Week two of the FedEx Cup Playoffs will start on Friday this week instead of Thursday and will end Monday of the following week (Labor Day). Formerly known as the Deutsche Bank Championship (it took me a good minute to figure out how to spell “Deutsche”) the Dell Technologies Championship will be held at TPC Boston for the 16th straight year. Originally an Arnold Palmer design constructed in 2003 it has seen several renovations since.
TPC Boston is a par 71 that extends to about 7,300 yards with four par 3’s, eleven par 4’s, three par 5’s, and the fairways and greens are both bentgrass. The average par 3 length is just over 200 yards and the shortest of these still reaches over 180 yards where you have to carry water to reach the green. The average length of the par 4’s is 435 yards with six holes that are +450 yards. Two of the par 5’s are reachable in two shots while the other is 600 yards with a large fairway bunker making for a dicey second shot.
The winner of this event each year is typically in the mid to upper teens under par so to compete here you will need to get birdies or better frequently. TPC Boston is littered with different types of hazards from water, bunkers, weeds, and trees, so it has played tough for those that aren’t on top of their game. For instance, in three out of the last four years the cut line has been at +3, which means knowing when to take risks and executing those shots successfully means everything here.
- SG: tee to green
- SG: off the tee
- SG: approaching the green
- Birdie or better
- Bogey Avoidance
- Scrambling (but if you are scrambling too often you will be toast)
Recent form is going to be very important because these are the best players in the world and the margin of error from being in contention and falling off completely is very slim. Also, course history should prove useful in finding who feels comfortable here because this event has been played at TPC Boston each year since 2003.
After week one of the playoffs the field is narrowed down to the top 100 in the FedEx Cup rankings. Two top ranked golfers will not be in attendance this week, but both will have enough points to qualify them for the BMW Championship the following week. Those two are Rickie Fowler, who is still dealing with an oblique problem, and Francesco Molinari, who is sitting out to rest.
Big Dogs ($8,500 and up on DK)
- As the field continues to get smaller I will probably critique this price range more, but like I said last week, almost any one of these guys can get hot and win without surprising the golf world so it’s only splitting hairs to do so.
- Jason Day ($10,400) – This one is purely speculation, but with Day’s form and course history I see him as being the highest owned at $10,000 or higher. This could definitely come back to haunt me, but I see his ceiling as being outside of the top 5. Partner that with a high ownership and he might be fade material.
- Jordan Spieth ($10,000) – He’s starting to look a lot better and he was 2nd place here last year, but I still don’t see the win equity being there so I will most likely avoid Spieth for this price.
- Jon Rahm ($9,100) – Rahm was T4 last year at TPC Boston, but it seems like in every other tournament he is either in the top 10 or missing the cut by a wide margin so view him as a big risk.
- Hideki Matsuyama ($8,900) – He looks to be back on track and can probably compete here, but Hideki hasn’t had a top 10 since God knows when so his ceiling is capped around 15th.
- Henrik Stenson ($8,600) – Great course history might have people rolling the dice, but with a nagging injury and his only time being in the top 34 in the past four events coming at the Wyndham Championship, I might steer away from Henrik.
Value ($7,200 – $8,400 on DK)
- Patrick Reed ($8,400) – He hasn’t cracked the top 20 in his six events since the U.S. Open but has three consecutive finishes here of 6th or better, so if Reed is going to score well it might be where he’s comfortable.
- Webb Simpson ($8,300) – Somewhat the opposite of Patrick Reed, Webb has three top 20’s in his last five events, but only one top 40 in his last five tries in this event. Maybe his hot hand, ability to avoid bogey (2nd) and scramble (1st) will do the trick this year.
- Tyrrell Hatton ($7,700) – This is his first appearance at this event, but Hatton is in as good a form as anybody, and for only $7,700 he looks to be a steal. Since the U.S. Open he has played in six other big events and has only finished outside of the top 30 once.
- Kevin Na ($7,400) – Na was T6 here last year and has made six straight cuts with three top 20’s in that time.
- Keegan Bradley ($7,200) – This seems to be a course made for Keegan – hit your spots with some length and it goes a long ways in terms of scoring. I don’t necessarily see a top 10 in his future, but his floor could be around a top 40.
- Phil Mickelson ($8,200) – In a smaller field this week where most people saw a decline in price, Phil jumped up $900?? He’s not as great value wise as last week but still has the potential to sniff a top 10.
