Anirban Lahiri is back in the FedExCup finals after some uncertainty in the middle of the season. As the first of the four-event FedExCup finals begin this week at the Northern Trust, most experts feel that the 30-year-old two-time Presidents Cup participant from India has been ready to win for sometime now, but somehow has not been able to convert his success and talent into a win.
Lahiri began the season in a fine manner with two Top-10s in the first two events in Asia late in 2017, but then played in a subdued manner with his putter not doing its job. Of late he picked up again with two more Top-10s and one of them came in the very strong WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
It now remains to be seen how far he can go in the play-offs, as he tees up with Tyrell Hatton and Brandon Harkins for the first two days. On Thursday they will go out late at 1.17 pm from the tenth tee.
Among the names, who are present, the focus will return to Tiger Woods, who is the only two-time FedExCup champ and he is making his first Playoffs start since 2013. Woods is in the field this week for the first time since his runner-up finish at the PGA Championship.
Woods opens his campaign with Marc Leishman and Tommy Fleetwood in an early start from tenth tee at 7.54 am.
A field of 120 golfers will tee it up at Ridgewood Country Club which will be hosting for the fourth time (2008, 2010, 2014).
At the end of the week, the top 100 in the FedExCup race will advance onto the Dell Technologies Championship to play at TPC Boston next week.
Hatton is making his Playoffs debut and has four top-10s, two of which came at WGCs and two in majors.
Harkins, 32, is a rookie and he has done well in his home state of California, collecting four top-15s there.
This is also the time the FedEx Cup Playoffs features four tournaments as the revamped 2018-19 schedule features just three events.
Dustin Johnson is the current leaded but by a slender margin over Justin Thomas. Johnson’s friend, Brooks Koepka, Justin Rose and Bubba Watson round out the top 5.
Some big names are absent from the field this week: Rickie Fowler due to an injury that caused him pain during the PGA Championship, and Rory McIlroy, who is trying to fine-tune his game before the Ryder Cup.
The top five players in the standings are all in line to win this week but Watson has been in poor form over the summer. Johnson struggled in the majors this year, but he dominated the "regular events," winning three.
Webb Simpson and Kevin Kisner have been consistent all season. Both have shown form at the season's biggest events.
Adam Scott rediscovered his form at the PGA Championship, finishing third, which marked his best finish at a major since 2013, and Tommy Fleetwood is desperate to win on U.S. soil.
The venue, Ridgewood Country Club (Composite) is a 7,385-yard par-71 layout and is one of the oldest golf courses in America, dating back to 1890. The course features the enticing 291-yard dogleg 12th, which is considered one of golf’s first drivable par-4s. Birdies are often hard to come by at Ridgewood, but it should provide plenty of excitement with this strong field. There are three par 5s here but none of them are easy.
About the Author
V Krishnaswamy is India's most widely travelled journalist. He has covered more than 20 Majors, Presidents Cup, EurAsia Cup and more than 120 international golf tournaments around the world. He has also covered seven Olympic Games, 8 Asian Games and 6 Commonwealth Games besides numerous World Championships in various sports.