THE FIRST LOOK
First Look: Deutsche Bank Championship
August 22, 2014
By Jeff Shain, PGATOUR.COM
- Henrik Stenson captured the Deutsche Bank Championship en route to winning the FedExCup in 2013. (Stan Badz/PGA TOUR)
Editor's note: This story was updated on Monday, Aug. 25
The FedExCup Playoffs move to their second leg with the top 100 players eligible to compete in the Deutsche Bank Championship. The TOUR's annual stop at TPC Boston gets under way Friday. Here's what you need to know ahead of next week's event:
• COURSE: TPC Boston, 7,216 yards, par 71. Opened in 2002 as an Arnold Palmer creation, the layout lasted just five years before Gil Hanse and Brad Faxon were brought in for an extensive remodel. In addition to regrading fairways and greens, Hanse/Faxon introduced “chocolate-drop” mounds and grass bunkers to give the course more of a New England feel. The Deutsche Bank Championship has been part of the Labor Day calendar since 2003, taking advantage of the holiday for one of just two scheduled Monday finishes on the season.
• FEDEXCUP: Winner receives 2,500 points.
• CHARITY: The Tiger Woods Foundation has been the tournament’s primary beneficiary since its inception, directing proceeds to the Earl Woods Scholarship Program and several Tiger Woods Learning Centers. Seven New England charities also receive financial support, including The First Tee of Massachusetts and Greater Boston Food Bank.
• FIELD WATCH: New FedExCup leader Hunter Mahan, winner at The Barclays, and World No. 1 Rory McIlroy highlight a roster of players set to spend Labor Day weekend at TPC Boston. … The roster was hit by an unusual rush of withdrawals Monday. Heading the list were Graeme McDowell (new father) and Paul Casey (awaiting child), along with Jason Dufner (neck). … For Dufner (74th) and Casey (85th), it ends their FedExCup season with no chance to move into the top 70 in the points race. … With Brice Garnett missing the cut at The Barclays, Chesson Hadley is left as the only rookie standing in the playoff hunt.
• 72-HOLE RECORD: 262, Vijay Singh (2008), Charley Hoffman (2010), Henrik Stenson (2013).
• 18-HOLE RECORD: 61, Vijay Singh (3rd round, 2006), Mike Weir (1st round, 2008).
• LAST YEAR: Henrik Stenson notched his first victory since The PLAYERS in 2009, surging past a faltering Sergio Garcia on the way to a two-shot win and matching the tournament scoring record. A 5-under-par 66 in soft conditions finally pushed the Swede into the winner’s circle, sealing the victory with a hole-out from a greenside bunker at No. 17. Victory came on the heels of top-three finishes for Stenson at the Open Championship, WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and PGA Championship. Stricker’s third runner-up finish of the year allowed him to nail down a Presidents Cup spot despite playing a part-time schedule. Canada’s Graham DeLaet was third, also locking up a Presidents Cup berth for the International side.
• STORYLINES: Mahan, whose game suffered through back and hip woes for much of the spring and summer, now seeks to become just the second man to win both The Barclays and Deutsche Bank crowns in the same season. Singh did it in 2008, which under previous FedExCup rules essentially locked up the season title. … McIlroy has been hot-and-cold in Boston, sandwiching a pair of middle-of-the-pack finishes around his 2012 win. … The quest to survive another week focuses on No. 70 on the points list. Last year, seven men played their way to the BMW Championship after coming to Boston outside the cut line, including Ernie Els and Ian Poulter. … It’s also the last chance for U.S. players to impress Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson, who will round out his squad with three wild-card picks on Sept. 2.
• SHORT CHIPS: With his jump to the top of the FedExCup chart, Mahan assures that he’ll remain the only man to start every Playoffs event since the system was introduced in 2007. The Deutsche Bank marks his 30th Playoffs start and counting. … A year ago, DeLaet was the only man to notch top-10 finishes at each of the first two Playoffs events. … Stenson and McIlroy have swung the Deutsche Bank back to the International side the past two years, following a seven-year run that produced six U.S. winners. Singh (2008) was the lone International to interrupt that stretch.
• TELEVISION: Friday, 2:30-6:30 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Saturday, 3-6:30 p.m. (GC). Sunday, 1-3 p.m. (GC), 3-6 p.m. (NBC). Monday, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (GC), 1:30-6 p.m. (NBC).
• RADIO: Friday-Saturday, 1-7 p.m.; Sunday-Monday, noon-6 p.m. (PGA TOUR Radio on SiriusXM and PGATOUR.com).