It takes pretty much all season, but the PGA TOUR has finally reached my home state of Massachusetts. It’s a great way to end the summer, with the Deutsche Bank Championship being held over Labor Day weekend and the final round falling on Monday. Which I think always feels a little weird. I got a chance to tee it up on the TPC Boston about a month ago, and was able to see the major changes to the 18th green area that are sure to create some drama over the four days. The green surface has been reduced by quite a bit, and where the grandstands used to sit behind the green, allowing a back stop for players going for the green in two on the par 5, it now drops completely off and there is a collection area behind the green. A player going over the green will have to lob a shot high off the fairway grass to a green that slopes severely from back to front. In front of the green is still the marsh waste area which I’m sure will see its fair share of balls. Should be fun to watch how players now attack this hole.
The TPC Boston typically allows for very low scoring. In 2010 Charley Hoffman lit up the TPC for a total of -22. I wouldn’t expect anything to change, given that the weather looks to be close to perfect for the four days. Look for some of the lowest rounds of the playoffs this week, and guys who can get hot and go really low.
A Group – Luke Donald has finished in the top three at the DBC in each of the last two seasons. Over those two years he’s sliced and diced the TPC Boston for a total of 30 under par. Donald also has five top 10s in his last eight events, dating back to the Zurich Classic in late April. To back him up, I like 2009 DBC champion Steve Stricker who is no stranger to going low on courses that allow for scoring.
B Group - As it seems almost every week, the B group presents some very difficult decisions. Before last week I had Tiger already ear-marked to start this week. That’s why I saved a start on him last week. However, watching him again struggle on the weekend, gives me some reservations. He’s typically done very well at TPC Boston, but I’m leaving him off the squad this week. Instead I’ll be starting Brandt Snedeker and Dustin Johnson. Snedeker is hungry for one of those Ryder Cup Captain’s picks up for grabs, and he’s coming off of a very strong week at the Barclays where he finished 2nd. Also has a very good track record at the DBC finishing T5 in 2010 and T3 in 2011. Dustin Johnson is also vying for a Captain’s pick and needs a good showing this week. Johnson finished T4 at the DBC in 2009 and is coming off of a T3 last week at the Barclays. His length will serve him well this week, where I think he will be able to eat up the par 5s with ease.
C Group -I like Jason Dufner to start in the C group this week. He should be well rested after taking a week off and choosing to rest instead of teeing it up at The Barclays. Dufner finished T2 at the DBC in 2009. He also ranks 3rd in birdie average on TOUR and 4th in GIR.
Starting Foursome: Luke Donald, Brandt Snedeker, Dustin Johnson, Jason Dufner
On the Bench: Steve Stricker, Bo Van Pelt, Bubba Watson, Louis Oosthuizen