Dell Technologies Championship: TPC Boston, Norton, Massachusetts
The second leg of the FedEx Cup Playoffs will be played at TPC Boston. The top 100 players in the standings will be playing the Dell Technologies Championship and the cut-off bubble will shift to 70 after this round putting pressure on some big names now.
TPC Boston is an interesting course. It was first designed by Arnold Palmer and then had a major redesign in 2007 by Gil Hanse. At just over 7200 yards for a Par-71, the course has some decent length to it but it is considered one of the easier courses on the Tour.
The greens here are fast but larger than the typical sizes seen on other courses, the fairways welcoming enough to allow bombers the freedom to swing without too much worry and the rough not entirely unreasonable. All of this adds up to a course where the scores will go pretty low.
The tournament is one of only two PGA tour events that starts on a Friday and ends on Labor Day. The weather forecast is for some clouds to be around on Friday, and Saturday, possible rain on Sunday and then cloudy again on Monday.
The field for this tournament will shrink to an estimated 97 for this tournament. Making their way back into the running will be Sergio Garcia, and Adam Scott (who was expected to have missed this tournament) alongside almost all of the top players in the world.
Dustin Johnson is carrying some red hot form after having beaten Jordan Spieth in a playoff at the Northern Trust. McIlroy will be looking to defend his title here while Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, and Rickie Fowler will all want to play aggressively to make up ground in the overall standings. Interestingly, two of the last four winners at this tournament have gone on to win the FedEx Cup.
Players who can hit long, stay aggressive and make birdies from the get go will be the ones that stand a chance of winning the title come Labor Day. Previous winners include Henrik Stenson (2013), Chris Kirk (2014), Rickie Fowler (2015) and Rory McIlroy last year.
Stats That Matter
The stats this week are all about scoring and so the Wolf is basically looking at:
– Strokes Gained: Tee to Green
– Birdie Average
– Putting Average
Both McIlroy in 2016 and Fowler in 2015 won with a score of 269 while Stenson managed a 262 in 2013. Stenson actually equaled the 72 hole course record also shared by Vijay Singh (2008) and Charlie Hoffman (2010). The lowest single round score is a 61 by Vijay Singh in 2006 and Mike Weir in 2008. The average winning score at the course in the last 10 years is -18. McIlroy was 1st in Driving Distance as well as putts per round when he won the title last year.
Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson just obliterated the field last week and it comes as no surprise to see them heading the market. This week though, the Wolf has put Rickie Fowler at$17.00 at the top of his list.
His T20 at the Northern Trust was disappointing but he should find this week better suited to his strengths. He won here in 2015 and knows the course very well. Statistically he rates off the chart coming in at 12th in strokes gained tee to green, 4th in birdie average and 3rd in putting average. Fowler needs to get off to a strong start and stay with the leading group of players into the final round and then back himself to get the job done. Rory McIlroy at almost the same price is also a very attractive bet and someone that the Wolf recommends keeping an eye on for some In-Play betting. Rory has the ability to shoot low scores and there could be some value if he finds himself 5 or 6 shots off the lead after the opening round.
For the value pick, the Wolf is going with the newest PGA Championship winner, Justin Thomas at $21.00. He also finished an impressive T6 at the Northern Trust and continued his fantastic form this season. Thomas is right at the top of the list when you crunch the numbers. He is 11th in strokes gained tee to green, 1st in Putting Average and 2nd in Birdie Average. The Wolf has no trouble seeing Justin Thomas as a winner at almost three times the return as compared to Spieth or Johnson, he is well worth the money.
Due to the high quality field we can get a huge price around some quality player and Daniel Berger a$51.00 is one of them. Missed the cut at the PGA Championship and his T33 at the Northern Trust last week was unspectacular but there were definite signs that was returning back to his best. This has been a great year for Berger with a win at St.Jude’s, T2 at the Travelers, and T5 at the John Deere Classic since June of this year. He has shot a round of 63 on multiple occasions this season and opened with rounds of 67 and 68 here a year ago. A similar start would put him right in the mix.
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