TPC Boston Ready For Deutsche Bank Championship
By: Willie Bee
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
What a difference a week makes. After having The Barclays shortened to three rounds due to Hurricane Irene, the PGA Tour heads from New Jersey to Boston for this week's Deutsche Bank Championship.
The second leg of the playoffs will at least get underway with nice weather conditions, Friday's opening round looking at highs in the mid-70s under partly cloudy skies. Rain chances do increase for the final two rounds on Sunday and Monday, but with more than a week before the action moves to Illinois for the BMW Championship, all four rounds are expected to be played in this tourney.
Dustin Johnson was the victor last week at a soggy Plainfield Country Club, carding a 19-under, 194 total for a 2-shot cushion over Matt Kuchar. It was Johnson's first Tour win this season, and his second triumph in the last three playoff events having won the 2010 BMA Championship.
Despite the win and owning the current lead in the FedExCup points standings, Johnson and 98 other golfers trail world No. 1 Luke Donald on the golf betting board for this tournament. Donald is the 12/1 favorite, followed at 16/1 by Aussies Jason Day and Adam Scott plus American Steve Stricker who won here in 2009. Scott was the inaugural champion in 2003.
Johnson, who moved up to fourth in the world with The Barclays title, is 18/1 with Kuchar and Nick Watney each 20/1.
A couple of veterans and former Deutsche Bank winners, Phil Mickelson (25/1) and Vijay Singh (28/1), are behind that group of favorites. Singh finished tied for third just three shots behind Johnson when The Barclays came to an end, with Mickelson a distant 11 shots back in a tie for 43rd.
Singh won this event in 2008, one year after Mickelson took home the title.
Charley Hoffman, last year's Deutsche Bank champion, is listed at 66/1 to successfully defend his title. He torched the field on this course with a final-round 62 to coast to a 5-shot victory.
The former UNLV star is 33rd in the latest World Golf Rankings and coming off a tie for 10th at The Barclays.
No golfer will begin play at TPC Boston off a hotter competitive round than Brandt Snedeker (40/1). The Nashville native shot a 61 in the final round a week ago to share third place with Singh. He is ranked 39th in the world and currently sixth in the points standings, and looking for his second Tour win this season after besting Donald in a playoff to win The Heritage.
One more interesting choice on the board is Camilo Villegas (50/1). The Colombian is searching for his first win since The Honda Classic in March 2010 and has played well on this course in the past. Villegas was consistent a week ago in finishing tied for sixth at The Barclays with rounds of 68, 66 and 65.
Like a lot of New England, TPC Boston was without power earlier this week in the aftermath of the recent storm. Several dozen fallen trees were part of the cleanup, but the course handled the rain in fine fashion according to tournament director Eric Baldwin in a recent report at ESPN.
The course plays just a tad over 7,200 yards long and Par 71. There are 2,500 FedExCup points to be divvied up in this event, along with an $8 million purse, $1.35 million going to the winner.