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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Deutsche Bank Championship - Preview

The Deutsche Bank Championship (DBC) represents the second leg of the FedExCup Playoffs and TPC Boston is the familiar scene of the action. One thing the DBC has going for it that The Barclays and BMW Championship do not from a gamer's standpoint is familiarity. Most savvy golf fans will recognize some of the more familiar holes at TPC Boston. The driveable par-4 fourth jumps to mind, as does the par-5 18th, but there are sure to be more.

TPC Boston is a par-71 layout featuring three par 5s and the full bevy of par 3s, stretching out to 7,214 yards. It boasts an impressive list of winners including Tiger Woods, Adam Scott and Rory McIlroy to name a few. Evaluating those three players, in particular, could be a big key to this week.

Scott will be a particularly tough call this week given his win at The Barclays. He admitted after his round that he never really felt like he was in a position to win the tournament, but things just fell into his lap. On the plus side for this week, that means he hasn't burned up as much mental energy as most champions entering the next week's event.

Rory McIlroy continues to flash signs of life, but he hasn't put four rounds together all year. Maybe not even three.

We don't know how big of a deal Tiger's back will be.

So what does all of this mean? Don't lock yourself into anything too early this week. I'll have my power rankings out around this time tomorrow, but that's a moving target.

At this stage of the Playoffs with fields this deep, I'm not a huge believer in spending tons of time on stats. You've got world-class players on a course where most of them have some familiarity and a deep number in the red is needed. What I will point out is that, more times than not, longer players show up with a high frequency on this leaderboard. If you've narrowed your picks down and need a tie breaker, a significant length advantage could be it. That is not normally the case on TOUR.

Case in point, the top five last year were McIlroy, Oosthuizen (2nd), Woods (3rd), Dustin Johnson (T4) and Phil Mickelson (T4). Every one of those guys can get it out there.

One final bit of advice, I'm not sure I'd lean on a first-timer here. Even if the learning curve isn't that steep, the quality of players they are trying to catch with that curve are just too classy.

Check back tomorrow! Happy research!

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