Tiger Woods Commits to FedEx Cup Playoffs with the Northern Trust

Other top golfers slated to descend on Jersey City include Rory McIlroy, Matt Kuchar and Shane Lowry.

Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City Courtesy of PGA Tour

Tiger Woods will be teeing off with a mission as the PGA Tour FedEx Cup Playoffs begin on August 8 with the Northern Trust at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City. The 43-year-old has 81 career PGA tour victories, one shy of Sam Snead’s all-time record of 82.

Woods and the rest of golf’s glitterati will be gunning for Brooks Koepka, who sits atop the FedEx Cup standings as a field of 125—including Rory McIlroy and Matt Kuchar, who sit in second and third place, and British Open champ Shane Lowry—begins the first of three PGA playoff events.

This year, the PGA Tour contracted its playoff format from four tournaments to three, raised the purse for the FedEx Cup champion from $10 million to $15 million and doubled the bonus pool to $70 million, placing even more importance on the Northern Trust. Only 70 golfers will move on to the second playoff, the BMW Championship. From there, 30 golfers will advance to the Tour Championship.

“This tournament will rival a Major,” says PGA tour senior vice president Julie Tyson, executive director of the Northern Trust. “The only way to get in is to play your way in, so we’ll have the top players playing at the peak of their season. Because it’s the first playoff, no one can sit it out. And the money has created a lot more pressure. We wanted this to be almost vomit-inducing when they tee it up.”

Fans can also expect to see defending champ Bryson DeChambeau, who won this tournament at Ridgewood Country Club last summer, along with Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose, Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler, Adam Scott, Tommy Fleetwood and Tony Finau.

And they’ll watch these stars play on a course unlike any other. Situated along the Hudson River, the course is just 2,000 yards from the Statue of Liberty and offers views of the Manhattan Skyline and the Verrazano Narrows Bridge.

Courtesy of PGA Tour

Liberty National’s compact parameters and brick-paved cart paths make for an easily walkable course and a tournament experience that is ideal for families. Children under 18 receive free entry all week when accompanied by a ticketed adult—grounds tickets are $40 for practice rounds on Tuesday and Wednesday. Spectators can bring in their own food in clear plastic bags. Not that you’d want to, though; concessions will feature Jersey City institutions Pizza Vita and Torico Ice Cream, along with New York City favorites like Shake Shack, Sticky’s Finger Joint and Luke’s Lobster. Visitors can also shop in stores like Nordstrom and Bonobos or try out a Top Golf simulator on-site.

A highlight of the 7,370-yard course, designed by 1992 US Open champion Tom Kite and prominent course architect Bob Cupp, is the 150-yard, par-3 No. 14, which has prime views of Lady Liberty. At the Northern Trust, the Ultra Club—tickets starting at $395—will line the hole, offering air-conditioning, open seating, private restrooms and premium food and beverage options. “As you think about the competition, 14 will be a deciding hole on the golf course and it’s also beautiful,” Tyson says. “All along the right side is the Hudson, and on the left is all sand. You have to hit a postage stamp of a green. We are creating an amphitheater, so it will feel really electric.”

Other interesting holes include No. 6, a 538-yard par 5 that produced 22 eagles during the 2013 Barclays (which had the same course layout as the 2019 Northern Trust) and No. 9, which was the toughest hole of that tournament. Spectators who want to get off their feet can visit the 325-yard, par 4 No. 16, which features a shaded grandstand above the drivable green. A second shaded grandstand overlooks No. 17’s green and No. 18’s tee box. Fans may also watch golfers warm up on the driving range, then keep track of their favorite players’ scores and positions on the course with the PGA Tour App.

Parking garages are available at Newport Centre in Jersey City. For the duration of the tournament, free shuttles will be provided from the garages. Also, Uber will be allowed to drop off on-site.

Grounds tickets are $65 for Thursday or Friday, $75 for Saturday or Sunday. A weekly grounds pass is $225; higher-level hospitality experiences begin at $160. Active military and military veterans are admitted free, and veterans can receive two free tickets. Tickets are available at pgatour.com or by calling 844-868-7465.

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