Deutsche Bank Championship Preview

This week the PGA Tour heads up to TPC Boston. Jason Day has been red hot and is helping #TeamAdidas by winning tournaments and gaining some appeal in the U.S. So will Day win again this week? It would be his fifth win of the year and he could (potentially) overtake Jordan Spieth for the PGA Tour POY.

Players to Watch

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The guys worth taking note of this week are: Jason Day, Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson, Brooks Koepka, Billy Horschel, Kevin Na, and Jimmy Walker. I think this is a nice mix of favorites and guys who are keeping a low profile heading in to this week.

The first three players are all in a fight for the OWGR’s top spot. McIlroy is currently world number one and will look to keep that spot with a strong finish this week. He’s only played in nine tournaments (compared to 22 for Spieth and 17 for Day) so he’s not exactly had a lot of tournament reps in lately. He did, however, play better at the PGA Championship than many expected. McIlroy has won this event before and he says he feels good going in.

Spieth didn’t play well last week and I’m a little concerned the grind of so many events is wearing on him. He made an unusually large number of bogeys (12 holes of bogey or worse) a week ago and looked fatigued. He has been so good all year (winning four times and finishing 2nd four times) so it’s hard to pick against him.

Day has been on fire lately. He is displaying a killer instinct and is awfully good off the tee right now. Everyone needs to enjoy watching him because it’s difficult to find these peak performance zones very often.

Stenson and Koepka are great ball-strikers and hitting lots of greens is never a bad thing. Stenson finished 2nd last week to Jason Day. Horschel finished strong in 2014 at this event and he’s been good in the FedEx Cup Playoff events in the last two years. Kevin Na is steady and should finish in the top 20 or so. Jimmy Walker is someone the announcers love to discuss. He’s won twice this year (although it was early in the season) and has a good all-around game. I think he’s been in a bit of a slump but could bounce back this week.

The Picks

I’m taking Jason Day, Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Billy Horschel, Henrik Stenson, and Jimmy Walker this week. I am rolling the dice on Walker playing well. He played well there last year and I think he could find his game on a friendly track. Horschel also had an excellent showing last season.

Day has to be picked because he’s playing the best golf of his life and (especially with a few more wins) could grapple away the POY award from Spieth. He’s the apex predator right now. I think it’s appropriate to say he’s a great white shark. I’ve heard they are common in Australia.

Jason Day and the great white are both Australian.
Jason Day and the great white are both Australian.

Spieth has been the best all year and is basically minting money for Under Armour’s golf department. I do worry about the fatigue and he has hit some shots in the last few weeks that were a little concerning. I’ve seen him hit the ball nearly 30 yards short of his target (both while using a hybrid) and I just wonder if he needs a week off. He’s got plenty of FedEx Cup points and could obviously take some time to rest up.

McIlroy has won here before and he’s saying he’s healthy. I know he’s not played much this year and he’s obviously being overshadowed a little by Day and Spieth right now. I still think he’s the most talented and has an extra gear that the other players don’t have. He’s not a grinder and won’t scrap out a low round when he’s hitting it poorly. I think he’ll go low this week on a course where he’s played well before.

Stenson finished 2nd last week. He’s a great ball-striker and has finished in the 6th or better in two of his last three starts. He won the event in 2013.

The Winner Will Be: Rory McIlroy (-19 under par)

Rory Mcilroy

The tournament has a history of low scores. I think McIlroy finds his game and goes really low a few days this week. Day’s an obvious choice as well. I think I’ll go against the grain and not pick Jason Day to win. I think it’s just unlikely that he wins three tournaments in a row (which would give him four wins in his last five tournaments). I expect Spieth to play better this week and he’ll contend. He finished T-29th in 2014 so he’s at least reasonably comfortable at TPC Boston. I would not be surprised to see Stenson finish in the top five and he could make some moves up the leaderboard in the final round.

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