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Deutsche Bank Championship Preview and Picks
by Matt Fargo - 09/01/2010
Round one of the FedEx Cup Playoffs is history and Matt Kuchar was finally able to break through for his first win of the season after posting nine top tens including three top threes heading into the Barclays. Kuchar is now atop the FedEx Cup standings but it could be short lived as winning back-to-back events in not easy on this tour. The field has been cut to the top 100 for the second leg of the playoffs.
The Deutsche Bank Championship takes center stage from TPC Boston in Norton, Massachusetts in this holiday weekend event that runs from Friday to Monday. TPC Boston has been one of the easier stops in recent years and there is no reason to think it will be any different this week. The 7,214-yard, par 71 layout is fairly wide open but it is the large greens that are pretty straight forward that contribute to the low scores.
As mentioned we are down to the top 100 in the standings with the top 70 advancing to the third round of the playoffs next week at the BMW Championship. We cashed a ticket on Kuchar last week based on his strong recent play and we will go along with that same logic this week although past course success and good iron play also needs to be factored in. There are no tricks here, just a course ripe for the taking.
The defending champion is Steve Stricker (+1200) who opened last year with a 63 and held off a large group to obtain his third win in nine starts. That was his third top ten at TPC Boston in the last four years with the other result being a T13. He finished T3 at Ridgewood last week so he comes in playing well with three top tens in his last five starts including a win at the John Deere.
Tiger Woods (+800) is back to being the favorite following solid opening and closing rounds at the Barclays enroute to a T12 finish. It was everything in the middle that threw him off but he once again showed signs of the old Tiger we are used to seeing. Whether it was some work from swing coach Sean Foley or the relief of his divorce being final, Woods showed that he is still in the hunt.
You have to give props to Dustin Johnson (+2000) who bounced back from his gaffe at the PGA Championship to post a T9 last week at the Barclays. He led the field in driving distance last week and he will likely do it again this week which is a big edge if he can keep it somewhat straight. This will enable him to go right at flags with shorter irons. He finished T4 at the Deutsche Bank last year.
The odds on Jim Furyk (+2500) are full of value. He got disqualified last week for missing his Pro Am tee time which is a joke of a rule but he got some rest and he dropped only five spots in the standings. He still could use a good showing and this is the place to do it is he has finishes of T7 and T8 at TPC Boston the last two years. He was fourth in greens hit last year so if his putter is hot, he will be tough to beat.
Ernie Els (+3000) has gotten lost in the shuffle. He is fifth in the FedEx Cup standings after a poor showing last week but he can turn it back around here. He did miss the cut at TPC Boston a year ago however he finished T3 here two years ago. He has two wins this year along with two other third place finishes. He is fifth on tour in scoring average and this is a scoring paradise so if he gets on a birdie roll, he is dangerous.
Jason Day (+5000) is an up and comer and he is starting to make a name for himself on tour. He followed up a T10 at the PGA Championship with a T5 at the Barclays last week so is heading in the right direction. We cannot forget he won at the Byron Nelson back in May and he has not missed a cut since THE PLAYERS prior to that. He finished T19 at TPC Boston a year ago.
The longshot pick goes to Ben Crane (+8000). +8000? Granted he is not playing as good as he was in May but he is still playing very well. He is 11th in the FedEx Cup standings but is getting no respect here. He is coming off a T12 last week and that could be the jolt he needed. He finished T10 at the Deutsche Bank in 2008 so he has had success here. He trails only Kuchar in all-around ranking which shows how good of a year it has been.
Recommended Tournament Win Six Pack at The Deutsche Bank Championship – All for 1 Unit
Steve Stricker (+1200)
Dustin Johnson (+2000)
Jim Furyk (+2500)
Ernie Els (+3000)
Jason Day (+5000)
Ben Crane (+8000)