By Mike Glasscott, Rotoworld
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
SEASON TOTAL: $6,548,565
The second that Bolton gave me credit last week for “turning it around” I knew I was sunk. It was down to Snedeker or Dustin Johnson last week. It would not have mattered, sadly.
HTOC: Steve Stricker (2nd; $665,000)
Sony: Charles Howell III (T3; $324,800)
Humana: Tim Clark (MC)
Farmers: Rickie Fowler (T6; $204,350)
WMPO: Jason Dufner (MC)
AT&T Pebble: Hunter Mahan (T16; $94,250)
Northern Trust: Bill Haas (T3; $343,200)
WGC-Match Play: Charl Schwartzel (T33; $46,000)
Honda: Lee Westwood (T9; $156,000)
WGC-Cadillac Championship: Matt Kuchar (T35; $68,500)
Tampa Bay: Jim Furyk (T7; $148,892)
Bay Hill: Sergio Garcia (WD after three rounds)
Shell Houston: Jimmy Walker (T50; $14,838)
Valero: Cameron Tringale (MC)
Masters: Phil Mickelson (T54; $18,320)
RBC Heritage: Luke Donald (T3; $336,400)
Zurich Classic: Bubba Watson (T15; $102,500)
Wells Fargo: Webb Simpson (T32; $37,073)
THE PLAYERS: Nick Watney (MC)
HPBNC: Jason Day (T27; $46,565)
Colonial: Kevin Streelman (MC)
Memorial: K.J. Choi (T21; $58,202)
FESJC: Ryan Palmer (4th; $273,600)
US Open: Graeme McDowell (MC)
Travelers: John Rollins (MDF; $11,041)
AT&T National: Billy Horschel (T61; $14,040)
The Greenbrier Classic: Graham DeLaet (T30; $36,618)
John Deere Classic: Jordan Spieth (WIN; $828,000)
The Open Championship: Adam Scott (T3; $428,776)
RBC Canadian: Chris Kirk (T21; $54,160)
WGC-BI: Tiger Woods (WIN; $1,500,000)
PGA Championship: Henrik Stenson (3rd; $545,000)
Wyndham Championship: Zach Johnson (T5; $193,450)
The Barclays: Brandt Snedeker (MC)
DBC: Keegan Bradley
GolfChannel.com Fantasy Challenge
Deutsche Bank Championship
I play as “Glass” for ALL fantasy games
Ned said, “…
Phil Mickelson— He was pretty quiet last week until the final round, where he almost came from behind to post a low score and watch the rest of the field struggle later in the day. I have only one start left with him, but he has posted top 10s in his last two starts here (T10 in ’11 and T4 last year) and I would prefer to use him in the last event of the season with a weekend cut.
Rory McIlroy— A lot of players will use Tiger Woods in this spot. I’m out of starts with Woods and I would be reluctant to use him anyway with his bad back acting up. McIlroy is the defending champion here and he is finally starting to show good form
Steve Stricker— He played with a hamstring pull at the PGA Championship and still tied for 12th place. He has four top ten finishes at this event including a championship ’09.
Jim Furyk– One of the hottest golfers on the TOUR right now with four consecutive top 10 finishes, including a T6 last week at The Barclays. He has a very good recent record at TPC of Boston with three top 10s (T7 in ’08, T8 in ’09 and sixth in ’11) in his last five starts.
Webb Simpson—He’s playing well right now with three T15s in his last four starts and his recent record here is good with a championship in ’11 and a T18 last year.
Keegan Bradley— This is a tough call between Justin Rose and Keegan Bradley. Rose three-putt bogeyed the final hole at The Barclays to give the title to Adam Scott and I’m not sure if there will be a hangover from that. Keegan Bradley was a bit disappointing last week in his T33 at The Barclays, but this is an event that sorely wants to win and he will have the local crowd behind him.
Adam Scott— I blew it last week. I have two starts left with Scott, and in the final round I, thought that he was a shot too far back to use to win the tournament. He shot an amazing final round and then he got help from the dozen guys that were ahead of him going into the final round. Scott has a very good record at TPC of Boston with five top 10s in eight starts including a championship in ’03.
Jason Day— He has a very nice recent record at TPC of Boston of two top threes (T2 in ’10 and T3 in ’11) and he has six top 10s on this season including a T8 at the PGA Championship a few weeks ago.
Points last week: 140
Points this year: 5,615
Overall Ranking: (118th; 99th percentile)