The 2017 FedEx Cup playoffs get underway this week with The Northern Trust at Glen Oaks in New York. Patrick Reed defends the title while Rory McIlroy defends the FedEx Cup itself.

Patrick Reed Defends At The Northern Trust

The top 125 players from the FedEx Cup standings through the regular PGA Tour season are eligible to take part in The Northern Trust and they’ll all be looking to make it into the top 100 in order to progress to the second playoff event next week – the Dell Technologies Championship.

In the playoffs there are four times more FedEx Cup points available than in regular PGA Tour events, so there’s a chance for players to make a large surge up the standings.

Hideki Matsuyama leads the way in the FedEx Cup going into The Northern Trust, but only just. There are just 198 points between the Japanese star and Open champion Jordan Spieth in third, USPGA champ Justin Thomas is currently second. Dustin Johnson is just 205 points back in fourth.

Only 120 entrants look set to tee it up in at Glen Oaks. Masters champion Sergio Garcia will sit out the first playoff event for the third straight year, Adam Scott is awaiting the arrival of his second child while Brandt Snedeker, Scott Piercy and Dominic Bozzelli will all be missing.

Defending FedEx Cup champion Rory McIlroy is on the start sheet despite suggesting he might take time out to recover from injury.

Rory McIlroy 30 minute warm-up:

There’s a new venue for this event: Glen Oaks Club in Old Westbury, New York. Founded in 1924, the course dates from the late 1960s when Joe Finger designed three nine hole loops. A major renovation was carried out by Craig Currier in 2011. The course used this week will be a composite of the three nines. It may be a new track for the PGA Tour but it’s a prestigious venue –  Glen Oaks was named the 2015 Club of the Year by the Metropolitan Golf Writers Association.

There’s also a new sponsor as Northern Trust take over from Barclays.

The weather forecast looks set fair with warm temperatures and no rain to speak of.

Venue: Glen Oaks Club, Old Westbury, New York
Date: Aug 24-27
Course stats: par 70, 7,350 yards
Purse: $8,750,000
Defending champion: Patrick Reed (-9)

TV Coverage:
Thursday 24 – Sky Sports Golf from 7pm
Friday 25 – Sky Sports Golf from 7pm
Saturday 26 – Sky Sports Golf from 6pm
Sunday 27 – Sky Sports Golf from 5pm

Player Watch:

Hideki Matsuyama – The Japanese player leads the FedEx Cup standings and has been on great form this year. He won the WGC-Bridgestone and was tied fifth in the USPGA Championship. When he gets on a run, he’s tough to beat, as he displayed with a surge of victories at the end of last year.

Henrik Stenson – Another player that’s hard to look past when on a roll. The Swede won last week in the Wyndham Championship and looks back to his best. When he’s on form, he’s a formidable player.

Patrick Reed – The defending champion will come into the event with a lot of confidence following his tied second place finish in the USPGA Championship.

Key hole: 17th. A par-3 of over 230 yards played downhill to a green with water on the left hand side. Bunkers wait front left and front right. All the players will be very happy walking off with par on this hole.