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2021 Northern Trust Odds, Picks, Preview: Which Stats Matter Most at Liberty National Golf Club?

2021 Northern Trust Odds, Picks, Preview: Which Stats Matter Most at Liberty National Golf Club? article feature image

Tracy Wilcox / Getty Images. Pictured: Brooks Koepka

  • Liberty National plays host to the 2021 Northern Trust, which kicks off the FedExCup Playoffs.
  • The course has spectacular views of New York City and offers a great opportunity to the world’s best golfers to position themselves for a championship.
  • Matthew Vincenzi breaks down the course and which players fit Liberty National best.

The first leg of the FedExCup Playoffs brings us to Jersey City, New Jersey, to play the Northern Trust at Liberty National Golf Club.

Just three miles across the Hudson River, the course displays some spectacular views of New York City and should provide an exceptional viewing experience. The club cost over $250 million to build, making it one of the most expensive golf courses in history.

Liberty National Golf Club is a par-71 measuring 7,404 yards and features fast bentgrass greens.

The Northern Trust will play host to the top 125 golfers in the FedEx cup standings with the top 70 golfers and ties making it to the weekend.

Some notable golfers who missed the top 125 this year are Rickie Fowler, Tommy Fleetwood, Justin Rose, and Francesco Molinari. Additionally, Louis Oosthuizen chose not to enter the field this week.

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Past Winners at Liberty National

  • 2019: Patrick Reed (-16)
  • 2013: Adam Scott (-11)
  • 2009: Heath Slocum (-9)

6 Key Stats For Liberty National Golf Club

Let's take a look at six key metrics for Liberty National Golf Club to determine which golfers boast top marks in each category over their last 24 rounds.

1. Strokes Gained: Tee to Green

In 2019, the top five golfers on the leaderboard gained over 10.4 strokes tee to green each. Liberty National isn't an easy course and tee to green efficiency should be one of the key factors this week.

It will take a complete all around performance including off the tee, approach, and around the green to be successful.

SG: Tee to Green Past 24 Rounds

  1. Collin Morikawa (+57.0) (+1600)
  2. Keegan Bradley (+43.1) (+13000)
  3. Patrick Cantlay (+41.3) (+3000)
  4. Hideki Matsuyama (+40.5) (+4000)
  5. Paul Casey (+40.2)(+2800)

2. Strokes Gained: Approach

Strokes Gained: Tee to Green incorporates approach but an added emphasis must be placed on this statistic at Liberty National due to the course's smaller than average green size.

Historically, approach has been the most predictive stat at the course.

Strokes Gained: Approach Over Past 24 Rounds: 

  1. Collin Morikawa (+38.5) (+1600)
  2. Daniel Berger (+29.1) (+2800)
  3. Hideki Matuyama (+28.5) (+4000)
  4. Paul Casey (+28.3) (+2800)
  5. Rory McIlroy (+24.7) (+2200)

3. Proximity: 200+ Yards

31.3% of approach shots at Liberty National come from over 200 yards, which is much higher than TOUR average, which is 22.9%.

Proximity: 200+ Yards Past 24 rounds:

  1. Viktor Hovland (+29.1) (+3000)
  2. Tyrrell Hatton (+28.8) (+5500)
  3. Jason Kokrak (+27.2) (+6500)
  4. Marc Leishman (+25.4) (+15000)
  5. Sam Ryder (+25.2) (+30000)

4. Strokes Gained: Putting (Bentgrass)

Bentgrass specialists have performed very well at Liberty National. In 2019, Patrick Reed won the event, and bentgrass is his best surface by a significant margin. The same can be said for much of the 2019 leaderboard including Jordan Spieth, who gained 8.3 strokes putting that week.

SG: Putting Bentgrass Over Past 24 Rounds

  1. Jason Kokrak (+26.4) (+6500)
  2. Cameron Tringale (+26.1) (+9000)
  3. Ian Poulter (+22.0) (+5500)
  4. Adam Scott (+19.2) (+4000)
  5. Zach Johnson (+19.0) (+25000)

5. Strokes Gained: Around The Green

With the greens at Liberty National being relatively small, golfers are going to get into some trouble with missed greens. There are bunkers and fescue areas waiting to grab errant shots, so around the green play will be a major factor.

