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August 29 2012

9:41 PM

Fantasy mailbag: Deutsche Bank

By Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM Fantasy Columnist If you are a golf course history buff, and Rory McIlroy is burning a hole in your pocket, plug him in this week. Next case. Oh, if it were only that easy. Actually, it just might be. My question is this: I have only one more start for Rory and just wondered which event you thought he may be best suited for. Thanks again. -- Jeff Of the quartet of host courses for the 2012 FedExCup Playoffs, TPC Boston is the only track on which McIlroy has competed before in the postseason. (He tied for 10th at Bethpage State Park's Black Course in the 2009 U.S. Open, and in considerably worse conditions than last week.) In his first look at TPC Boston as a PGA TOUR rookie in 2010, he shot 64 in the opening round to sit one off the lead after 18 holes. He'd go on to finish T37. Shortly thereafter, he found a new and higher gear. Since, in the 47 tournaments worldwide that contribute to the Official World Golf Ranking [OWGR], he's won four times, including two majors. Seventeen others went for top fives, and another seven were top 10s. That's 28 top 10s in 47 starts for a clip of an incredible 59.57 percent. (If inclined, throw out his solo fourth at the 2010 Chevron World Challenge since only 18 competed, but I also omitted his victory at the 2011 Shanghai Masters in which 30 of the world's elite teed it up.) He doesn't turn 23 and a half years of age until November 4, and in two years of parity on the PGA TOUR, he's risen to No. 1 in the OWGR. Now, while he's proven to be one of the most reliable investments just about anywhere, he's still on the upward climb of the bell curve in terms of breaking through for a victory in the Playoffs. The average number of postseason starts for the 11 winners since the 2010 Barclays is 10.625. (Dustin Johnson is the only multiple champion during this span. The number of starts prior to his first win at the 2010 BMW Championship -- seven -- was included in the sample size.) The fewest starts among the champions was Webb Simpson's six prior to last year's Deutsche Bank Championship. Nick Watney had made 17 appearances in the Playoffs -- most among the set -- until ending his drought at last week's Barclays. There's something to be said for experience in the postseason. Camilo Villegas remains the only golfer to record his first PGA TOUR victory in the Playoffs (2008 BMW). And even though the FedExCup was just 2 years old at the time, his triumph occurred in his seventh career appearance. McIlroy is making just his fifth postseason start this week. However, if there's anyone in the field capable of shattering the recent mold, he's the guy. Plug and play!
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