Power Rankings: Deutsche Bank ChampionshipAugust 26, 2013
By Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM Fantasy Columnist
The permutations that aided Adam Scott's victory at The Barclays are unlikely to be repeated at the Deutsche Bank Championship. While it's rare enough for any golfer to post, hold and win outright from the ninth-to-last pairing in the final round in a field that boasts the best the PGA TOUR offers, TPC Boston sets up for a race to the finish line.
Two of Liberty National's final four holes -- Nos. 15 and 18, both par 4s -- ranked among the top five hardest for the week. All of the last four at this week's host track were inside the top-seven easiest in last year's edition of the DBC. Even when Webb Simpson carded a field-low 65 in the finale en route to his title at TPC Boston in 2011, he was in the fifth-to-last pairing and needed a playoff to finish the job.
TPC Boston is the speed track of the FedExCup Playoffs, so this comes as no surprise. The 7,216-yard, par 36-35=71 ranked as the fourth-easiest of all par 71s in 2012 at 70.647. Simpson's 15-under 269 is the highest winning aggregate during the Playoffs, but it's dipped as low as 22-under 262 twice.
Because the course doesn't blatantly test any one aspect of a golfer's skillset, pars will often feel like bogeys. This dynamic will reveal great putters, guys finding the touch with the putter at the right time and the supremely confident to fire at flag sticks. The field of 100 will get an extra day to contemplate course management as the tournament is scheduled to begin on Friday and end on Labor Day.
The weather is forecast to cooperate once a midweek system moves through. Sunny, dry conditions are expected and high temperatures will flirt with 80 degrees. The wind may freshen as the tournament progresses.
NOTE: For similar characteristics among recent winners of the Deutsche Bank Championship, please look for "Stats Suggest" in the Stats Report later in the week.
Power Rankings: Deutsche Bank Championship Rank Player Comment Tiger WOODS The FedExCup points leader posted a T2 at The Barclays where he co-led the field in par-4 scoring. Second in all-time earnings at the Deutsche Bank Championship with a win in 2006, a pair of T2s, and a solo third. Adam SCOTT Comes off a surprise victory at The Barclays where he played his last 24 holes in bogey-free 8-under. Winner of the inaugural edition in 2003, he's added four top 10s and sits third in all-time earnings. Jim FURYK A T6 at The Barclays extended his streak of top 10s to four straight. Ranked T4 last week in greens hit and led the field in strokes gained-putting. Hasn't missed a cut in eight trips to TPC Boston; five top 15s. Phil MICKELSON Opened FedExCup Playoffs with a T6 at Liberty National where he placed T4 in greens hit and sixth in strokes gained-putting. Holed seven birdies in a closing 65. Won at TPC Boston in 2007. Also T10 in 2011 and T4 in 2012. Keegan BRADLEY The home-crowd favorite at TPC Boston where he tied for 13th place last year; ranked T4 in par breakers. Coming off a T33 at The Barclays. In the second round, spun a bogey-free 63 that stood as the course record for one day. Rickie FOWLER Has yet to record a top 40 in three visits to TPC Boston but he's posted top 25s in six of his last seven starts entering this week. The surge includes a T9 at The Barclays, his fifth top 10 of the season. Ranks 18th in the all-around. Jordan SPIETH Kept the pedal down at The Barclays. En route to a T19, ranked third in total driving and T1 in proximity to the hole. With his fearlessness and spot-on execution, he should thrive at TPC Boston. Ranks second in the all-around. Steve STRICKER Back after a two-week break to rest his right leg (torn hamstring). No worse than a solo 13th (WGC-Bridgestone) in his last four starts; tied for 12th at the PGA Championship. Six top 15s at TPC Boston, including a win in 2009. Zach JOHNSON Returns to action following planned time off for his brother's wedding. No worse than a T8 (PGA Championship) in his last five starts. One top 15 in seven appearances at the Deutsche Bank Championship (T13, 2004). Webb SIMPSON Chased his victory here in 2011 with a T18 last year. Sat two strokes off the lead at the halfway point of last week's Barclays, and then settled for a T15. Ranked third in strokes gained-putting for the week but T40 in GIR. Jason DAY After opening with a 66 at The Barclays, he faded to finish T25. Interestingly, hasn't broken par in a second or third round in his last five starts. He's 5-for-5 at TPC Boston with a co-runner-up in 2010 and a share of third in 2011. Rory McILROY The defending champion managed a T19 at The Barclays despite only one round under par (second-round 65 with eight birdies). Led the field in distance off the tee, ranked T16 in greens in regulation and seventh in the all-around. Bill HAAS Overcoming off-rounds with above-average form otherwise. Four consecutive top 25s entering the week. Led The Barclays in scrambling and has risen to third on TOUR in bogey avoidance. He's 7-for-7 at TPC Boston; four top 25s. Dustin JOHNSON In what was self-reportedly his first start as a fiance, missed the cut on the number at The Barclays. Eyeing a rebound at TPC Boston where he's registered two T4s, including last year when he led the field in the all-around. Hunter MAHAN He's 2-for-2 as a first-time father with a T25 at The Barclays. Placed inside the top 20 in total driving, greens hit and strokes gained-putting at Liberty National. Two top 15s among five cuts made in his last five starts at TPC Boston. Jason DUFNER In his first start as the reigning PGA champion, wallowed to a 2-under 71-70-71-70=282 for a T37 at The Barclays. He's 5-for-5 at TPC Boston with a T2 in 2009 and a pair of T18s. Ranks 19th in GIR and T3 in par-4 scoring. Lee WESTWOOD Tied for 13th in his debut at TPC Boston last year; ranked second in par-4 scoring average. Shared 25th place at last week's Barclays where he closed with a 68, his lowest final round anywhere since early February (Dubai). Rory SABBATINI He's the dark horse du jour to crash the FedExCup Playoffs. Rolls in with five consecutive top 20s, including a T13 at The Barclays. Ranked T4 at Liberty National in GIR, 10th in proximity to the hole and ninth in scrambling. Matt KUCHAR Licking his wounds after a Sunday 78 at The Barclays during which he hit only six greens in regulation. He led at the midpoint and co-led after 54 holes. No top 10s at TPC Boston in nine tries, but has four top 25s. Luke DONALD Just one top 40 in last six starts worldwide (T9, WGC-Bridgestone), so he sneaks in thanks to elevated success at TPC Boston. Validated a co-runner-up in 2010 with a T3 in 2011. Currently T2 in strokes gained-putting.