The recent champions list at the Deutsche Bank reads like a “Who’s Who” of the modern game. Steve Stricker, Vijay Singh, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods have been the past 4 champions from 2006 through 2009. It highlights how form, momentum and class rises to the top around the Palmer-designed TPC Boston Par 71 track.
Taking the course first, it’s a relatively easy track where low scoring is essential. Based around bent grass greens, winning totals of -16 (Mickelson) -22 (Singh), -17 (Stricker) have been required to get the victory. Length helps, inaccuracy off the tee isn’t overly punished and the bent grass greens run fast, but aren’t overly contoured. An interesting stat that jumps off the page is that the past 4 champions, as well as being ranked in the World’s Top 5 had all won at least 2 tournaments previously in the season prior to their victory with at least one of those victories having been in or after May. That must make interesting reading for supporters this week of Stricker, Rose, Furyk, Els and Mahan for differing reasons!
It’s true that momentum plays a key role in the Fed-Ex Cup PlayOff events. One of the fascinating questions to be answered this week is whether Tiger has finally generated enough to win in Boston this week and whether Lefty can rise to the challenge and finally grab the World Number 1 spot. This week’s predictor model suggests he could at a tasty price. My tips are below, but don't forget to check out my top 20 tips - another profit of 133% last week!
It would be hard to argue that over the past 18 months Stricker has been the most consistent ‘Tour’ player outside of the Majors. A double winner in 2010 after wins at Riviera and TPC Deere run, Stricker again contended last week with 3rd in New Jersey. Stricker is the defending champion in Boston and generically I don’t back them, but I simply can’t ignore the Wisconsin native and predictor model Number 1 pick. Momentum is an absolute key in the Fed Ex Cup Play Offs and after 9th at the WGC Bridgestone and 3rd at The Barclays, Stricker’s game has it in spades at the moment. Would like nothing better than to overhaul current leader Matt Kuchar and win the 2010 Fed Ex Cup and his ball striking style, allied to wonderful bent grass putting, could well deliver victory number 3 this week in Massachusetts. RESULT: 9th
You have to consider any player that has won PGA tournaments at TPC Boston (03), TPC Sawgrass (04) and TPC Four Seasons (08) and who has mustered Top 10 finishes at both the WGC Bridgestone and last week at The Barclays. Step forward Adam Scott. Plays inland bent grass green courses especially well and his record in Boston is significant for both his win in here in 2003 and his ‘defending’ 2nd place in 2004. On a course where “Ball Strikers” Singh and Stricker have triumphed in the past 2 years, Scott’s rank of 3rd in Ball Striking in 2010 is encouraging as is the fact that his hard work with the flat stick is starting to pay dividends. A PGA Tour winner in Texas in May, Scott also has no Ryder Cup baggage to deal with so will be focussed on cementing a Top 30 Play Off birth for qualification for the Tour Championship. RESULT: T5th
I’m sticking with another in-form Aussie for my team this week in Jason Day. For me a mark of a good player is how they react to their first Tour victory and Day’s reaction has been first class. No MCs since his triumph at the Byron Nelson in May is exceptional. Link that to a 60th at St Andrews and 10th at Whistling Straits in his first ‘major’ outings and you start to see a picture developing. 5th at The Barclays last week after leading at the half way stage shows a huge progress and a player that has real belief that he belongs at the very top of the game. He never collapsed in New Jersey and that again shows inner-strength and, on a course where TPC Four Seasons and Colonial form transfer easily, I can see Day contending in Boston this week. My thoughts are backed up statistically by this week’s predictor model where Day sits at Number 4. RESULT: T2nd
Already nibbled in from 66s, Rose fits the bill perfectly this week. Monty’s decision to go with Donald and Molinari over Casey and Rose can be justified in a number of ways, especially on the basis that Colin always stated European Tour participation would be a key consideration. However you have to say that if Rose was an American he would be on their flight over to Cardiff in late September. The big question with Rose is will he simply collapse and forget about 2010, or will he want to give Monty a single finger salute and win over the coming weeks. I’m hoping that this year’s victor at Muirfield and Aronimink will be motivated and go for the win this week on a TPC Boston track that yielded a 3rd on debut in 2003 and 4th in 2006. RESULT: Missed Cut
A triple figure price on Sabbatini this week is like Mana from heaven, especially when the market maker at Coral goes as short as 40s on the Texas based South African. On top of that he is absolutely perfect to trade on at Extrabet using their unique close bet functionality. I’m seriously getting on-board. Sabbatini, when he hits a purple patch, plays brilliantly on these kinds of shot making tracks. Look at his resume victories at Riviera (06); Colonial (07) and TPC Four Seasons (09) have me licking my lips, as does his current non major form line of 12-8-5. The fact that Sabbatini currently sits outside of the FedEx Cup Top 30 simply adds fuel to the fire! RESULT: Missed Cut
Quietly and efficiently, Bryce Molder has had an absolutely fabulous 2010 season. 6 Top 10 finishes is outstanding, with 5th at Colonial and 4th at St Georges jumping off the page. 12th at Whistling Straits weren’t bad either! 4th at Tiger’s tournament in Maryland last season also highlights that Molder can play well on northern state bent grass green courses. The career development stage for Arizona-based Molder is Top 30 qualification for the Tour Championship, and I can see him being determined to perform well at Boston where he finished 36th on debut (including an opening round 67) last year. Like Sabba, Bryce is absolutely perfect to trade on at Extrabet using their unique close bet functionality. RESULT: Missed Cut
All odds and bookmaker offers correct at 19:30BST 31.8.10 but naturally subject to fluctuation.