Expert Picks for Deutsche Bank Championship
TPC Boston was opened in 2002 and began hosting its annual PGA Tour events the following year. When the FedExCup playoff format was introduced for the 2007 season, the venue was remodeled in an effort to raise the level of competition for the postseason. Once the tournament concludes, only the top-70 players in points will be eligible to compete in the BMW Championship.
Luke Donald [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #3
After shooting a pair of 66s, Donald would have likely finished better than T18 if not for weather canceling the final round of The Barclays. Last year, the Brit finished with a share of second place at TPC Boston. Right now, he’s the only player on Tour sporting a sub-69 scoring average this season but is still looking for his first stoke play victory.
After 11 straight finishes inside the top-20, Stricker ended up T24 at The Barclays. Hardly a concern. Stricker hasn’t missed a cut since 2008 and he ranks first in both strokes gained – putting and birdie average this season. At TPC Boston, Stricker owns five straight finishes of 13th or better, including four top-10s and a win from 2009. Week in and week out, Stricker is a bullet-proof pick with a pair of wins and 14 top-25s in 16 starts.
Matt Kuchar [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #9
After missing two cuts and recording back-to-back T19s, Kuchar squashed any doubts he might be fading down the stretch by finishing as the runner-up last week at The Barclays. Among the most consistent players on Tour, Kuchar ranks fifth in scoring average and fourth in All-Around Ranking. At TPC Boston, he notched a T15 in 2009 and a T11 last year.
Coming off a rain-shortened victory at The Barclays, Johnson now leads the FedExCup standings with three events to go. In his last six starts, DJ has three finishes of fourth or better, giving him five top-five finishes this season. Despite some erratic performances along the way, Johnson ranks second in birdie average, fourth in driving distance, 16th in green in regulation percentage and 15th in All-Around Ranking. He finished inside the top-five at TPC Boston in 2009 but struggled a year ago to finish T57.
Nick Watney [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #23
Despite registering a top-10 finish at The Barclays, Watney slid from first to third in the FedExCup standings. Unfortunately for him, Watney has struggled at TPC Boston. After missing five consecutive cuts at the site, Watney has finished T46 and T33 in his last two attempts. However, don’t count him out. Watney currently sits second in strokes gained – putting, third in scoring average and fifth in both birdie average and All-Around Ranking.
Webb Simpson [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #19
While Simpson has missed the cut the last two years at TPC Boston, this is clearly a much improved player. Presently fourth in the FedExCup standings, Simpson owns four top-10s -- including the first win of his career -- over his last six events. He ranks third in birdie average, fourth in scoring average, 15th in total driving and has remained the leader in All-Around Ranking for much of the season. At just 26 years old, Simpson is developing into a major force.
Jason Day [Yahoo Class C] - World Ranking: #35
After a poor showing at the PGA Championship, Day recovered to finish T13 last week at The Barclays. A year ago at TPC Boston, the Australian was leading after the first three rounds, but dropped to finish with a share of second. In 18 events this season, Day has made 15 cuts with 10 top-25 finishes, eight top-10s and two runner-up performances.
Adam Scott [Yahoo Class C] - World Ranking: #7
A dreadful round on the final day of The Barclays cost Scott what would have likely been his third straight top-10 finish. At TPC Boston, he owns a win from 2003 and a share of second from 2004. Since the course was redesigned, the Australian has finished T17 in 2007 and T5 a year ago. Scott ranks seventh in All-Around Ranking and, for the most part, has been playing excellent golf as of late.
Phil Mickelson [Yahoo Class A] - World Ranking: #10
After winning this event back in 2007, Mickelson has yet to crack the top-25 in three straight attempts. Last year, he entered Sunday well inside the top 10 but slid down the leaderboard after a poor round. Over his last seven starts, Lefty has three finishes inside the top 20, but four others outside the top 40 -- including a missed cut. Despite sitting 11th in the FedExCup standings, there are several safer options among the elites.
Vijay Singh [Yahoo Class C] - World Ranking: #100
With two straight top-five finishes, Singh finds himself eighth in the FedExCup standings and heading to a course where he has found a lot of success. Since 2003 at TPC Boston, he’s collected a pair of wins, a runner-up performance, another top-five and finished T11 a year ago. Singh hasn’t been an impact player for much of the season, but has the useful combination of momentum and past success going for him right now.
Charl Schwartzel [Yahoo Class C] - World Ranking: #16
Even though he skipped The Barclays, Schwartzel is 28th in the FedExCup standings and heads to TPC Boston for the first time. In his last five Tour starts, the South African has finished 16th or better on four occasions. Schwartzel ranks sixth in scoring average and could have the field wishing he stayed home longer.
Brandt Snedeker [Yahoo Class A] - World Ranking: #4
Thanks to a sizzling round of 61 (featuring 11 birdies), Snedeker climbed 26 spots to finish T3 at The Barclays. Among the best putters on Tour, currently fourth in strokes gained – putting, Snedeker finished with a top-five last year at TPC Boston after holding the lead after the second round. Despite missing three cuts in his last five events, this is a streaky player that deserves heavy consideration when he’s playing well.