FedExCup Playoffs Event No. 2
The Deutsche Bank Championship (DBC)
Yards: 7,216 via the scorecard
Par: 71 (35-36)
Greens: Bentgrass with Poa annua; 6,100 square feet on average.
Rough: Kentucky bluegrass, fescue and ryegrass at 4”
Water Hazards: 4
Course Architect: Arnold Palmer (2001); Gil Hanse (2006-current) redesign
Winner’s Share: $1,440,000
FexExCup Points: 2,500 to the winner
Defending Champion: Henrik Stenson tied the tournament record by firing 22-under-par to win by two shots over Steve Stricker.
Dates: Aug 28 – Aug 31
Notes: Only 94 of the top 100 are entered this week as Sergio Garcia (personal), Graeme McDowell (paternity), Paul Casey (paternity) and Dustin Johnson (personal) are not playing this week. Jason Dufner (neck) adds his name to this list just after lunch on Monday as did Justin Rose (personal).
Recent History Lessons
After winning 31 of 40 tournaments in 2013, the USA has now won 25 of 42 events in 2013-14. This was the red, white and blue’s first win in SIX weeks as Hunter Mahan hoists the trophy. Harris English, Jimmy Walker (THREE), Webb Simpson, Ryan Moore, Dustin Johnson, Chris Kirk, Zach Johnson, Patrick Reed (TWO), Scott Stallings, Kevin Stadler, Bubba Watson (TWO), Russell Henley, Chesson Hadley, Matt Every, Matt Kuchar, J.B. Holmes, Brendon Todd, Ben Crane, Kevin Streelman, Brian Harman and now Hunter Mahan have won for the USA.
Geoff Ogilvy, Adam Scott, Matt Jones, Steven Bowditch, John Senden and Jason Day, all Australians, have cashed six victories. Hideki Matsuyama and Seung-yul Noh are the Asian representatives. Martin Kaymer, Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy are the European chalk that has won four of the last six majors dating back to the 2013 U.S. Open. Angel Cabrera and Camilo Villegas are flying the flag for South America; Tim Clark flies it for South Africa.
S.Y. Noh, Steven Bowditch, Matt Every, Jimmy Walker, Kevin Stadler, Chesson Hadley Matt Jones, Brendon Todd, Hideki Matsuyama and Brian Harman are the first-time winners this season. There were 12, first-timers in 40 events last year and we’ve had 10 in 42 events in 2014.
Young Guns Versus Prime Time Versus Old Guys
Jimmy Walker (34) started the season out on the right foot for the Prime Time guys and has since added two more wins to lead the FedExCup standings. Ryan Moore (30), Zach Johnson (37), Kevin Stadler (33) and Bubba Watson (35), Matt Every (30), Steven Bowditch (30), Matt Jones (33), all were victorious before Watson picked up victory No. 2 of the year at Augusta. Matt Kuchar (37), J.B. Holmes (32), Adam Scott (33), Ben Crane (38), Kevin Streelman (35), Justin Rose (33), Tim Clark (38), Geoff Ogilvy (37) Camilo Villegas (32) and Hunter Mahan, 32, have added to the prime-timers trophy case as the season moves along. Look up who else is 32 and we’ll find our winner at the DBC as we’ve now crowned two in a row at that age!
Scott Stallings (28), Patrick Reed TWICE (23), Chris Kirk (28), Webb Simpson (28), Dustin Johnson (29), Harris English (24), Jason Day (26) and Russell Henley (24) Seung-Yul Noh (22), Martin Kaymer TWICE (29), Brendon Todd (28) and Hideki Matsuyama (22), Brian Harman (27) and Rory McIlroy THRICE (25), are the twenty-somethings who have made large noise this year.
Australian John Senden (42) and Argentine Angel Cabrera, 44, who won at Greenbrier, are the only two 40-somethings to claim victory this season.
Turn Back the Clock
At this point in the season last year there were 11, first-time winners and just four players with multiple victories Woods, Mickelson, Kuchar and Snedeker. Only Kuchar has cracked the winner’s circle this year and all that took was a hole-out from a bunker on the 72nd hole at RBC Heritage!
This year, Walker and McIlroy (three wins each) join Reed, Watson, Kaymer as multiple winners and there have been just 10, first-time winners.
Pay Attention: It’s FREE!
This is the 12th championship played on this track. Adam Scott won the inaugural TOUR event in 2003.
The DBC has been a part of every FedExCup Playoffs since the inception in 2007.
In 11 previous championships, six winners have been Americans. The last two have been Europeans.
