The FedEx Cup Playoffs start this week with the Northern Trust at Liberty National, a course that has hosted this tournament on three previous occasions (2009, 2013 and 2019). At those events, successful players have tended to thrive in three main areas: long approaches (from 200+ yards), putting, and par-5 scoring.
On an average week on the PGA Tour, we see 20% of approach shots from 200+ yards. At Liberty National, that number rises to 31%. Also, the fast bentgrass greens yield many makeable putts inside 15 feet, which allows high-performing putters to shine, and the three par 5s are relatively easy, with a birdie rate above 55%. Players will need to capitalize on those opportunities in order to contend.
With all of that in mind, here are four players to consider for both DraftKings and one-and-done leagues:
Bryson DeChambeau $9,600
DeChambeau has won in eight of his past 89 starts, yet he’s undervalued this week, probably because of the public perception that he is struggling. If he had closed the deal at the WGC FedEx St. Jude or the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, he would be $1,000 more expensive. Don’t forget that the big man is first in the field off the tee, first in approaches from 200+ yards, second in par-5 scoring, sixth in birdies, and 11th in putting. He fits the bill for a Liberty National killer.
Paul Casey $8,700
Casey has quietly played some excellent golf this year. He has finished in the top 40 in 18 of his past 19 starts and seventh or better in five of his past seven starts. According to my model, he is the sixth-ranked player overall in the Northern Trust field—top five in approach, approaches from 200+ yards, and par-5 scoring.
Jason Kokrak $7,700
Kokrak finished 12th and ninth in his two appearances at Liberty National in the Northern Trust, and those performances occurred when he wasn’t anywhere near the player he is today. In his past 22 events, he has quietly racked up two wins. Plus, he ranks top 20 in putting, par-5 scoring, approaches from 200+ yards, and birdies
Ian Poulter $7,700
Poulter has finished in the top 10 in two of the three playoff events held at this course, and if he brings any semblance of ball-striking skill this week, he can contend because he leads the field in putting. Poulter comes into the Northern Trust in good form, with eight consecutive top 40s. Every event is important to him right now because you know he wants to lock down that spot on the European Ryder Cup team.