With some of the top European Tour players taking a week off, and sending a message to the PGA that they are more interested in resting up for the Ryder Cup than playing at The Deutsche Bank Championship, the door is open at TPC Boston for someone in the pack to make a move on Labor Day weekend.
The Deutsche Bank Championship is a rare Friday start with a Monday finish, but on a weekend where college football kicks off its season, most of the action will be over by Monday and FedEx Cup Championship Golf will be center stage.
One hundred of the top golfers in the world will tee it up for $8 Million Dollars in prize money, 2500 FedEx Cup points and a chance to play for the $10 Million Dollar pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
TPC Boston was designed by Arnold Palmer, and was one of the tougher par 71 courses on the PGA Tour, and played well over par until Gil Hanse and Brad Faxon re-designed it in 2006. By making the course more fan-friendly, they took some of the teeth out of the monster, and now it is one of the easier courses in the Playoffs.
Jordan Spieth has virtually disappeared from the golf landscape since his T 4 finish at The Players Championship back in May. The youngster from Dallas had a T 7 flurry in defense of his 2013 title at Deere Run, but for the most part has been a non-factor since his early season run at the Masters. His 62 on Sunday at the 2013 Deutsche Bank Championship was not good enough to beat Henrik Stenson, but it caught Phil Mickelson’s eye and prompted a phone call to Presidents Cup Captain, Fred Couples. Jordan finished T 4 at TPC Boston last year, and started to show some life last week in New Jersey where he finished T 22. If Team USA is going to have a chance at Gleneagles, Jordan Spieth will need to get going soon, and what a better place than TPC Boston.
Rickie Fowler had the same problem at Ridgewood Country Club last week that many of the touring pro’s had. He couldn’t putt on the quirky greens at The Barclays. I think the youngster from Marietta, California is on the verge of a big win, and a win in the FedEx Cup playoffs would be a great place to start. Fowler has played well all year but has continued to come up a coupe of strokes short of that win. His T 9 at Ridgewood was his fifth consecutive top ten finish, and all he needs now is a win.
A T 5 at The Barclays was encouraging for the four-time major champ. Ernie has 19 career PGA Tour wins, and is one shy of getting number 20 which would qualify him for permanent PGA Membership Status. The 44 year-old South African still has game, and with his 39th ranking, will need a win soon, if he stands any chance of getting to the Tour Championship and a chance to add the FedEx Cup Championship to his resume.
Jason Day has struggled since his victory at Dove Mountain with injuries, but had a chance to win last week at The Barclays. He needed eagle at the 72nd hole to force a playoff with Hunter Mahan, and had it not been for a one over par 72 on Thursday, may well have won at Ridgewood. Three consecutive rounds in the 60’s put him high on the leaderboard. Fans have waited for the young Aussie to make a run, but the injuries have kept him out of the winner’s circle. Day looks to be back in form at the right time.
I would have to be an idiot to not include Rory McIlroy on this list. The World’s number one player struggled with the greens at Ridgewood, and didn’t have his A-Game, but managed a T 22 finish to keep himself in second place in the standings. There had to be a letdown after three consecutive wins, with two of those wins being majors, and the other a WGC event. He still has that driver that can make a course like TPC Boston seem like a pitch and putt, and only needs to warm the putter back up to be in the mix.