- Paul Casey ($7,900) – Something seems to be off lately with his best finish in his last four events being a 31st place. Casey was 4th here last year and 2nd the year before so this could be a course where he finally finds his game.
- Louis Oosthuizen ($7,800) – He continues to be rock solid with a T28 in the first round of the playoffs even though he had to withdraw a few weeks ago. Louie seems to like TPC Boston as well with a 12th, 8th, and 30th place finish in his last three attempts here.
- Gary Woodland ($7,700) – Gary has been legit at this course and lately he has played well too, but out of his last twenty-four events he has only been in the top 10 three times. He looks to have a high floor, but his ceiling doesn’t go much further than a top 25.
- Zach Johnson ($7,500) – ZJ has been OK at TPC Boston and super steady lately (outside of his 40th place last week), but I look at him a lot like Gary Woodland. Top 25… sure, top 10… most likely not.
- Ian Poulter ($7,400) – If you took Woodland and mixed him with ZJ you get Poulter. He plays well here and has been pretty good lately, but just hasn’t been at the top of the leaderboard enough to have a whole lot of faith in him.
- Rafa Cabrera Bello ($7,300) – Rafa was T18 here last year with the likes of DJ and Koepka, and he has also made five straight cuts with three top 20’s out of his last four events.
- Charley Hoffman ($7,300) – He’s been in the top 30 in six of his last eight tournaments and was 3rd place here three years ago so the consistency has been there for Charley with the slight potential of making a deep run this weekend.
- Alexander Noren ($7,300) – Noren has missed two straight cuts but is too good to completely overlook for his price tag. I wouldn’t take him in cash plays, but I’ll probably sprinkle him into some GPP’s.
- Daniel Berger ($7,200) – Same thing for Berger as Noren, they’ve been too inconsistent for cash games, but with the ability to light it up in big tournaments they warrant a look in GPP’s.
- Xander Schauffele ($7,200) – No cash. Yes GPP. You know the drill.
Sleepers ($7,100 and under on DK)
- Emiliano Grillo ($7,100) – Grillo is slowly sliding down from top shelf to Burnett’s. He’s still a good ball striker which suits him well at TPC Boston where he finished 33rd and 22nd in the last two years. He might not be in great form but could be a sneaky good pick that some are overlooking.
- Stewart Cink ($7,100) – Cink missed the cut last week, but before that looked good and is coming off a 12th place finish here last year so he’s a contender to bounce back this week.
- Byeong-Hun An ($7,000) – He’s made seven straight cuts, but in that time Ben An has only finished better than 40th once. He’s good at getting from tee to green (17th) so this might be a course that he can successfully navigate.
- Ryan Moore ($7,000) – Every other tournament of his last six Ryan Moore has finished 13th or better and then went on to go 55th or worse… and this one would be in line with the 13th or better tournaments. That’s kind of a trash statistic, but he is 15th in SG: tee to green, and 7th in bogey avoidance so I’d say there is a decent chance he’s in the top 25.
- Russel Knox ($6,900) – Knox has been in a little bit of a slump lately, but not too long ago he had a 1st and 2nd place finish. His course history is good too so it wouldn’t surprise me if he busts that slump.
- Chris Kirk ($6,800) – Probably going to be very chalky at this price just like last week, but Kirk won here in 2014 and is definitely under priced so I had to at least mention him.
- Adam Hadwin ($6,900) – Hadwin was 13th here last year and 11th last week so it wouldn’t totally shock people to see him play well again this week.
- Luke List ($6,900) – List is 6th in SG: tee to green this year and T29 in birdie or better. He has had a slower latter part of the season compared to his performance early on this year, but he has some dark horse potential.
- Pat Perez ($6,900) – Perez was 6th in this tournament last year and has made four straight cuts where he was outside of the top 40 once.
- Kevin Chappell ($6,800) – Guessing right on Chappell is like catching lightning in a bottle, but I’m going to try here. He’s good at going from tee to green (38th) and has averaged about 25th place in his last five attempts at TPC Boston. If he is going to play well, why not here?
- Austin Cook ($6,600) – Cook has made six straight cuts but hasn’t popped in a while. If you are looking to save some cabbage and take a risk with a relatively high floor, look no further.
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