Justin Rose: He should be in the “Pack Lightly” section as he has posted finishes of T54, MC, T68 and MC in the last four years in Boston. Yet, in his first four events here he posted third, T29, T27 and T4 so it’s not out of the question that he can play this track. Last week the U.S. Open champion had to only two-putt from 25 feet last week to get in a playoff but he didn’t. With large fairways and greens, Rose’s putter will have to be hot this week to keep up.
Bill Haas: His last three events have been solid for everyone but gamers as T25, T20 and T25 don’t pay the rent or move up the standings but I’m more interested in the totality of his play. His worst round in four August events was an opening round 73 last week at The Barclays. His form is outstanding from that standpoint and he should have the confidence to get low this week. He’s seven out of seven on the this track as well.
Henrik Stenson: Well, last week was bound to happen at some point, right? Not really if you take a look inside the numbers. Stenson had four bad holes last week. Four. He made three doubles, including two on Sunday that wiped out five birdies and a triple on Saturday that turned a plus-one round into a plus-four round. He made 19 birdies, including four in his last six holes, yet finished T43 on the week. He played pretty well and I would think that continues on an easier course this week.
Jason Day: He’s seen the weekend in five consecutive trips to Boston and racked up T2 in 2010 and T3 in 2010. He’s a regular on the weekends with 22 cuts made in a row dating back to last season. The only knock on Day is that he hasn’t had a top 10 in a non-major, non-WGC event since February. These Playoff events should get his attention as well and I would expect another T15 or better this week on a course he’s played well in the past.
Jordan Spieth: In his first playoff event he finished 19th. He’s fearless and up for the challenge. He’s currently SECOND in the all-around category and is 23rd in birdie average. He just turned 20 this summer. #Iloveit
Gary Woodland: In his last three he’s finished WIN, T70 and T2. His putter went cold last Sunday but his ball-striking was very solid. He’ll need both if he’s going to contend this week. It will be interesting to see how he bounces back and the slower greens and wider fairways in Boston should help him continue to be aggressive.
Jason Dufner: In the last four years Dufner has finished T2, T18, T31 and T18 last season so that shows me he’s down with the setup in Beantown. There’s no doubt that he’ll want to one-up regional hero Keegan Bradley this week so he should be ready to add to his PGA title. He destroys par fours and hits too many fairways and greens to dismiss.
Rory Sabbatini: His spectacular summer run of form continued last week as he racked up T13 at The Barclays. He’s now made six cuts from seven events after WD at AT&T and his worst finish in that stretch is T17. His birdie stats are fantastic but his track record here isn’t. Minus a T6 2007, he’s finished MC, MC, MC, T68 and MC last year so this will test the “form versus course history” argument. I prefer form, but…
Luke Donald: The last time he cracked the top 10 was at a course he had an excellent track record, Firestone South, so I’m going to ride the familiarity train this week again with Donald. When he gets in trouble it’s usually missing GIR but for some reason, he doesn’t have that problem at TPC Boston. His last three starts here have seen him finish T2, T3 and T26 last year and only one of his last 12 rounds has been over 70. I’ll take a little “horse-for-course” here!
Form > fame
Graham DeLaet: The only reason he’s here and not up there is his 83, MC and MC before last weekend’s closing 65 to jump all the way to T2. He went for broke on Sunday and it worked. He’s played TPC Boston once, last year, and MC 72-75. It’s hard to ignore 65 on Sunday anywhere.
Matt Jones: His very solid run of form continued last week as he posted three rounds at par or better to finish T33. That’s now six on the bounce and he fired an opening round 65 here in his only appearance in 2010 en route to T33. I’ve stretched on much, much worse…
John Huh: After MC in four consecutive events, the Question Mark started answering his doubters has he rattled off a T3 at Wyndham and backed that up last weekend with T15 at Liberty National. His T3 at Wyndham included 62 and his T15 last week had a 64. Sizzling. After going through this last year as a rookie, and making The TOUR Championship, this should feel like a walk in the park. No pressure, no eyeballs, just go out and play son!
Bryce Molder: He’s played himself into the BMW twice from the DBC (2009, 2012) so he should be comfortable this week. After MC at Reno-Tahoe, Molder has quietly posted finishes of T16 at Wyndham and T25 at Barclays to sit at No. 68 in the Playoffs. He’s No. 6 in total putting and he usually plays well in bunches.
Jerry Kelly: His MC, by one shot, at The Barclays was his first MC in eight tries so I’m not discouraged. His last two trips to Boston in 2009 and 2011 saw him finish T11 and T10, respectfully so I’m on board this week. He knows he’ll have to post numbers this week as sits at No. 87 on the points list.
