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Friday, September 4, 2015

My "5 to Watch" at Deutsche Bank

Yes, here we go again. The fields are slowly getting whittled down as we near the Tour Championship, and this week I only have 100 players to choose from. (Well, technically only 98 as neither Sergio nor new father Francesco Molinari will tee it up.)

Hole #1 at TPC Boston

At this point in the proceedings, anybody could conceivably win this week. Unlike The Barclays or BMW Championship (next week's event), the Deutsche Bank is played at the same venue each year -- TPC Boston -- which means almost everybody is familiar with the course. If a player has planned his strategy well and is on his game... well, these guys are good.

But because we have a history at this course, we can also see how players have done in the past -- "horses for courses," as it were. And that's where I'm going with my picks.
  • Jason Day is certainly on a hot streak lately, winning three of his last four events. And he also has a good streak going at TPC Boston -- he's never won but he had a T2 in 2010, a T3 in 2011 and a T7 last year. You have to think he'll play well this year.
  • Rory McIlroy is a similar story. The winner in 2012, he also finished T5 last year. Having just regained his #1 rankings, I suspect he'll be ready to roll.
  • Henrik Stenson finally seems to have gotten over the effects of his illness back in April. The 2013 winner holds a piece of the tournament scoring records for both aggregate and relative-to-par. This has been something of a lost season for him due to that illness and I think he'll draw on 2013 this week to try and redeem it.
  • Louis Oosthuizen hasn't played here much, largely because of his streaky play over the last few years. However, he was runner-up to Rory in 2012, and the winning score that year was just two strokes off Stenson's record. He's been in good form this year and I expect that to continue.
  • And my flier pick for the week is Paul Casey. Casey is 21 in the FedExCup rankings and has done everything but win this year. How, you may ask, is a player so high in the Cup rankings a flier? Because he has NO history at TPC Boston, at least as far back as 2007, that's why! I like his chances this week to make some history.
And yes, I can hear the shocked gasps all the way here in North Carolina. I have NOT chosen Jordan Spieth as a favorite this week. In my opinion, he's running a bit low on energy and will likely contend but not get over the hump and post a win.

Of course we'll have to wait until Monday to find out who gets it done this week, and I have no doubt the winner will have his work cut out for him. Perhaps that's why they finish on Labor Day!

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