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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Deutsche Bank Championship - Preview

The second leg of the FedExCup Playoffs winds to the familiar venue of TPC Boston for the Deutsche Bank Championship, as 100 players remain in contention for the FEC title.

While variety is fun for fans, tournaments that rotate venues can be a nightmare for serious gamers. Needless to say, the ability to project results for this week's tournament should be a little easier to pin down than Ridgewood CC. Seriously, raise your hand if you had Stuart Appleby and Cameron Tringale tying for second?

So, what do we know about TPC Boston?

It's a par-71 layout, stretching to 7,216 yards and featuring three par 5s and a par 4 that can be reached with driver, and in some cases 3-wood. While this tournament only dates back to 2003, it's taken at least 20-under to win on five occasions, with 22-under serving as the winning mark in three of the last five years. A player better take care of the par 5s and make some birdies.

Here's the history since 2005.

  • 2005 - Winner: Olin Browne (14-under, 270) over Jason Bohn (271)
  • 2006 - Winner: Tiger Woods (268) over Vijay Singh (270)
  • 2007 - Winner: Phil Mickelson (268) over Arron Oberholser, Brett Wetterich and Woods (270)
  • 2008 - Winner: Vijay Singh (262) over Mike Weir (267)
  • 2009 - Winner: Steve Stricker (267) over Jason Dufner and Scott Verplank (268)
  • 2010 - Winner: Charley Hoffman (262) over Jason Day, Luke Donald and Geoff Ogilvy (267)
  • 2011 - Winner: Webb Simpson (269) over Chez Reavie (playoff)
  • 2012 - Winner: Rory McIlroy (264) over Louis Oosthuizen (265)
  • 2013 - Winner: Henrik Stenson (262) over Steve Stricker (264)
What does that list tell us? Any time I see a list of winners that includes Vijay, Tiger and Rory, I immediately gravitate towards the class of the field. All three of these players, especially in their respective primes, were also extremely long off the tee and could overpower par 5s. Stenson fits that mold, and guys like Oosthuizen, Hoffman and Wetterich are/were players that could dominate par 5s and posses the length to be deadly when everything else falls into place.

It would be a mistake to not at least acknowledge that there are guys that do not fit that mold on the list. Webb Simpson is a good par 4 player and solid putter, not all that unlike Stricker. There are others that are steady putters, etc.

In terms of stats to study, this is probably a good week to lead on some of the major statistical categories. Ball-striking jumps off the page, as does SGP, Par 5 and Par 4 Scoring average and Par Breakers immediately come to mind.

We will get to work on our power rankings and pump something out tomorrow night. Until then, happy research!

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