After an eventful season on and off the course and a week later than originally planned, the FedEx Cup Play-Offs get underway in Massachusetts, with this week’s Northern Trust event taking place at TPC Boston.
Justin Thomas heads the field while Collin Morikawa returns to action for the first time since winning the PGA Championship along with eight past winners including; Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Webb Simpson, Bryson DeChambeau, Adam Scott, Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler, and Charley Hoffman.
This might not be as big a deal as the PGA Tour tries to make out, it’s never a bad thing to get three consecutive weeks of action on some top golf courses with some of the best players on the planet showing up every week – assuming they qualify that is.
Like last year, the top-125 in the Fed Ex Cup standing will compete this week, then the top 70 will move on to Olympia Fields next week before the top-30 will fight it out for the 15$ million top price at East Lake in two weeks.
Some big names did not make it this far including major winners; Sergio Garcia, Jason Dufner, Danny Willett and Charl Schwartzel, so here is a look at some guys that did make it as well as a deeper dive into the course and a few telling stats.
Course: TPC Boston
Length: 7342 yards (Par 71)
Architect: Arnold Palmer
After not playing the course last year the tour is back in Massachusetts at TPC Boston, the Arnold Palmer design is a tree-lined parkland course that puts the emphasis on the tee to green game.
It helps to be a bomber here as the last three winners (Bryson DeChambeau , Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy) shows, but with thick 3.5 inch rough you can get in some serious trouble if you miss the somewhat wide fairways.
And there is more than one way to skin a cat around here as top-2 finishes by Simpson, Stensson, Donald and Stricker alludes to, but you have to but your marker down somewhere and I personally will have a card with mostly above-average length hitters who can get hot with their irons.
The bentgrass greens are average in size, undulated, and usually play among the fastest on the circuit. Two of the three par 5s are reachable by everyone while the 7th you need to be somewhat of a bomber to get home in two.
The par 4s are evenly spread in terms of length but with five of them measuring over 450 yards and all the par 3s clocking in between 180-230 yards being efficient with you mid to long irons seems essential this week.
Here are some of the thing I will be looking at/for:
- Strokes gained approach
- Strokes gained off the tee
- Par 5 scoring
- Proximity 150-175
- Par 3 scoring 200-225
- Bentgrass putting
2019/20 Season overview:
Wagered: 144,1 units
Won: 197.71 units
Result: + 53.61 units
Outright winners: Hero World Challenge: Henrik Stensson 25-1, Farmers Insurance Open: Marc Leishman 50-1, RBC Heritage: Webb Simpson 29-1
Scott hadn’t touched a club in anger since before the break and taking that into consideration his T-22 at Harding Park was nothing short of impressive.
Having had a couple more weeks on American soil to get acclimatized in combination with being back at a course where he has had four top 8 finishes bodes well for the Masters champion.
Stats wise it also lines up good for one of the best long iron players in the game and who is usually long and straight off the tee.
The South Korean was in terrific form before the break picking up his first victory at The Honda Classic and following it up with a T-3 at The Arnold Palmer Invitational.
He started the post lockdown period well enough with a T-10 at Charles Schwab but then went into his biggest slump since turning pro with seven starts where his best finish was a T-35.
It was his irons that were holding him back losing strokes on approach in six straight tournaments and while he missed the cut at the PGA we saw an improvement with him gaining strokes on approach for the first time since mid-June.
Last week he continued his progression gaining 2.2 shots on approach and gaining in all four major categories and I think this is a real good spot to buy low on a future top 10 player in the world who loves to play every week so the grueling schedule over the past months should benefit him.
After being more inconsistent than his rookie classmates Morikawa and Hovland, Wolff seems to have found something over the last few weeks that accumulated in almost delivering one of the best final rounds in a major to steal the Wanamaker trophy from the mentioned Morikawa. In the end a few short misses on the green saw him come up a couple of shots short but a T4 in his first major as a pro is beyond impressive.
He seems to enhance his game when in contention so at this price I am more than happy backing a guy that gained over 14 shots tee to green in his last start.
*Odds subject to change
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