By News Team
17th August 2021
The FedEx Cup Playoffs begin this week on the PGA Tour with the Northern Trust, hosted at the picturesque Liberty National, kicking off proceedings.
The best 125 players on tour this season have made it through and with the playoffs now only being three events as opposed to four, just 70 men continue their journey for glory.
Here’s our preview ahead of Thursday’s opening round.
Berger looks too good to ignore
Looking back through the recent winners of this event and there is a clear trend that emerges. In seven of the last eight years, the winner has been ranked inside the world’s top 25, even though the tournament’s venue has moved around. That began with Adam Scott, world ranked number four at the time, in 2013, while Dustin Johnson, coincidentally also ranked fourth in the world, won this by a staggering 11 shots at TPC Boston last year.
So, it’s pretty obvious you need a classy player to win this, while the recent stats also suggest you need someone with some strong Tee To Green numbers. That’s because all of those eight winners ranked inside the top five for Strokes Gained: Tee To Green. Clearly plenty will fit the bill, but the one who stands out is Daniel Berger and he looks a tasty price at 28/1.
Berger comes into this in great nick with recent form figures of T5, T8, T34 and T7, and given all those took place on very different golf courses, he looks a pretty good bet wherever he plays currently. He comes into this after another strong showing at the St Jude Invitational, where he ranked first for Strokes Gained: Approach and third for Strokes Gained: Tee To Green and had it not been for a cold putter, he probably would have won.
He is yet to play a stroke play event at Liberty National but won two of his three matches when the Presidents Cup was played there in 2017, including clinching the winning point. He’s an even better player than that now and the in-form man looks poised for another bold showing.
Cantlay could make it a hat-trick in 2020/21
Given Patrick Cantlay has missed five cuts this season, one less than he managed in the previous three, you’d think he was having a bad season. However, the American has won twice already and sits third in the FedEx Cup standings, so things haven’t been too bad. He struggled during April and May but has bounced back recently winning the Memorial Tournament in June, while he’s posted top 25s in three of his past four tournaments.
This is also an event that Cantlay has a history of playing well in with three top 12s in four starts, one of which came at Liberty National in 2019. He fits the bill in terms of world ranking (ninth) and Tee To Green numbers (third) also, so at 33/1 is definitely worthy of consideration.