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August 23 2013

6:00 PM

First Look: Deutsche Bank

Stan Badz/PGA TOUR
Rory McIlroy held on late to win the Deutsche Bank Championship last season.

By Jeff Shain, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent

• COURSE: TPC Boston, 7,207 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 a rare scheduled Monday finish.

• 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. Eight New England charities also receive financial support, including the First Tee of Massachusetts and Stop & Shop/Giant Family Foundation.

• FIELD WATCH: Zach Johnson and Steve Stricker, who both sat out The Barclays for personal reasons, return as every one of the top 100 players in the FedExCup standings are expected to tee it up. … With point values quintupled in the Playoffs, the standings may have a new leader once players arrive at TPC Boston. Since the current system was put into place in 2009, the lead has changed hands in three of four years. … The lineup will feature at least five rookies, led by PGA TOUR winners Jordan Spieth (John Deere Classic), Russell Henley (Sony Open) and Derek Ernst (Wells Fargo Championship).

• 72-HOLE RECORD: 262, Vijay Singh (2008), Charley Hoffman (2010).

• 18-HOLE RECORD: 61, Vijay Singh (3rd round, 2006), Mike Weir (1st round, 2008).

• LAST YEAR: Just three weeks after winning his second major title, Rory McIlroy added his first FedExCup Playoffs victory despite some wobbles at the end. McIlroy needed just five holes to erase a three-shot deficit to start the day, but hit just one fairway over his final five holes. That closing stretch included a 6-foot par save after finding a bunker and saving bogey at another after a pitch sailed from one side of the green to the other. Victory wasn’t assured until Louis Oosthuizen missed a birdie attempt at No.18 that would have forced a playoff. It was McIlroy’s third victory of the year and vaulted him to the top of the FedExCup standings.

• STORYLINES: Woods, who entered the FedExCup Playoffs atop the points list, can solidify his front-runner’s role at a venue where he rarely does poorly. Though he’s captured just one Deutsche Bank trophy, he has just one finish lower than 11th. … McIlroy’s up-and-down year seems to be on the upswing heading into his defense. A 67-70 weekend at the PGA Championship lifted him to a tie for eighth and seemed to light a spark in his spirit. … The battle to survive another week focuses on No. 70 on the points list. Last year, nine players came to Boston outside the cut line but survived to earn a place at the BMW Championship.

• SHORT CHIPS: McIlroy’s victory last year ended a seven-year run of American champions. Vijay Singh was the last international winner in 2004; Adam Scott captured the inaugural event in 2003. … Singh also won in 2008, making him the tournament’s only multiple winner. That victory also made him the only player to capture The Barclays and Deutsche Bank titles in the same season. … Last year, just four men recorded top-10 finishes at both The Barclays and Deutsche Bank Championship.

• TELEVISION: Friday-Saturday, 3-6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Sunday, 1-3 p.m. (GC), 3-6 p.m. (NBC). Monday, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (GC), 2-6 p.m. (NBC).

• RADIO: Friday-Monday, noon-6 p.m. ET (PGATOUR.com and SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio).

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