By: Fred Albers, PGA TOUR.COM Correspondent
NORTON, Mass. -- When you give the best ballstriker on the PGA TOUR a perfect lie in every fairway; he is going to do some damage. Henrik Stenson entered this week leading the PGA TOUR in greens in regulation and in ballstriking and the Deutsche Bank Championship only enhanced those numbers.
He won by pounding the ball into 61 of 72 greens to lead the tournament. With preferred lies for the final two rounds because of wet weather, it only helped Stenson’s chances.
He has been a great ballstriker all year but what changed this week was his putting. He had putting rounds of 31-27-28-28 and ranked 29th in strokes gained putting. Stenson was fourth in strokes gained putting for the final round and 29th for the week.
That is a huge improvement from his first 15 tournaments this year where he ranked 135th in putting.
When you combine ballstriking and putting you have Henrik Stenson as your champion.
Captain America: Steve Stricker entered this tournament with the intention of winning and clinching a slot on the United States Presidents Cup team. One out of two isn’t bad. His 20 under total came up two shy of victory but it did earn a berth on the U.S. squad at Muirfield Village. Stricker missed one fairway the entire day and was 14-for-18 hitting greens in regulation. The 18th hole has to be one of his favorites on the PGA TOUR. He was 5-under on that par 5. Stenson will play in the BMW Championship but could go hunting instead of entering the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola in Atlanta. That decision remains to be made.
Curious: Jason Dufner had some curious splits on the golf course. He played the par 5s in 1-over and the par 3s in 8-under. It was also an unusual week putting for the PGA Champion. Dufner ranks 163rd on the PGA TOUR in strokes gained-putting but was third this week in that category. If Dufner has truly found a key to his putting and can combine that with his outstanding ballstriking, then the future is very promising.
Double trouble: Rory McIlroy made the cut on the number, teased us with a third round 64 and then a final round 72 for a T47 finish. He hit the ball much better than that finish would indicate. McIlroy made 23 birdies. That was fourth best in the tournament. So why the T47 finish? Rory combined solid play with eight bogeys and four double bogeys include a pair of 6’s in the final round. He continues to make what he calls “silly mistakes” that just destroy a round.
Tiger time: What a strange week for Tiger Woods. When he made a long birdie on the 18th hole in the second round, I thought he was poised for a huge weekend. Instead his game went in reverse. Tiger birdied his first hole of the final round with a tap in on the 10th and made just one more birdie the remainder of the day. It was not a good week on the greens for Woods as he finished 70th in strokes gained-putting. He lost a combined 4.649 strokes to the field this weekend with poor putting.
Perfect day: Jordan Spieth called it his best round ever. That’s quite a statement. The 20-year-old from Texas shot 62 including a birdie-birdie-birdie-eagle finish. Spieth said he had never been able to break 65 and once he got 6 under he stayed aggressive all the way through the final hole. The T4 finish has to get the attention of Fred Couples for Presidents Cup consideration. The day was so perfect for Spieth; he holed his eagle at the 18th just before play was suspended. He was warm, dry, happy and headed home while most of the field waited for the resumption of play.
Fred Albers is a course reporter for SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio. For more information on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio, click here.
Henrik Stenson has won the Deutsche Bank Championship for his third PGA TOUR victory and his first since the 2009 PLAYERS. With his win, Stenson earns 2,500 FedExCup points and moves ahead of Tiger Woods for the top spot in the latest standings.
Want to congratulate Stenson on his victory? Leave a message in the comments section below and we'll get it to him!
NORTON, Mass. -- With heavy thunderstorms pounding the area early Monday morning, the start of the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship has been pushed back 90 minutes to 9:30 a.m. ET.
Click here for updated tee times.
Officials had already moved up the starting times with players going off in groups of three off both tees in hopes of avoiding inclement weather.
However it looks like thunderstorms could persist throughout the afternoon with a 35 percent chance of isolated storms at 11 a.m. and an increase to 70 percent at 3 p.m.
Golf Channel will have coverage from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. when it switches over to NBC. Should the tournament go beyond 6 p.m., coverage would switch back to Golf Channel.
Round 3 at the Deutsche Bank Championship is scheduled to begin at 12:15 p.m. ET with a split-tee start. A handful of players began their rounds early Sunday, but those scores will be erased.
Click here for updated tee times and groupings.
Players will also be allowed to utilize preferred lies.
Play was suspended at 8:46 a.m. ET. The National Weather Service had issued a severe thunderstorm warning for the area.
The last time the PGA TOUR restarted a round was in early January at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, when two restarts took place.
By Jeff Shain, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent
The 18th green at TPC Boston got an overhaul before last year’s Deutsche Bank Championship with the intent of adding a little risk/reward excitement for its Labor Day Monday finish.
The results didn’t exactly live up to expectations.
The smaller, more contoured target made scarcely a dent in the hole’s statistics – the par-5 closer played to a 4.644 scoring average compared to 4.500 one year earlier. Just four double bogeys and one "other" were recorded for the week.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, one might recall Luke Donald’s surprising Twitter rant after a bogey that began with his second shot flying the green, followed by two chips that got his blood pressure rising.