Strokes Gained: Around The Green over Past 24 Rounds:

  1. Kevin Na (+17.9) (+9000)
  2. Si Woo Kim (+17.2) (+9000)
  3. Branden Grace (+14.2) (+9000)
  4. Tyrrell Hatton (+12.8) (+5500)
  5. Ian Poulter (+12.8) (+5500)

6. Par 4: 450-500

There are five holes on the course that are par 4's with distances between 450-500. Playing these difficult holes well will be a key factor at Liberty National.

Par 4: 450-500 Over Past 24 Rounds:

  1. Rory McIlroy (+26.9) (+2200)
  2. Collin Morikawa (+22.4) (+6600)
  3. Branden Grace (+16.3) (+9000)
  4. Brendon Todd (+13.7) (+15000)
  5. Abraham Ancer (+13.6) (+2800)

Northern Trust Model Rankings

Below, I've compiled overall model rankings using a combination of the five key statistical categories previously discussed — SG: Tee to Green (25%), SG: Approach (20%%), SG: Putting: bentgrass (13%), Proximity: 200+ (13%), Strokes Gained: Around the Green (15%), and Par 4: 450-500 (13%).

  1. Harris English (+4000)
  2. Seamus Power (+13000)
  3. Paul Casey (+2800)
  4. Tyrrell Hatton (+5500)
  5. Patrick Cantlay (+3000)
  6. Rory McIlroy(+2200)
  7. Collin Morikawa (+1600)
  8. Jon Rahm (+800)
  9. Chez Reavie (+25000)
  10. Sam Burns (+6000)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images. Pictured: Rory McIlroy

Northern Trust Best Bets

Rory McIlroy(+2200, DraftKings): While it is completely warranted to question his performances in major championships, the same cannot be said for the FedExCup Playoffs. With five playoff victories under his belt, this is the time of year where McIlroy steps up.

Additionally, Rory's game in rounding into form at the proper time as he is averaging +7.5 strokes from tee to green in his past five measured starts. When things are going right for the Northern Irishman, his driver is the best in the game. He gained 5.9 strokes off the tee at St. Jude which was the most he has gained since October of 2020.

Flashes of brilliance with the driver combined with his FedExCup success makes betting Rory McIlroy in the 20+ range on the odds board is an incredible value play.

[Bet Rory McIlroy at DraftKings and get a $1,000 sign-up bonus.]

Brooks Koepka (+2200, bet365): Brooks Koepka let a lot of people down at WGC St. Jude, and this week's odds are indicative of that. He was the betting favorite on some odds boards that week, but this week he has slipped all the way to 7th.

This is an overreaction. Despite the poor performance at TPC Southwind, Brooks is playing some good golf overall. Outliers happen in golf, and coming into the WGC, Brooks had finished in the top 6 in four of his past five starts.

Koepka has played some of the best golf of his career in the Northeast. With wins at Bethpage Black and Shinnecock Hills, the 31-year-old has shown he has a knack for playing his best golf in the New York area.

Bet Brooks Koepka at bet365. NJ only.

Bryson DeChambeau (+2500, DraftKings): Continuing my theme of betting super elite's who are under priced in the betting market, I will be rounding out my betting card with Bryson DeChambeau.

Sometimes in golf the narrative is so strong that it starts to blur what is actually happening on the golf course, and I believe that is what's happening regarding Bryson. With two horrific Sunday performances at The U.S. Open and WGC St. Jude, the prisoner of the moment reaction is that he can't close out a golf tournament.

In reality, the truth is just the opposite. DeChambeau is one of the best closers in the sport. With eight wins since July of 2017, the enigmatic superstar is one of the most prolific winners currently on TOUR.

Similar to Koepka, Bryson also has a fantastic track record in the Northeast. He has wins at Ridgewood CC (Paramus, New Jersey), TPC Boston (Norton, MA), and Winged Foot Golf Club (Mamaroneck, New York).

If Bryson can tune out the outside noise this week, Liberty National should be a great fit for him to earn his 9th victory on TOUR.

[Bet Bryson DeChambeau at DraftKings and get a $1,000 sign-up bonus.]

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