Martin Kaymer: The man with his own section last week completed the first hurdle of the Playoffs: survive and advance. He’s in the exact same position this week as he will need a quality finish to make his way to the BMW in two weeks. He’s currently No. 90 on the list but he’s made seven cuts on the bounce and 13 of 16 on the season.
Matt Every: He makes tons of birdies and destroys par fours so TPC Boston should have the former Gator licking his chops this week. Every is closing the season on a strong note as he was T5 at Wyndham and opened the playoffs last week T9 at The Barclays. The knock on young Every is finding that consistency and this is a step in the right direction. Another top 10 and he could find himself on the cusp of a trip to The TOUR Championship in Atlanta. I’m interested to see if he can build on this momentum.
The Man with His Own Section
Rory McIlroy: The 2012 champion has shown signs of life to getting back to his form the last two outings with T8 at the PGA and T19 last week at The Barclays. Gamers would have thought that he was ready to bust out after his Friday 65 last week but he could only find 71-72 on the weekend and that kept him out of another top 10 finish. The rumor floating around last week was that he and his lady friend were on the outs but that ended up not being true. Whew. In eight rounds here over the last three years, McIlroy has posted 64 and 65 twice and only has one round over par. McIlroy had a chance to defend his 2012 title at Honda but packed it in after 27 holes due to wisdom teeth problems. He doesn’t have a tournament with four rounds under par this season so he’ll need a low one, or two, this week to contend. He’s 10th in birdie average and 12th in birdie-or-better conversion percentage. For a guy who’s had a “terrible” year, he also sits 12th in the all-around category. #stats
Just because they have well-recognized names doesn’t always mean you have to panic to fill your roster out with them…Also, it seems at least one of these guys will hit the top 10 EVERY week. I’m not scared.
Graeme McDowell: He has one round in the 60s in two trips.
Ian Poulter: He’s MC in four of six trips. His best two finishes are T45 and T47 last year.
Robert Garrigus: He’s never posted multiple rounds in the 60s in four trips. Scores in the 70s aren’t doing it this week.
K.J. Choi: He’s MC and WD in four of seven trips to TPC Boston. His only top 30 finish was T21 in 2008. He’s made six cuts in a row but hasn’t finished better than T23.
Brian Gay: He’s four of seven here and his best finish is T50.
Angel Cabrera: He fired 80 before WD at the PGA with an injury. He came back last week and MC with 75-77. He does have a nice history here but hasn’t teed it up since 2010. No, thanks.
Rookie of the Week Last Week
I keep an eye on the young’uns each week to see who is making the most noise.
Sony: Russell Henley WIN
Humana: David Lingmerth P2
Farmers: Brad Fritsch T9
WMPO: James Hahn T16
AT&T: James Hahn T3
NTO: Luke Guthrie T21
WGC-Match Play: Russell Henley 2nd round
Honda: Luke Guthrie 3rd
WGC-Cadillac: Russell Henley T28
Puerto Rico: Jordan Spieth 2nd
Tampa Bay: Jordan Spieth T7; Shawn Stefani T7; Ben Kohles T7
Arnold Palmer: Ben Kohles T14
Shell Houston Open: Robert Streb T22
Valero Texas Open: Ben Kohles T37
Masters: Russell Henley MC
RBC Heritage: Russell Henley T6
Zurich Classic: D. H. Lee T8
Wells Fargo Championship: Derek Ernst WIN
THE PLAYERS: David Lingmerth T2. Great back-to-back weeks for the rookies on TOUR!
HPBNC: Morgan Hoffmann T5
Colonial: Jordan Spieth, yep, him again, T7
Memorial: Russell Henley T6
FESJC: Patrick Reed Fifth
U.S. Open: David Lingmerth T17; special mentions for Hideki Matsuyama T10 and Michael Kim T17.
Travelers: Morgan Hoffmann T9
AT&T National: D.H. Lee T3; Jordan Spieth 6th; Morgan Hoffmann T8
Greenbrier: David Lingmerth and D.H. Lee both T9
John Deere: Jordan Spieth WIN
The Open Championship: Jordan Spieth T44
Sanderson Farms: Steve LeBrun T26
RBC Canadian: Patrick Reed T9
WGC-BI: Russell Henley T27
Reno-Tahoe: Scott Langley T21
PGA Championship: Hideki Matsuyama T19. #forreal
Wyndham: Jordan Spieth P2. #forrealreal
The Barclays: Jordan Spieth T19. He’s currently No. 9 in the Playoffs.