the past two times at Liberty National (2009 the other). Bubba Watson is +10000 and we mention Bubba because he's 71st in points so can't afford a missed cut. Neither can Jordan Spieth (+4500), who is 69th.
Golf Odds: The Northern Trust Picks
For a Top 10, go Johnson (+155), Tommy Fleetwood (+230) and Adam Scott (+350), who won here in 2013. You can get him at +225 as top Aussie as well. Like Fleetwood at +650 as top Euro as he's been second and fourth his past two events this year.
Our value play winner is Nick Watney at +15000. Having a pretty lousy season but was T6 in his second most recent tournament and has been Top 10 the past two times this was held at Liberty National.
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