FedEx Cup Playoffs Continues This Weekend
Norton, MA- The FedEx Cup Playoffs move from New Jersey to Massachusetts for the final iteration of the Dell Technologies this week. The current Labor Day tournament dropping off the schedule has some PGA players disappointed. Dustin Johnson noted that “I think this event draws great crowds. I get a lot of followers up here that come out and give me a lot of support. So it’s always a fun event for me.” Last week’s winner at The Northern Trust, Bryson DeChambeau, added his own praise for the course and tournament. “TPC Boston and the Boston area has been fantastic for me. I love it here. And I’m going to be missing this place a little bit. So it’s definitely one of the first tournaments that I played in the FedExCup playoffs. Last year was my first time being in the FedExCup playoffs. To be there and be here again this year, I do have good memories from here. And it will be sad, unfortunately. But it is what it is. And I hope we come back.”PGA Golf will return to Norton in 2020 when the Northern Trust is played there.
For now, there is important golf to be played. The top 100 golfers on the FedEx Cup standings take to the course from Friday until Monday, in an unusual scheduling twist.
DeChambeau jumped eight spots into the lead with a four stroke victory in Paramus last week and looks to carry momentum into Boston. The Southern Methodist alum spoke about how his momentum entering into the new week. ” If you get positive responses and you execute shots and making putts and stuff like that, you’re going to be positive in everything you do, no matter if a bad shot happens. Okay, I’m still playing good. So it does matter.” The 24 year old has played 23 events this year with eight top ten finishes and two victories. He stands in good position to claim his first FedEx Cup, and potentially make one of the final four Ryder Cup spots.
Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas are the two closest players in the standings to DeChambeau, at 648 and 663 points off the lead. Johnson has played this event every year since 2009 and played it well. He finished fourth in 2009 and 2012 and eighth in 2016. Johnson has ten top 10 performances this year and three victories.
Meanwhile, Justin Thomas has played this tournament the last three years with varying results. He barely made the cut in 2015, missed the cut entirely in 2016, and won the 2017 edition of the tournament en route to a FedEx Cup victory. He offered a reflection on last year’s performance. “It’s great, anytime you can come to a place that you’ve not only won, but to defend your title it’s fun. A lot of great memories, you know. I was able to kind of talk to my dad and do some shots that I hit out there that I did last year on Sunday. So like I said, it’s always fun, especially when you come to a place say if you’re maybe not playing well or just kind of can’t quite get things going, you have a lot of positive memories to look back on.” Thomas has played 20 events this year, finished in the top 10 nine times, and won three times. He is a player to follow this weekend.
The other notable jump after Bryson DeChambeau was Tony Finau. The 28 year old Utahan finished second last week in Paramus and gained eight spots in the standings. He sits fourth in the standings, 908 points off the lead. He’s played this tournament three times and not finished higher than 24th, which he did in 2016. This year has been a breakthrough year, with nine top 10 performances, and he still is looking for his first win in 2018 and a spot on the Ryder Cup team.
Numerous competitors on the FedEx Cup Standings did not compete in Paramus and make their entrance to the Playoffs this week. Chief among them is Irish star Rory McIlroy. He has won the tournament twice and is entering 28th in the standings. He’s only played 15 events this year and lost seven spots without gaining points last week. “I took last week off to sort of work on my game and try to feel ready for the next few weeks. And I feel like that went pretty well. And I’m actually pleasantly surprised I didn’t drop more in the FedExCup, I thought from 21 I was going to drop outside the top-30.” Still, he boasts five top 10 performances in only 15 tries, and enjoys playing this course. ” If you play well, you can make a lot of birdies and you can get on runs. I feel like I’ve played well here because of that, the par-5s, the short par-4s, the bentgrass greens, I seem to putt better on those. So I’m excited to get back.”
Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are both back for another round and promise to be among the biggest draws. Keegan Bradley will try and bounce back from a hard final round at the Northern Trust. Friday offers plenty of stories for the avid and average golf fans.
Play begins on Friday and concludes on Labor Day. Chris Kirk, Daniel Berger, and Stewart Cink, take the first tee at 8:15 AM. C.T. Pan, Bronson Burgoon, and Matt Kuchar tee off simultaneously on the 10th hole.