Playoffs?! Did you say playoffs?!
Yes, we said, “playoffs.”
The PGA Tour’s Playoffs for the FedEx Cup begin this week in Paramus, N.J., with the Northern Trust at Ridgewood Country Club. World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is the tournament’s defending champ, but the venue is different from the one where he topped Jordan Spieth in a playoff a year ago.
The Northern Trust is the first leg of the four-tournament series to decide the season-long champion. Because of that, it also has the biggest field with 125 players exempt to play (though the field will be slightly smaller, with the likes of Rory McIlroy having already withdrawn).
The top-100 players in the FedEx standings at the conclusion of the Northern Trust will advance to TPC Boston for the Dell Technologies Championship. From there, the top-70 in the FedEx Cup standings will move on to Philadelphia for the BMW Championship, followed by the top-30 advancing to Atlanta for the playoff’s finale – the Tour Championship at East Lake.
So, which players should you be keeping a close eye on at Ridgewood this week?
We asked three caddies who are on the ground at Ridgewood.
To protect their identity, the caddies have submitted their three respective picks anonymously… and, by the way, our caddies have picked a winner in each of the last five weeks.
Let’s take a look at who they picked this week and why:
- Justin Thomas, “He’s the defending FedEx Cup champion and he’s continued to play great golf, especially recently with a win at Firestone and a T6 at the PGA Championship. Plus, he got me some golf shoes.”
- Tiger Woods, “You saw what happened at the PGA Championship on Sunday with that 64. He’s still Tiger Woods. The only thing left to do in this comeback is get a win.”
- Troy Merritt, “Troy has had a nice season with three top 10s, highlighted by a win at the Barbasol Championship. Sure, he missed the cut in his last start – the PGA Championship – but he played there just days after an emergency surgery! He’s got grit.”
- Brooks Koepka, “Mmmmm. How can you pick against this guy right now? Two majors this season. Three majors in the last six that he’s played. The hottest player on the planet.”
- Dustin Johnson, “Length. It’s such an incredible asset for D.J. Plus, he probably wants to remind everyone that he’s still the No. 1 player in the world.”
- Kevin Na, “He’s playing some of his most solid golf of the year right now and he’s still high on confidence after that five-shot win at Greenbrier.”
- Brandt Snedeker, “When he’s hot, he’s hot. And, right now, he’s hot! He had the 59 a week ago on his way to winning Wyndham. When his putter is on, there aren’t many better.”
- Matt Kuchar, “Ridgewood is a great course for medium-length hitters and he won there in 2010. He’s returning to a place where he’ll be feeling some good vibes.”
- Zach Johnson, “He’s trending up with top-20 finishes in each of his last six starts dating back to the U.S. Open. Also, it’s a great course for him.”