The memory of Dustin Johnson outdueling Jordan Spieth in a one-hole playoff at last year’s Northern Trust is reason enough to be excited about the tournament coming next week to Ridgewood Country Club in Paramus. Add a resurgent Tiger Woods, and you should have a thriller, no matter who tops the leaderboard at the end of the August 21-26 event.
“It’s an amazing field, especially with Tiger being back,” says Emily Tillo, communications specialist for the PGA Tour. In addition to Woods, Spieth and two-time winner Johnson, players who have committed include Justin Thomas, 2010 winner Matt Kuchar and this season’s breakout star Brooks Koepka, fresh off his win at last weekend’s PGA Championship in St. Louis, Missouri.
The Northern Trust is the first of four events in the FedExCup Playoffs. Last year, at Glen Oaks Country Club on Long Island, Spieth entered the final day with a three-stroke lead, but a relentless Johnson caught him after 72 holes and won on the first playoff hole. Johnson currently tops the FedExCup standings, followed closely by Thomas.
Tillo expects Woods to energize the crowds at Ridgewood. It will be Woods’s first appearance at the club since 2010, and his first time in the FedExCup playoffs since 2013.
This will be the tournament’s fourth trip to Ridgewood, and first since 2014. In the interim, course superintendent Todd Raisch has done much to return several aspects of the A.W. Tillinghast-designed, 27-hole private course to its 1929 origins. The work has included reshaping the bunkers and expanding greens and fairways.
Tillo lists several favorite viewing spots for spectators, most notably the signature 12th hole, a drivable 290-yard par 4 with a narrow, sloping green. It was here that Phil Mickelson famously hit a shot from the hospitality tent to the green in 2014. The adjacent First Round Beer Garden makes a choice viewing area.
Other recommended holes for spectating include the 15th, a short par 3 with a nearby Korean-themed concession stand; the par-3 6th hole, where the stands also afford a view of approach shots coming in on 5 and 7; and the closing 18th hole. You can map out your own visit to the tournament using the Fan Journeys tab on the pgatour.com Northern Trust page.
Daily grounds tickets for the Tuesday and Wednesday practice rounds are $45; tournament tickets are $65 for Thursday or Friday, and $75 for Saturday or Sunday. Two-day flex passes and weekly passes also are available. Children 18 and under are admitted free with a paying adult. Active military also are admitted free, and veterans can receive two free tickets. Tickets are available at pgatour.com or by calling 844-868-7465.
The Northern Trust benefits First Tee of Metropolitan New York; Tackle Kids Cancer (supporting pediatric cancer research and programs at the Children’s Cancer Institute at Hackensack University Medical Center); and Birdies for the Brave, a military outreach initiative.
Prior to the tournament, on Sunday, August 19, locally based medical devices manufacturer Stryker is sponsoring a four-mile run/walk on the golf course grounds benefitting the Center for Food Action, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and the tournament charities. The $50 entry fee includes a one-day grounds ticket to the tournament. Sign-ups are open until the day of the run.Click here to leave a comment