Top-ranked golfers vie for the FedExCup Playoffs; Johnson defends title


| Photo by Soheb Zaidi on Unsplash

JERSEY CITY, NJ – The 15th edition of the week-long FedExCup Playoffs commenced today, August 18, with THE NORTHERN TRUST at the Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, NJ, with the top-125 ranked players in the FedExCup standings qualifying for the event.

The event headlines defending champion and three-time tournament winner Dustin Johnson. He enters the playoffs at No. 17 in FEC standings. In addition, 28 of the top 30 players in the Official World Golf Ranking led by Jon Rahm and nine of the top 10 players in the FedExCup Standings led by Collin Morikawa are set to compete. Morikawa enters the week at No. 11 in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings and sits atop FEC standings.

Dustin Johnson | Photo by FoxSports via Wikimedia/CC

This week, Johnson, a 24-time PGA TOUR winner, will make his 13th start at THE NORTHERN TRUST. He won in unprecedented fashion in 2020 at TPC Boston with an 11-stroke margin of victory, finishing 30-under par and setting the tournament record for the best 72-hole score. Following the victory, Johnson went on to win the final Playoffs event at the TOUR Championship to become the 2020 FedExCup champion. This season, Johnson won the Masters in November 2020 by five strokes with a record 20-under par. It was his second major championship victory and first at the Masters. The 37-year-old has five additional top 10 finishes this season.

Other past champions in the field include Patrick Reed (2016, 2019) and Bryson DeChambeau (2018). When the tournament was last played at Liberty National Golf Club in 2019, Reed captured his second title at THE NORTHERN TRUST and seventh PGA TOUR win.

All six major championship winners from the 2020-21 Super Season will tee it up at Liberty National this week, including DeChambeau (2020 U.S. Open), Johnson (2020 Masters), Hideki Matsuyama (2021 Masters), Phil Mickelson (2021 PGA Championship), Rahm (2021 U.S. Open) and Morikawa (2021 Open Championship). In addition, 2021 PLAYERS Championship winner Justin Thomas and Olympic medal winners Xander Schauffele, who captured Gold, and C.T. Pan, who brought home Bronze, round out the field.

Chesson Hadley, who enters the FedExCup Playoffs at No. 125 in the FedExCup standings, recorded a career-low nine-hole score with a 29 on his first nine at the Wyndham Championship on Sunday, which included the first hole-in-one of his career, to play his way into THE NORTHERN TRUST.

2018 FedExCup champion Justin Rose will miss the Playoffs for the first time in the FedExCup era (2007-present) after a bogey on the 18th hole of the Wyndham Championship bumped him to No. 126 in the FedExCup standings.

The top 70 after this week will advance to the BMW Championship. This will be followed by the top 30 moving on to the Tour Championship.

THE NORTHERN TRUST, formerly The Barclays, is a golf tournament on the PGA Tour that rotates between New York City and Boston. Since 2007, it has been played as the first tournament of the playoff system for the FedEx Cup. The field is limited to the top 125 players on the FedEx points list for the regular season.

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