There is a general correlation between the level of difficulty of a golf course and the field it attracts. The deviation from this is what makes the Deutsche Bank Championship especially entertaining.
TPC Boston is a pushover year after year. Whether that's because the top 100 in the FedExCup standings qualify and therefore the field is inherently strong, the fact remains that a high percentage of the best golfers in the world get to floor it as soon as they stick their first tee in the turf on the par 36-35=71 racetrack. Last year's scoring average of 69.207 was a tournament record (and second-lowest among par 71s in 2013). Defending champion Henrik Stenson matched the all-time aggregate low of 22-under 262. He led the field in greens in regulation (61), went 9-for-11 in scrambling (T6) and holed 25 birdies. Of course, he went on to win the FedExCup.
The 7,216-yard layout in Norton, Massachusetts, was the most difficult par 71 on the schedule at +1.611 strokes to par in 2006. Thanks to numerous changes and scoring- and spectator-friendly enhancements by Hanse Golf Course Design, TPC Boston has averaged under par in every edition since.
The Deutsche Bank Championship is a scheduled Friday start and Labor Day finish. The early weather forecast looks good for the first two rounds. A threat for rain and thunderstorms enters the picture by Sunday. Winds may freshen as it rolls in. Comfortable temperatures are expected with a cooling come Monday.
POWER RANKINGS: DEUTSCHE BANK CHAMPIONSHIP
1 Patrick Reed 2 Rory McIlroy 3 Jason Day 4 Matt Kuchar 5 Jim Furyk 6 Hunter Mahan 7 Rickie Fowler 8 Adam Scott 9 Gary Woodland 10 Kevin Na 11 Henrik Stenson 12 Brandt Snedeker 13 Bill Haas 14 Keegan Bradley 15 Jordan Spieth 16 John Senden 17 Cameron Tringale 18 Ernie Els 19 William McGirt 20 Kevin Stadler