Only one event has ended in a playoff as the 2011 edition was decided in extra holes with Webb Simpson defeating Chez Reavie. Only three other events have been decided by less than two shots.
Steve Stricker was eliminated last week at he did not play at The Barclays. This leaves Hunter Mahan and Phil Mickelson as the only two people who have a chance to play EVERY TOUR Championship. Mahan will be there as his victory last week gave him 2,500 FedExCup points. Mickelson sits at No. 57 and will need a big performance in the next two weeks to keep his streak alive.
Mahan has started every single Playoff event, 29 of them, over the last seven years.
Chesson Hadley is the only rookie remaining of two in this year’s FEC Playoffs. He’s currently No. 84 and will be eliminated after this week if he does not enter the top 70.
Only Rory Sabbatini (2007), Padraig Harrington (2009) and Dustin Johnson in 2012 have finished in the top 10 in in all four FEC events. Harrington’s worst finish was T6. We’ll see if anyone in 2014 can match this feat. Based on the history, I doubt it!
Only Phil Mickelson has a top 10 finish in at least one event of the Playoffs in every season. He was MDF last week at The Barclays.
The DBC tournament record is 22-under 262 and is shared by Vijay Singh (2008), Charley Hoffman (2010) and Henrik Stenson last year.
Vijay Singh (2006) and Mike Weir (2008) share the course record of 61.
Singh is the only player to win twice at TPC Boston.
No player has defended their championship.
Webb Simpson is the only player to claim their first victory in this event.
The average winning score here is around 19-under over the 11 events. Of the last six winners, three have set the tournament record. #easysauce
Phil Mickelson is the only player to win in his maiden voyage around TPC Boston. So did Adam Scott but it was the first time for EVERYONE in 2003!
This Will Win You a Bar Bet
Only Vijay Singh has won the first two events of the FEC Playoffs in the previous seven years. He won The Barclays and the DBC in 2008 and all he had to do was NOT WD at The TOUR Championship to claim his $10 million. Interestingly enough, Camilo Villegas won the final two events of that season but couldn’t win the title. Rory McIlroy is the only other person to win back-to-back events in the FEC Playoffs as he won the 2012 DBC and the 2012 BMW. Hunter Mahan can tick two of these boxes this week with another win.
Inside the Ropes
For the 12th consecutive season the TOUR returns to TPC Boston. Open for business in 2002, the TOUR hosted its first event the following year as Adam Scott won the inaugural event. The DBC, along with East Lake, has been the two permanent courses on the four course Playoff rota over the first seven years.
I’ve written it before and I’ll write it again but anytime the best golfers in the world see the letters TPC they know they must go low to win and this week is not an exception. As I mentioned above, three of the last six winners have set the tournament record (22-under 262) to win. This means birdies, eagles, more birdies and minimal bogeys. Gil Hanse has remolded the place since 2006 to make it better for the members and professionals. Better doesn’t mean harder as the winning scores the last two years have been 20 and 22-under respectfully. The course actually played more difficult before the renovations.
As we’ve seen over the years the big hitter who can dominate the par fives will succeed here but remember Mike Weir also has a piece of the course record. Steve Stricker and Luke Donald have also had multiple podium finishes on this track as well. There is room to spray it off the tee thanks to Arnold Palmer’s original design and the greens are large enough to hold shots from places other than the fairway. With the Stimpmeter only running at 11, putts will be rammed in from everywhere this week.
The players who are in form are the greater threat than the players who must play well this week. I’m looking for guys who rack up birdies for fun because 24 or 25 will be needed to win this week. The greens are over 6,000 square feet and are only running 11’ on the Stimpmeter so it’s hardly a surprise that scores will be low. Henrik Stenson made three bogeys here en route to his record-tying score.
After a decent test in the trees last week at Ridgewood, the top 100 who are NOT on the bubble get a breath of fresh air in a birdie-fest this week. I don’t mind this course in the Playoff rotation because over half of the courses they play each season are similar to this set up. Part of life on TOUR is racking up birdies when necessary and this week qualifies. Usually a birdie barrage will bring more guys than not into the mix as most touring pros can make plenty of them but remember this is the best 100-ish players left on TOUR. It’s not the same as the fields at the birdie-fest events held during the season. Size does matter; so does skill.
Smash it off the tee. Hit the big, slowish greens. Hole putts. Don’t three-putt or make bogeys. Birdie or eagle No. 18 in all four rounds. Post 20-under. Win.
Remember that seven of the 11 champions have posted all four rounds in the 60s so getting low is a requirement, not a suggestion.