FedExCup Playoffs Event II
Deutsche Bank Championship
Yards: 7,216 as per the scorecard
Par: 71 (36-35)
Greens: Bentgrass; 6,500 square feet on average.
Rough: Kentucky bluegrass at 4”
Water Hazards: 2
Course Architects: Arnold Palmer (2002); Gil Hanse (2007-present)
Winner’s Share: $1,440,000
FexExCup Points: 2,500 to the winner
Defending Champion: Rory McIlroy chased down and passed 54-hole leader Louis Oosthuizen to win by one shot.
Dates: August 30-September 2, FRIDAY THROUGH MONDAY. You will panic on Thursday wondering why there isn’t any golf on TV, trust me.
Notes: The 100-best remaining players are vying to finish 70th or better in the points race to advance to the BMW Championship in two weeks outside of Chicago. Those players ranked No. 71-100 will head home.
The Deutsche Bank Championship has been a TOUR stop since its opening in 2003. It has also been on the Playoff rotation from the beginning and has been used in every Playoff season.
Last year, Gil Hanse and his crew tightened up No. 18 make the final hole a bit tougher. Rory McIlroy rang up 20-under-par and played No. 18 four-under for the week.
The average winning score over the 10 years has been almost 18-under.
Only Vijay Singh has won this event twice.
Only Adam Scott (2003) and Phil Mickelson (2007) have won in their first start at TPC Boston.
In 10 events, all but three of the winners have been major champions. Steve Stricker, Olin Browne and Charley Hoffman are the three players to win who don’t currently hold a major championship. Webb Simpson and Adam Scott won here before winning a major. Long story short? Class wins here.
Vijay Singh and Charley Hoffman share the tournament record 22-under-par, 262. #HumanaChallenge?
Singh also is the only player to win the Barclays and DBC in the same season (2008).
Just a few players have won a World Golf Championship and a Playoff event in their career. Adam Scott joined the club last week.
Adam Scott: WGC-CC and The Barclays
Vijay Singh: WGC-BI and the DBC
Tiger Woods: WGC-CC (plus others) and the DBC (and others)
Phil Mickelson: WGC-CC and the DBC (and others)
Steve Stricker: WGC-MP and the DBC
Justin Rose: WGC-CC and BMW Championship
There’s no mucky-muck in that six pack.
With his T6 last week, Jim Furyk now has the most top 10 finishes in Playoff history, 11.
After Steve Stricker’s WD last week, only Hunter Mahan has now played every possible playoff event.
Stricker, Mickelson and Mahan are the only three players to play The TOUR Championship in all six Playoff seasons.
There have been 37 tournaments this season. The Stars and Stripes have won 30 of them.
There have been 12, first-time winners this season and now five players with multiple victories (Scott, Woods, Mickelson, Kuchar and Snedeker).
The winners on TOUR have been Johnson, D (28), Henley (24), Gay (41), Woods FIVE times (37), Mickelson (42) TWICE, Snedeker (32) TWICE, Merrick (30) Kuchar TWICE (34),Thompson, M (27) Brown (29), Streelman (34), Points (36), Laird (30), Scott (32) TWICE, G-Mac (33), Horschel (26), Ernst (22), Bae (26), Weekley (39) English (23), Rose (32), Duke (44) Haas (31), Blixt (29), Austin (49), Woodland (29), Dufner (34), Reed (23) and 19-year old Jordan Spieth. The young folks (30 and younger) now have 14 victories; the 30-somethings have racked up 18 victories, and the “old folks” (40 and up) have FIVE wins.
In the six seasons of the Playoffs, a rookie has played in The TOUR Championship each season. There has been one each year. That’s weird. Jordan Spieth, No. 9, is the only rookie inside the top 30 as of Monday.
TPC Boston was originally designed by Arnold Palmer and he loves him some wide landing areas off the tee. This is one of the reasons why the winning total here is closer to 20-under than 15-under! If the pros can get the ball in the fairway, greens that measure 6,500 square feet are even easier to hit. Throw in Bentgrass greens that are running only 11.5 on the Stimpmeter and gamers will have a shootout on their hands! Even though the rough was at four inches last year, McIlroy made seven bogeys; Oosthuizen three and Woods four. Ryan Moore was the only player in the top 10 to make more than seven bogeys.
Guys will be able to get it low this week so that will bring more players into the fold. Desperation will be on the cards for anyone No. 75 and higher and they’ll have to see the weekend to advance. They’ll have to get in the top 10 to have even a shot of making it to Atlanta so that throws a new wrinkle in the mixer this week. Still, I’ll be looking for premium players who have been in a bit of form and have played this course once or twice. I’ll have a couple of long-shots and horse-for-course guys as well.
This was the list of winners of Playoff events before last week. We add Adam Scott to the list so not much has changed. Big players win big tournaments at the biggest time of the year.