“Nothing quite like hitting my best shot of the day into the last and walking off with a bogie, what a terribly re-designed green,” Donald said, ending his missive with the hashtag #sourtaste.
Other players, though, suggested they understood where Donald was coming from.
“I don’t think this green on the 18th hole plays (the way) he wanted it to play,” said Phil Mickelson, also a critic of the previous design. “There’s too many perfectly struck shots getting ridiculously penalized.”
At 530 yards, most players can easily reach the green in two. But the putting surface now is 30 percent smaller than two years ago and more uphill.
A closely mown area sits as much as 6 feet below the putting surface, and wetlands on the right also come into play. On the plus side, there’s more landing area in front of the green where players can try to run the ball up.
“That’s a really, really difficult shot,” Tiger Woods said. “Based on the pin, we’ve got to figure out where the spot is to miss it.”
By Jeff Shain, PGATOUR.COM contributor
MORE: TPC Boston, hole-by-hole
Every golf course gets its share of weather challenges. Sometimes the difference between a headache and a lesser annoyance comes down to a simple matter of timing.
TPC Boston certainly wasn’t spared from the wet June and steamy July encountered by other courses along the Eastern seaboard. But with the Deutsche Bank Championship in its usual Labor Day spot on the calendar, there has been ample time to pull through.
“I couldn’t say we had a huge impact from the weather,” superintendent Tom Brodeur said.
“We actually had an oddly difficult summer, but a lot of that weather was really back in June and early July. We had some mid-Atlantic weather that we’re not necessarily accustomed to, but it didn’t really have much of a negative impact.”
The biggest challenge came from a high pressure system in late June that seemed to sit over New England for almost three weeks.
“That was miserable,” Brodeur said. “We had some temperatures in the pretty high 90s, but it’s really the persistent humidity that combines with that that we’re not really accustomed to.
"But it’s summer and those kind of things are going to happen. You’re going to get into some weird stretches. We have a wonderful staff and we worked our way through it.”
Of particular emphasis has been keeping the TPC Boston’s bentgrass fairways and greens from being invaded by other grasses. Poa annua is the usual culprit among Eastern courses, which complicates the challenge of getting through summer’s toughest days.
“In those conditions, it can be almost impossible to keep together,” Brodeur said. “So we’re highly motivated to keep that bentgrass in place. If we allow it to convert over to bent-poa, it makes it harder to get to the end of the summer.”
Such diligence also will help protect the course from a new visitor – the annual bluegrass weevil, which made a brief appearance this year. Annual bluegrass is another name for poa annua.
“We’d just kind of looked at them as no big deal – we have no annual bluegrass,” Brodeur said. “But they ate some of the bentgrass this year. They march out and get in the collars a little bit. We did get some damage in late July, but we treated them and we’ve recovered now.
“We’re learning now that we have to begin a monitoring program. We’d sort of dismissed them, but now we’ll have to pay more attention.”
After several cool days for practice rounds, forecasts show temperatures rising to near 80 once play begins. Weekend play, though, could be hampered by unsettled weather with up to a 40 percent chance of thunderstorms.
By PGATOUR.COM staff
The FedExCup Playoffs continue this week with the Deutsche Bank Championship. Here are 15 random facts to note as the race for the FedExCup continues.
1. Just 28 players are locked into spots at the BMW Championship.
2. Only 14 can take over the top spot in the standings with a win this week.
3. Four of the five players who have previously won a FedExCup currently rank inside the top 15 in the standings.
4. Four of the current top six in the standings finished inside the top 7 here last year. Expect some fireworks.
5. One 2013 PGA TOUR winner has been eliminated but six are outside the top 50 and in danger of not surviving this week’s cut to 70 players.
6. No Barclays champ has finished inside the Deutsche Bank top 10 since Vijay Singh won both events in 2008.
7. Adam Scott has three straight top 10s at TPC Boston and five in eight trips including a 2003 victory in the inaugural event.
8. In three starts leading up to the 2012 Deutsche Bank, winner Rory McIlroy averaged a 10th place finish. This year, his average is 18th in his last three.
9. The Tiger Woods-Adam Scott-Phil Mickelson group combines for 131 TOUR wins, two FedExCups, four PLAYERS titles and 20 major championships.
10. That trio has combined for 999 TOUR starts entering this week
11. The FedExCup Playoffs are down to their last five rookies – Jordan Spieth (9th), Russell Henley (33rd), David Lingmerth (64th), Luke Guthrie (81st), Derek Ernst (83rd)
12. Just 102 points separate No. 70 Tim Clark from No. 82 Robert Garrigus. Anyone inside the top 50 last week earned more than 102 points.
13. Clark, the bubble boy, has gone MC-T45-MC in his last three starts at TPC Boston.
14. Graham DeLaet is the highest-ranked player in the standings without a 2013 victory
15. 2010 FedExCup champion Jim Furyk has four top-13 finish in his last five trips here.