2019 and 2020 Northern Trust Results: FedExCup Playoffs First Leg Storylines From the Last Two Seasons

Published 08/16/2021, 12:50 PM EDT
Mar 11, 2021; Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, USA; Dustin Johnson hits his tee shot on the 10th hole during the first round of The Players Championship golf tournament at TPC Sawgrass – Stadium Course. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports


The 2020-21 PGA Tour season is done and dusted. Next up is the FedExCup Playoffs where things get mighty competitive. The Northern Trust is where the first leg of the playoffs will be hosted, and this event is renowned for its significance on the calendar. Here’s how the Northern Trust played out in 2019 and 2020. 

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Before we dive in, it is essential to know about this year’s Northern Trust. The event will return to the Liberty National Golf Club, where it was recently played in 2019. A total of 124 golfers will compete in the first leg of the playoffs from which only the Top 70 will advance to the BMW championship. 

Dustin Johnson dominated The Northern Trust 2020

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The 2020 Northern Trust took place at TPC Boston where a talented field entered the tournament. However, it was Dustin Johnson who reigned supreme in the event with a scintillating performance through four rounds. 

There were plenty of low-scoring rounds at the 2020 Northern Trust at TPC Boston. But Dustin Johnson finished 30-under after 72-holes, which matched him with Ernie Els and Jordan Spieth as the only players to card 30-under or better on the tour. 

Mar 24, 2021; Austin, Texas, USA; Dustin Johnson lines up a putt on the sixth green during the first day of the WGC Dell Technologies Match Play golf tournament at Austin Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

With the spectacular performance, Johnson also picked up his third Northern Trust title at TPC Boston last year. He shot 67, 60, 64, and 63 through four rounds and registered a 11-stroke victory, the largest in his career. Harris English finished second at the 2020 Northern Trust with 19-under, while Daniel Berger picked up a third-place finish one-shot behind English. Overall, it was the Dustin Johnson tournament as he finished with six birdies and an eagle in the final round to close out the tournament. 

Johnson was not in the Top 10 of the FedExCup standings heading into The Northern Trust 2020. However, he led the pack after the conclusion of the BMW Championship. This gave him massive leverage heading into the Tour Championship, and he perfectly capitalized on it. 

How the Northern Trust unfolded in 2019

The 2019 Northern Trust took place at the Liberty National, the same venue where it will be played in 2021. Two years ago, it was Patrick Reed, who held on to secure a one-shot victory over Mexican golfer Abraham Ancer. 

Reed was the tournament’s 54-hole leader and entered the final round at 14-under for the tournament. He then shot 2-under-par for the round and improved his score to -16. The leaderboard was a cliffhanger even after the conclusion of the final round. 

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There were three players who were within two shots of the leader after the tournament ended. Reed used his experience and held on until the final hole to secure victory. 

Following the Northern Trust and the BMW Championship, Patrick Reed stood fourth in the FedExCup standings and entered the Tour Championship at 6-under. However, he struggled to get going at the East Lake Golf Club, in Atlanta, Georgia. 

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Reed finished T9 at the Tour Championship with a final score of -5. He started the tournament at -6 and dropped one stroke after the conclusion of 72 holes. 

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Arjun Athreya

2107 articles

Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.

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