Power Rankings: Deutsche Bank Championship
August 31, 2015
By Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM
- Rory McIlroy has two top-5 finishes (including a win) in his last three starts at TPC Boston. (Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
The scaled-back points structure in effect for the first time during the 2015 FedExCup Playoffs has already had an effect. Stewart Cink tied for 39th place at The Barclays but climbed to only 102nd in points and didn't advance to this week's Deutsche Bank Championship. From 2009-2014, every golfer who finished inside the top 42 at The Barclays survived the first leg of the Playoffs.
While that may be an incidental fact to everyone but Cink, the challenge nonetheless increases at TPC Boston for the DBC, which is scheduled to begin on Friday and conclude on Labor Day. Robert Streb proved this last year. Despite a T9 in this tournament and a rise of 26 spots in the standings, he couldn't crack the top 70, instead landing at 71st. With the 20-percent reduction in points distributed, those just sneaking into this year's top 100 will need to think top-five finish to avoid the exit.
It'll be green-light golf throughout at TPC Boston, but it always has been. The par 36-35=71 averaged 0.527 strokes under par last year, and that was up more than 1.25 strokes over the tournament record-low in 2013. The only significant change for this year's edition was made to the par-3 16th hole, which can now stretch 26 yards longer and tip at 187 yards. It's been the easiest or tied for the easiest par 3 on the course throughout the FedExCup era.
Defending champion Chris Kirk ranked T44 in the field with just 46 greens in regulation. At 63.89 percent, that was nearly two clicks lower than the field average. Yet, he scored 15-under 269 on the strength of clutch putting. He ranked fifth in strokes gained and fourth in scrambling. He also co-led the field in par-3 scoring en route to the two-stroke victory.
Aside from the potential for moderate winds at times, Mother Nature figures to cooperate throughout the tournament. A primarily sunny sky will be allow for gradually rising temperatures into the 80s.
POWER RANKINGS: DEUTSCHE BANK CHAMPIONSHIP
RANK PLAYER COMMENT 1 Jason Day 2 Henrik Stenson 3 Jordan Spieth 4 Dustin Johnson 5 Bubba Watson 6 Rory McIlroy 7 Hideki Matsuyama 8 Justin Rose 9 Zach Johnson 10 Brooks Koepka 11 Robert Streb 12 Bill Haas 13 Justin Thomas 14 Jason Bohn 15 Jim Furyk 16 Webb Simpson 17 Ryan Palmer 18 Matt Kuchar 19 Rickie Fowler 20 Keegan Bradley