The Northern Trust Each-Way Tips: Berger can land Liberty loot

American Daniel Berger
Daniel Berger can take victory

It's the opening event of FedEx Cup Playoffs and Dave Tindall seeks more profits with three tips for the action at Liberty National...

"Berger's last four finishes now show T5 at St. Jude, T8 at the Open Championship, T34 at the John Deere and T7 at the US Open."

Back Daniel Berger E/W @ 29.028/1

Main Bet: Daniel Berger each-way @ 29.028/1

Last year's Northern Trust produced one of those freakish weeks when a top player goes berserk and laps the field.

Dustin Johnson was the superhero back then, his 30-under total blasting the field by 11 shots at TPC Boston.

DJ will defend on a different course this time as Liberty National plays host for the first time since Adam Scott took the title with 11-under in 2013.

Scott was World No.4 at the time, as was Johnson in 2020.

That shines a light on this FedEx Cup opener being won by a classy type and, starting with Scott, this event has gone to a player in the world's top 25 in seven of the eight years despite the tournament moving around.

The method of victory has also been similar across the different venues.

All those eight winners ranked in the top five for Strokes Gained: Tee To Green.

Zoning in on 2019 - the most recent edition at Liberty National - the top five's TTG ranking was: 4-1-10-2-7. That contrasts notably with the their SG Putting figures: 20-57-19-43-33.

So, it's not an over-complicated week: we're looking for a top 25 player with strong recent TTG numbers.

Several fit the bill but, as I did at the WGC-St. Jude Invitational, I'll make Daniel Berger the headline pick.

Berger was 22/1 on that occasion and landed the each-way cash by finishing in tied fifth.

He ranked 1st for SG: Approach and 3rd for SG: Tee To Green but only just managed to creep into positive figures with the putter.

However, that's the recipe that works in this event and on this course so his modest performance on the greens (he was 25th for SGP) isn't a concern.

Berger's last four finishes now show T5 at St Jude, T8 at the Open Championship, T34 at the John Deere and T7 at the US Open.

That's high-class consistency and, given the variety of courses on which he achieved those top 10s, he looks a good bet anywhere right now.

This will be his debut at Liberty National in this event but but he has some happy memories of the course having clinched the Presidents Cup there in 2017.

He did so by going 3up on Si-Woo Kim with three to play before winning the match on 17.

"Captain (Steve) Stricker came up to me on 16 and told me we had clinched it. What a feeling," Berger said.

"I'm just speechless right now. I'm just so excited for the team. It's been amazing. We've come together so well, everyone's played so nicely, and it's just nice to finish off the week with a win."

Berger won two of his three matches that week and has come on leaps and bounds as a player since.

Add in those Presidents Cup memories to the excellence of his current game and Berger - a winner at Pebble Beach earlier in the year - looks poised for a big, big week.

Take the 28/1.

Next Best: Webb Simpson each-way @ 36.035/1

Talk of the Presidents Cup leads into another potentially profitable angle this week.

The race to qualify for the US Ryder Cup team is hotting up and there are a bunch of candidates either vying to make it on merit or turn Stricker's head and grab a wildcard.

Berger is 10th in the standings while my second pick, Webb Simpson, is 13th.

Simpson is desperate to qualify and has extra incentive having never played on a winning team.

He said at last week's Wyndham Championship: "I've been 3-0 at Presidents Cups and 0-3 in Ryder Cups. Sitting at home in '16 [he failed to make the team for Hazeltine], it was a bittersweet feeling, I was so bummed not to be there but I was so happy that we won.

Webb Simpson 1280.jpg

"I remember watching all the coverage even after the tournament just to see how excited they were. I remember feeling like I would love to have that experience at least one time in my career.

"It would be one of those things where I feel like if I was on a winning Ryder Cup team, I would kind of check that off the list because I've never experienced it and it would be an amazing feeling and accomplishment.

"So yeah, I still have work to do. I'm telling myself every day that I need to have a good run here, Memphis, this week and next few weeks to make that team, so there's definitely motivation there for me to play well."

Well, he's started his late run in positive fashion after finishing T7 at the Wyndham Championship (65-65-70-66).

That added to T15 at St. Jude and T19 at Royal St George's so he's getting better by the week.

Encouragingly, his strong showing at Sedgefield was built on strong iron play. Simpson ranked 1st for Approach and 3rd Tee To Green.

Had he putted well (-0.335), the man from North Carolina would have had every chance of winning but, as stated, we can rather gloss over that.

Ahead of the Wyndham, he'd noted: "The last week we saw a couple of things we haven't seen this year.

"For example, my approaches to the greens in my career typically have been most consistent. That's been the weakest link this year and last week I had a much better week in that category, so that's what I really need to start to be more consistent again."

He delivered on that at Sedgefield and hopefully it's more of the same here.

More good news is that Simpson is a fan of the course and not everyone thinks the same.

"Liberty's a course I really love," he said last week and his three visits there show finishes of 8-15-18.

He was the halfway leader on debut and second after 36 holes in 2013.

Take some industry-best 35/1 on the World No.19.

Final Bet: Jhonattan Vegas each-way @ 151.0150/1

There are plenty in the mix at the front end of the betting and DJ at 16s is certainly on my radar.

I also like the look of Abraham Ancer after his first win and in-form Hideki Matsuyama.

But I'll roll the dice and take some 150/1 on Jhonattan Vegas.

If we're looking for a strong tee to green merchant, who isn't the greatest putter, the man from Venezuela absolutely fits the bill.

On the season-long stats, Vegas is 32nd Tee To Green but 141st for SG Putting.

However, his stats over the last few months have been stronger in both departments.

Vegas has ranked in the top 25 for Tee To Green in each of his last six starts while he's gained at least two strokes on the greens in three of his last four.

Inevitably, that's led to some to tasty finishes and two of those half-dozen finishes have been second places (Palmetto Championship and 3M Open).

Three others were also in the top 16: T11 at John Deere, T16 at the Olympics and T15 at the Wyndham Championship last week where he rounded off with a 63.

Vegas also played here in 2019 and did reasonably well, shooting 72-69-71-67 to finish tied 38th.

This is obviously a top-class field but, on current form, he's worth a go at 150/1 with eight payout places on offer.

Staked: £1260.00
Returned: £2625.87
P/L: +£1365.87

2019/2020 P/L: +£13.83
2018/2019 P/L: -£338.25
2017/2018 P/L: +£362.84
2016/2017 P/L: +£1179.89

Get a Free £/€20 Exchange Bet

  • Join Now - Open account using promo code VAL225
  • Bet - Place a £/€20 Bet on the Exchange
  • Earn We'll Refund You £/€20 If the Bet Loses
Bet now

T&Cs apply.

Discover the latest articles

Read past articles