Preview of the Deutsche Bank Championship
August 28, 2015
By Jeff Shain, PGATOUR.COM
- August 28, 2015
- Rory McIlroy makes his Playoffs debut at TPC Boston. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
• COURSE: TPC Boston, 7,242 yards, par 71. Located about midway between Boston and Rhode Island, the 2002 Arnold Palmer Design creation lasted just five years before Gil Hanse and Brad Faxon were brought in for a thorough remodel. Fairways and greens were regraded, while 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 one of just two scheduled Monday finishes on the season.
• FEDEXCUP: Winner receives 2,000 points.
• CHARITY: The Tiger Woods Foundation has been the tournament’s primary beneficiary since the start, directing proceeds to the Earl Woods Scholarship Program and several Tiger Woods Learning Centers. Seven New England charities also receive financial support, including The First Tee of Massachusetts and Greater Boston Food Bank.
• FIELD WATCH: Once-and-again world No.1 Rory McIlroy, who returns to the top perch Monday, and the dethroned Jordan Spieth rekindle their budding rivalry as headliners on a roster expected to total 99. … The only uncommitted name from the FedExCup's top 90 is Sergio Garcia, who also sat out The Barclays for undisclosed reasons. The Spaniard began the Playoffs at No.31 and is assured of a spot in next week’s BMW Championship. … Louis Oosthuizen, who withdrew before The Barclays with a back flareup, will attempt to tee it up at TPC Boston.
• 72-HOLE RECORD: 262, Vijay Singh (2008), Charley Hoffman (2010), Henrik Stenson (2013).
• 18-HOLE RECORD: 61, Vijay Singh (3rd round, 2006), Mike Weir (1st round, 2008).
• LAST YEAR: Chris Kirk played his final 36 holes without a bogey, all with McIlroy looking on in his pairing, to emerge from a wild Labor Day sprint and complete a comeback from 10 shots back after Round 1. Kirk closed with a 6-under 65, taking the outright lead for the first time with a 25-foot birdie at No.13, staying in front with a 15-foot par save at No.15 and a 12-foot birdie one hole later. Billy Horschel had a chance to force a playoff after finding the fairway at the par-5 18th, but chunked a 6-iron well short of its target and wound up with a bogey. That gave Kirk a two-shot win, his first multiple-win season and a spot at the top of the FedExCup points list. Horschel (69) shared second with Geoff Ogilvy (65) and Russell Henley (70).
• STORYLINES: McIlroy, who returned to the top of Official Golf World Ranking even as he rested his mended ankle, seeks a return to form in just his second start since June. The Northern Ireland pro placed 17th at the PGA Championship and entered Playoffs at No.9 in the FedExCup points race. … Spieth tries to shake off his worst tournament since the spring, missing The Barclays cut with rounds of 74-73. Not only was it his first MC since THE PLAYERS, it was just his second finish outside the top 10 since then. … The FedExCup cutdown now moves to the top 70 in points to qualify for the BMW Championship. A year ago, Horschel and Ogilvy were among six men who extended their seasons after coming to Boston outside the cut line. … Hunter Mahan’s streak of never missing a FedExCup start since its inception stands in serious jeopardy. His MC at The Barclays dropped him down into the 90s in the points race.
• SHORT CHIPS: The DBC also represents the last opportunity for players to clinch automatic Presidents Cup berths. The top 10 U.S. players in a two-year accumulation of FedExCup points make the squad; the International team locks in the top 10 non-Europeans in the World Ranking. … Just one man in each of the past two seasons has notched top-10 finishes at each of the first two events of the Playoffs. Last year it was Jason Day.
• TELEVISION: Friday-Saturday, 2:30-6:30 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), 1:30-6 p.m. (NBC).
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• RADIO: Friday-Saturday, noon-7 p.m.; Sunday-Monday, 1-6 p.m. (PGA TOUR Radio on SiriusXM and PGATOUR.com).