2009: Stricker (DBC), Woods (BMW) and Mickelson (TC)
2010: Matt Kuchar (Barclays), Charley Hoffman (DBC), Dustin Johnson (BMW) and Jim Furyk (TC)
2011: Johnson (Barclays), Webb Simpson (DBC), Justin Rose (BMW) and Bill Haas (TC)
2012: Nick Watney (Barclays), Rory McIlroy (DBC, BMW) and Brandt Snedeker (TC)
2013: Adam Scott (Barclays)
Big field, big players
Adam Scott: He claimed he didn’t have his best stuff last week yet he found out a way to crank out a pair of 66s to secure his second victory of the year. He gladly accepted the gift that he was presented and now he has a chance to pull a “Vijay Singh” by winning the first two events of the Playoffs. Scott likes TPC Boston as he secured his first TOUR win here in 2003 as a sponsor’s exemption. Since that victory, he’s also chalked up a T2 and a T17; the last three years he’s never been above par and finished T5, T8 and T7 last year. #chalk
Tiger Woods: Like Scott, Woods has racked up high finishes at TPC Boston. In eight events he’s finished no worse than T11 in seven of them. Wide fairways make for a happy Tiger and going low here is no problem. The only issue that would concern me this week will be his back. As of Monday night, it’s all quiet on the Eastern front and I interpret no news as good news. The tough part for gamers is inserting him in the lineup and having a chance of WD, especially if you only have one start left. This will end up being a last minute decision I believe.
Phil Mickelson: The 2007 champion will make it seven years in a row when he tees it up Friday morning. His last two outings were better than the middle three after his victory. Another player who enjoys large landing areas and having to go low, Mickelson was T10 in 2011 and T4 last year. After being stuck in neutral last week he busted out Sunday and got after it closing with 65 that could have been 62 or 63. He’ll be paired with Woods and Scott for the first two days. That threesome should rack up a few birdies and will have quite a following on Labor Day weekend.
Jim Furyk: He beats out Zach Johnson this week because of his history in Boston. Furyk has played eight times and has been T13 or better five times, including four of the last five years. After MC at the U.S. and British Opens, Furyk has been storming back to relevance by racking up finishes of T9, T9, second and T6 in his last four events against some major competition. He won the BIG prize in 2010 and he has the most top 10s since the Playoffs have started. #GiddyUp
Steve Stricker: He’s made the cut in seven straight DBCs and he’s only finished out of the top 13 ONE time in that stretch, T42 in 2011. I understand that he’s coming off a hamstring injury but I’m not worried about a guy who’s going to hit every fairway, most every green and loves to make birdies. He’s played 10 events this season and has racked up five top 10s. #niceodds
Zach Johnson: The best man at his brother’s wedding last week will have the golf gods firmly on his side this week in Boston. Johnson’s season was going absolutely nowhere, for him, until he found a happy hunting ground at Colonial for T3. He promptly backed that up with 71, MC and T58 and gamers began to lose faith. He went back to the JDC where he won in a playoff in 2012 and even though he lost in a playoff this season, he looked like the “old” Zach Johnson again. He followed that with T6, T4, T8 and T5 last time out at Wyndham. The only reason he’s behind Furyk is he doesn’t have a top 10 in seven starts on this track yet he’s made six of seven cuts. His form is trump this week.
Rickie Fowler: He’s finished T21 or better in seven of his last eight events including three top 10s. His T9 last week featured solid iron play; this week he’ll need the flat stick to work its usual magic. Fowler was eight-under here in 2011 before a Sunday 77 knocked him completely out of the picture. #revenge
Matt Kuchar: This is a two-way street here. He’s played plenty of excellent golf recently but he hasn’t been able to close the deal. He had a chance at RBC Canadian and closed with 71. He was seven-under the first two rounds at Oak Hill before 76-71 on the weekend. Last week he was the 54-hole co-leader and fired 78 and finished T19. He never misses a cut and his worst finish this summer is T27.
Keegan Bradley: He’ll be the crowd favorite this week and will be looking to get off to a better start than he did in 2012. He opened 71-73 before lighting it up 63-69 on the weekend to race up the board to T13. He’ll need to avoid rounds over par to contend and his game has been close over the past month to breaking out over four rounds.
Brandt Snedeker: He’s currently in the worst run of form in his career since spring of 2010 with finishes of T33, T66, MC and MC in his last four events. He’ll be looking forward to TPC Boston this week as he’s made the weekend here in six straight and the last three have been T5, T3 and solo sixth last season. He’s had a round of 65 or better in the last three years so this track should get him right back on it. I also like that he made nine birdies in two rounds last week even though he missed the weekend. Birdies this week will be the order of the day.
Dustin Johnson: The knock on Johnson is usually a leaky tee ball but that shouldn’t be the case this week on the generous fairways at TPC Boston. Johnson didn’t fire last week but only missed the cut by a shot so he’s not exactly struggling. He loves TPC Boston and has finished T4 twice in four years and hasn’t missed a weekend. He’s carded 12 rounds, of 16 total, under-par on this track and I would expect that trend to continue this week.
Webb Simpson: Any of these players after the “power three” could win this week, no problem, and Simpson has proven his worth on this track with a 2011 playoff victory over Chez Reavie. He got off to a great start last week before 74-71 on the weekend knocked him out of the top 10. He backed up his 2011 victory here with T18 last season after a non-descript 72 in the final round. He hasn’t won since the 2012 U.S. Open but he’s 18 of 22 in 2013.