FedEx Cup Playoffs move north to Boston
BY Bruce Young | US PGA Tour | 2013 Deutsche Bank Championship | Preview | 27 Aug 2013
The second of the FedEx Cup Finals begins this Friday at the TPC of Boston with the leading 100 players on the FedEx Cup points table earning their way into the field for the Deutsche Bank Championship.
This week’s event will be followed in two week’s time by the BMW Championship in Illinois then the Tour Championship in Atlanta which brings to an end the 2013 race for FedEx Cup glory.
Last year, when Rory McIlory was at his peak, he defeated Louis Oosthuizen by one shot with Tiger Woods one shot further back in third position. There was quite a gap back to Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson.
McIlory is not at that same peak now but there have been signs over the past few weeks that things were improving and it might just be that he contends again this week.
Adam Scott is now the world number two and the number two player in the FedEx Cup rankings, both behind Tiger Woods but Scott is in some of the best form of his life and with a solid record at this venue including a victory in 2003, when winning his first PGA Tour event, he might well start favourite this week.
Woods has the lingering issue of a back problem which he aggravated last week at the Barclays. Woods has won this event on one occasion and been runner-up on two other. If his back holds up this week then he can win his 6th PGA Tour event of the year.
Phil Mickelson finished strongly last week with a final round of 65 and seems back to where he was when winning twice in Scotland six weeks ago. Mickelson won here in 2007and finished inside the top ten in each of the last two years.
Jason Day recorded top three finishes in this event in 2010 and 2011 and having not missed a cut in the last twelve months on the PGA Tour and having recorded three top tens in the majors this year he is more than capable of contending here.
Justin Rose should, based on his year to date, be a great chance this week but for some reason he has not played this venue well. He went so close to winning last week but working against him is a poor record in the event.
PGA Champion Jason Dufner was just average last week at the Barclays but his form prior was very good and he does have a reasonable record at the TPC Boston including a runner-up finish in 2008 when he was nowhere near the golfer he is now.
Dustin Johnson has been twice 4th in four starts in this event and despite missing the cut last week the Barclays he has put together several good finishes of late including when runner-up in Canada.
Steve Stricker has played sparingly in 2013 but when he has he has been very good. In eight of ten starts this year he has been inside the top twenty and has often played this event and venue well including when winning in 2009.
Six Australians remain in the FedEx Cup playoffs. Adam Scott and Jason Day we have already mentioned but Matthew Jones, Marc Leishman, Greg Chalmers and Stuart Appleby are still alive although several have work to do if they are to make it to the top 70 who advance to the BMW Championship and keep alive their hopes of making the Tour Championship.
For Leishman, his average tournament last week at the Barclays now leaves him on the outside looking in as far as hopes for a Presidents Cup berth are concerned. He was pushed out of the top 12 last week by Canadian Graham Da Laet and so with this week’s event being the last before the Presidents Cup teams are finalised he needs a good week if he is to convince Nick Price of his credentials for inclusion in his twelve man side.
In his rookie season on the PGA Tour Leishman finished well in this tournament and scrapped into the field for the BMW then eventually made the Tour Championship.
Matt Jones is having his best season on the PGA Tour and although playing this event just the once he played well enough then to have a chance of another good week.
Greg Chalmers and Stuart Appleby have done well to make it this far but now have a task ahead of them to go any further in the FedEx Cup playoffs.