By Michael McGill

This week we head to Norton, Massachusetts for the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston.

Week two of the FedEx Cup playoffs sees the Top 100 qualifiers teeing it up for a share of US$8 million in prize money.

The Deutsche Bank Championship has been played at TPC Boston since its debut in 2003. It is a Par 71 course measuring 7214 yards. There are 53 sand bunkers and 2 water hazards. The greens are Bentgrass and the stimpmeter is running at 11.5 feet.

Starting on Friday and finishing on Labor Day it is the only PGA Tour event to conclude on a Monday.

There are seven past winners teeing it up this week such as Adam Scott (2003), Vijay Singh (2004,2008), Steve Stricker (2009) and Phil Mickelson (2007). Defending Champion Webb Simpson is also playing.

Sixteen Major winners will also be challenging this week including Ernie Els, Keegan Bradley, Charl Schwartzel and Graeme McDowell.

The Top 5 in betting are Rory McIlroy 10/1, Tiger Woods 10/1, Luke Donald 16/1, Jason Dufner 20/1 and Dustin Johnson 20/1.

To play well at TPC Boston you need to rank well in a few different categories.

  • Length- If you look at the past winners and runners up of this tournament many of them have been long off the tee. There are several dogleg holes on the course and these can be carried by the big hitters. This will be a distinct advantage.
  • Putting- The greens at TPC Boston are large and many have several tiers so putting could be challenging this week. Many past winners have ranked highly in putting stats on their way to victory.
  • Scrambling & GIR- Past winners have all ranked highly in both of these areas.
  • Par 5’s- If you want to finish high up the leader board you need to take advantage of the three Par 5 holes. Looking at past winners they have all played them well.

Looking at the field this week there are three players who represent good value and are sure to be up there challenging over the weekend.

Geoff Ogilvy 45/1

His last PGA Tour victory was at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions back in 2010.

In 2011 his three best finishes were 3rd BMW Championship, T4th Masters Tournament and T4th Canadian Open.

This year has not been one to write home about. Geoff is still looking for a Top 5 finish after only posting one Top 10 finish this season.

While the high place finishes have been missing he has managed to chalk up ten Top 25’s from eighteen starts. He has only had the two missed cuts.

A few good results from this season have included:

  • T9th Open Championship
  • T24th WGC Bridgestone
  • T11th PGA Championship
  • T19th The Barclays

If you look at the above results they have all come from his last four starts! Geoff is starting to get his game back to where it was when he won the US Open in 2006.

His current stats also show up a few good indicators such as 39th in Strokes gained putting, 23rd in sand saves, 41st in scoring average, 9th in scrambling, 43rd in Par 5 performance and 11th in scrambling from the rough.

In his last two tournaments he has averaged 65% of GIR’s, 66% in driving accuracy and 294 yards in driving distance.

When it comes to the Deutsche Bank Championship you get the feeling that he likes the course.

He has teed it up on six occasions and posted four Top 7 finishes. T2nd in 2010, 7th in 2009, T6th in 2007 and T5th in 2003. Last year he was T25th.

TPC Boston could be the place where Geoff puts it all together and comes away with his first victory of the season. At the current odds he has to be up there as a great each way bet.

Matt Kuchar 50/1

For a guy that is ranked 11th in the World Golf rankings, 11th in FedEx Cup points and won the Players Championship just three months ago how can you go past the 50/1 that is on offer!

This season has been for Matt. He has only missed one cut from nineteen starts. There have been twelve Top 25’s and eight Top 10’s. Not to mention the win at Sawgrass.

Check out a few of these results:

  • 1st Players Championship
  • T3rd The Masters Tournament
  • T5th WGC- Accenture Match Play
  • T8th WGC- Cadillac Championship
  • T8th Travelers Championship
  • T8th WGC- Bridgestone
  • T9th Open Championship

That is some very impressive golf. And there is no reason why it can not continue this week at TPC Boston.

Kuchar has had eight starts in this tournament and half of those have resulted in Top 25 finishes. T25th last year, T11th in 2010, T15th in 2009 and T17th in 2004.

He also has the stats to show that a much higher finish is not to far away in this tournament.

They include 30th in GIR, 43rd in SGP, 3rd in scoring ave, 8th in all-round, 31st in scrambling, 19th in 3 putt avoidance and 46th in Par 5 performance.

When it comes to the big events Matt Kuchar is never to far away from the action. And this week is one of those times.

Zach Jonhson 66/1

Zach falls under the same banner as Kuchar. A guy who is 66/1 to win this week who has already had two wins on tour this season!

It has been a busy year for Johnson with him playing in 21 events. There have already been nine Top 25’s and six Top 10’s while only missing the one cut. That is a pretty good season in anyone’s book.

A few good results have included:

  • 1st Crowne Plaza Invitational
  • 1st John Deere Classic
  • 2nd RBC Heritage
  • 2nd The Players Championship
  • T8th Humana Challenge
  • T9th Open Championship

Stats wise he is ranked 7th in SGP, 37th in scrambling, 7th in Par 5 performance, 16th in scoring ave, 6th inn all-round ranking and 4th in scrambling from the rough.

At the Deutsche Bank Championship Zach has had five Top 30 finishes from six starts. They include T16th last year, T30th in 2010, T19th in 2009, T30th in 2007 and T13th in 2004.

Could this be the week for him to record his third victory of the season? It would be a bold person to say he no!

Good luck and good punting.

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