Deutsche Bank Championship Betting Preview

Tiger Woods (Courtesy: myophoto)

Tiger Woods (Courtesy: myophoto)

The FedEx Cup playoffs resume this week, as the PGA Tour heads to TPC Boston for the regular Friday to Monday event, the Deutsche Bank Championship.
2013 Deutsche Bank Championship Fact Sheet

  • Course: TPC Boston
  • Location: Norton, Massachusetts
  • Yardage: 7,214 yards, par 71
  • Defending Champion: Rory McIlroy
  • Five Consensus Favourites: Tiger Woods, Adam Scott, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose

TV Schedule:

  • Friday – 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM ET (Golf Channel)
  • Saturday – 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM ET (Golf Channel)
  • Sunday – 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM ET (Golf Channel) & 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM ET (NBC)
  • Monday – 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM ET (Golf Channel) & 1:30 PM to 6:00 PM ET (NBC)

Key Storyline This Week
After this week’s event, the race for the FedEx Cup will be down to just 70 players, as another 30 will be going home instead of heading to Illinois for the BMW Championship in two weeks. Who are the notable players currently sitting outside of the top 70?

  • K.J. Choi (74th)
  • Ian Poulter (77th)
  • Robert Garrigus (82nd)
  • Stewart Cink (85th)
  • Martin Kaymer (90th)
  • Ernie Els (91st)
  • Bo Van Pelt (97th)
  • Camilo Villegas (100th)

You’d have to think that some of these players will have a good enough week, but for some of them at the bottom like Villegas and Van Pelt, they’ll need to finish just outside of the top 10 to move on and have an outside chance of grabbing the $10 million first place prize.
Obviously the other big story is the health of Tiger Woods. Tiger holds the lead in the FedEx Cup at the moment, and even if he missed the cut here this week, he’d fall no lower than 4th in the standings, but how is his back? He was in visible pain on the weekend at the Barclays despite his runner-up finish, and while he’s expected to tee it up again this week, he hasn’t confirmed his plans at the moment.
08.25.13-tiger-back-13 08.25.13-tiger-back-13-again
Considering his spot is very secure and the added week off between now and the BMW, he would have a solid chunk of time to rest if he decided to sit out. One thing to keep in mind is that the tournament does benefit his foundation, so that could be playing into his decision. He did pull out of good friend Notah Begay’s Wednesday pro-am, but I wouldn’t read too much into that.
TPC Boston
TPC Boston is one of the newest venues on the PGA Tour, having only been used since 2003, the same year that Arnold Palmer finished the original design. Since then, Gil Hanse and Brad Faxon finished a re-design, but it hasn’t changed much in terms of the final score of the winner. Every year, the winning score has been double digits under par, ranging from Olin Browne’s 14-under in 2005, to the joint record to par of 22-under held by Vijay Singh (2008) and Charley Hoffman (2010). Last year, Rory McIlroy was able to win with a score of 20-under par, so what we’re looking at is a course that is known to be a little easier for the pros to navigate. The other thing to mention is that TPC Boston’s greens can be difficult, so keep that in mind when you’re looking at potential plays.
Thoughts On The Favourites

  • Tiger Woods: We talked about Tiger’s health above, but it clearly didn’t do much to affect his performance, as he finished as the runner-up to Adam Scott on Sunday, but it’s tough to put a ton of confidence on anyone when they look to be in that much pain, especially at the lack of value. One thing to note is his track record here at the course. He’s made eight appearances, finishing inside the top-11 seven times, with a win and two runner-ups.
  • Adam Scott: Scott’s run of good form continued with his win on Sunday, giving him four straight top-15 finishes, and much like Tiger, he’s enjoyed playing TPC Boston, with a win, runner-up and three other top-10’s in eight tries.
  • Phil Mickelson: Mickelson’s final round 65 at Liberty National left him just two shots back of Scott, but did get him his first top-10 since winning the Open Championship in July. He’s a little too inconsistent for my liking right now, but he did win here back in 2007 and finished tied for 4th last year.
  • Rory McIlroy: The final result hasn’t been great, but McIlroy has been playing much better as of late. He’s on a run of 16 consecutive rounds of 72 or better, which is the first time he’s done that since February and March of last year. Obviously feels comfortable on the course as well based on last year’s win.
  • Justin Rose: Rose hasn’t had the best run at TPC Boston over the years, which makes a little bit of sense when you consider that the putter has occasionally been his achillies heel. Two top-10 finishes back in 2003 and 2006, but since then, he’s only broken 70 in two rounds on the course. On the plus side, he’s coming off of a runner-up finish to Scott at the Barclays.

Suggested Plays
Rory McIlroy (Best Odds 16-1 at 888 Sport)
Taking him for the reasons mentioned above, and the books are starting to take notice with his best value coming in at about 16-1. He really is looking better at this point, and I think it could be his time to get that first win of 2013.
Jim Furyk (Best Odds 35-1 at BetVictor)
Anyone who’s been reading this blog for any length of time knows that I’m not the biggest Furyk supporter out there, but he’s been on fire recently with four straight top-10 finishes. He’s also finished inside the top-10 here in five of his eight appearances, so he’s comfortable at TPC Boston. At this point, we can’t trust him to close anything out, but I think he’s near the top of the board on the weekend.
Zach Johnson (Best Odds 41-1 at Betfair)
If Furyk’s been on a good run, Johnson’s on a great one, with five consecutive top-10 finishes, which allowed him to take last week off and not have to worry about his position in the FedEx Cup. Prior to that run, he wasn’t having a great 2013, and one of the reasons was that his usually strong putting just wasn’t working for him. That’s turning around a little bit here, and with his form, he seems like a good bet at roughly 40-1.
Rickie Fowler (Best Odds 61-1 at Betfair)
Fowler has never played well here, with his best finish coming in 2010 when he ended up tied for 41st, but much like Rose, his putter has always been an issue. This year though has been a different story, as his putter has been working, despite the fact that he hasn’t won a tournament since the Wells Fargo last May. He’s finished inside the top-25 in six of his last seven starts, including last week’s T9.
Graham DeLaet (Best Odds 75-1 at BETDAQ)
DeLaet got back on track last week with his runner-up finish at the Barclays, which moved him into 7th in the FedEx Cup standings and put him inside the top-10 for the International Presidents Cup team. His place in the BMW is already secure, as even if he misses the cut, he can only fall to 25th overall. You might think that means he has little to play for this week, but he’s a very streaky player, so I’m thinking another good performance is in order here. His putter is always the big question mark, but he rolled it well last week, so I’m hoping it continues.
Ian Poulter (Best Odds 142-1 at BETDAQ)
Poulter is one of those guys that needs a good performance to keep going in the FedEx Cup, so my thought is that it might motivate him a little more this week. He’s had a rough year to say the least, as evidenced by his odds coming into the event, but he can still get as hot as just about anyone in the field. At that kind of price, there’s probably no better value on the course this week.

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