Saturday, August 30, 2014

Furyk at the 15th - TPC Boston

These guys are - pretty damn good.



Jim Furyk on the 15th hole of the Deutsche Bank Championship for Eagle!

See http://www.digitalsportsdesk.com for coverage of the event this Labor Day weekend.

Saturday's Alright in Boston

Notes & Quotes on DBChampionship

By TERRY LYONS

THE DAY BEFORE MOVING DAY:  At PGA Tour events around the world, Saturday is fondly called "Moving Day," as the tournaments are almost always scheduled to run Thursday-Friday (then a cutdown) with Saturday and Sunday as the third and final rounds, respectively. Here at the Deutsche Bank Championship, held over the Labor Day holiday in the USA, the tournament begins a day later than usual and, thus, Saturday's round leads to the cut and Sunday's round is "Moving Day," a term the players use to note the clutch play to move into contention for a tournament win.

PALMER on PALMER: Ryan Palmer jumped to the lead at the DBChampionship, held at the TPC-Boston, a course originally designed by Arnold Palmer. Initially, the design and layout of the course drew criticism from the golf world, mainly because of its structure for long hitters but also because of poor, unforgiving greens. After a re-design and, quite frankly, the power of mother nature over time, the greens settled in and the course was tweaked to become one of the favorites on the annual PGA Tour schedule. A rather dry month of August in the suburban Boston area has resulted in firm greens at the TPC Boston which should increase as the tournament proceeds. Ryan Palmer has experienced some success at the DBC, with a T-11 in 2010 after shooting a first round 64 (-7). He bested that number in R1 on Friday with a (-8) 63, two strokes ahead of New England bred Keegan Bradley.

Palmer has a new caddie this week, as his regular partner, James Edmondson, is home in Texas on a personal matter. Brett Waldman, the regular caddie for David Toms, is stepping in for Palmer this week in Boston.

Keegan Bradley in R1 of  DBChampionship in Boston
KEEGAN'S BLUFF: In 2012, Keegan Bradley, a native of nearby Vermont, shot a 71-73 to barely make the cut at the Deutsche Bank Championship. However, he made good use of "Moving Day" and shot an 8-under 63 in R3 to help him finish T13 for the tournament. He is in the midst of his fourth consecutive start at the DBC and has made it to all four events on the PGA Tour's FEDEXCup playoffs every year since joining the tour in 2011. Coming into the week, Bradley was ranked #13 in USA Ryder Cup points and is an odds-on favorite to be a captain's choice for the USA team in 2014. A strong finish at the DBC will most likely lock him in to be one of Tom Watson's three choices, to be announced this Tuesday, Sept. 2.

LEFTY: At Fenway Park in nearby Boston, right-handed hitters have an advantage when staring down the Green Monster. However, a left-handed hitters, like Carl "Yaz" Yastrzemski and David "Big Papi" Ortiz have made quite a statement at Fenway to become two of the three greatest Red Sox batters of all-time. While there's no "Green Monster" at the TPC-Boston, left-handed PGA Tour great Phil Mickelson has had his share of success in Boston, winning the 2007 Deutsche Bank Championship and capturing a Top 15 in each of the FedExCup standings over the past seven seasons. Mickelson struggled in his R1 this year, shooting a (+3) 74, hitting only half of the 18 greens in regulation. His group shot a collective (+16) in R1, with Justin Hicks (77) and Ryo Ishikawa (78).

PLAYER NOTES in GENERAL: Defending DBC winner, Henrik Stenson, shot a (-1) 70 as he tries to become only the second player to win multiple Deutsche Bank titles in Boston. Vijay Singh is the only player to win the tournament twice, in 2004 and 2008. ... Jim Furyk opened with a (+1) 72 came into the weekend as the sixth highest FedEXCup points scorer. He finished in 8th place at The Barclays last weekend, his 13th Top-10 finishin FedExCup events, tying Steve Stricker who is not playing in Boston this week. ... World #1 golfer, Rory McIlroy, enjoys significant support from the large Irish community in Boston. McIlroy won the DBC in 2012 but finished a distant T-47 in 2013 and T-37 in 2010.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Ryder (Cup) On the Storm

Both Keegan Bradley and Ryan Palmer, first round leaders at the DBChampionship in Boston,  are vying for the three remaining USA Ryder Cup team slots, to be announced Tuesday night (7pm et) in a live telecast of US team captain Tom Watson's press conference at the 30 Rock NBC studios in New York.

Here are the Ryder Cup team points/standings as of August 25th:
  
Rank    Player               Events  Points
   1    Bubba Watson            21  6930.54
   2    Rickie Fowler           26  6733.25
   3    Jim Furyk               21  6707.69
   4    Jimmy Walker            25  6111.41
   5    Phil Mickelson          22  5510.34
   6    Matt Kuchar             24  5114.67
   7    Jordan Spieth           26  4835.83
   8    Patrick Reed            23  3651.09
   9    Zach Johnson            26  3568.96
  10    Jason Dufner            21  3559.72
  11    Ryan Moore              25  3355.87
  12    Brendon Todd            25  3343.58
  13    Keegan Bradley          27  3324.70
  14    Chris Kirk              25  3287.88
  15    Webb Simpson            24  3155.57
  16    Harris English          27  3036.07
  17    Kevin Na                24  2960.82
  18    Ryan Palmer             21  2612.14
  19    Matt Every              24  2527.31
  20    Brandt Snedeker         26  2476.65
  21    Erik Compton            25  2458.79
  22    Kevin Stadler           24  2456.98
  23    Brian Harman            28  2450.70
  24    Gary Woodland           22  2364.39
  25    Hunter Mahan            25  2346.36

"Tee-Off" from the PGA Tour event in Boston

Notes and Quotes on the 2014 Deutsche Bank Championship:

By TERRY LYONS

Rory McIlroy at the DBC in Boston (Getty Images)
NORTON, MA, August 29, 2014 -- The Deutsche Bank Championship - @DBChampionship - is the second of four events of the PGA Tour's FedExCup Playoffs. After the full PGA season, the top 125 players qualified for The Barclays tournament, held last week in northern New Jersey. The top 100 players after The Barclays qualified for this week's tournament in suburban Boston. Ninety-three players are teeing-off on Friday, a day later than usual first-round play as the DBC tournament wraps around the Labor Day holiday in the USA. Notable PGA Tour players, such as Tiger Woods (DNQ-injuries kept his FedEx Playoff points total down), Jason Dufner (neck), Dustin Johnson (leave from PGA Tour) are not playing while Graeme McDowell and Paul Casey are taking a week off with personal time to witness the birth of their children. Casey's decision will cost him the opportunity to advance to the third round of the FedEx Playoffs in Denver. Sergio Garcia and Justin Rose each took the week off but at 15th and 20th, respectively, on the PGA's FedEx Cup listing, he will advance and is expected to play the final two rounds. Tim Clark (elbow) withdrew from the tournament on Thursday.

Tourney Sites: The DBC Championship at the TPC in Boston (Norton, Mass) and the Tour Championship (East Lake CC in Atlanta) are the two constant sites for the PGA Tour playoff system. The BMW Championship, to be held next week in Denver, rotates through various courses in the Midwest and The Barclays, the first-round tourney, is staged at the premier courses in the New York-New Jersey metropolitan area, some of the best courses in the Continental USA.

Pay the Man: The Tiger Woods Foundation is the host charitable organization for the DBC within the PGA Tour's season-long commitment to local and national charitable efforts. Overall, the PGA Tour has donated more than $2 billion to charity with $133 million donated in calendar year 2013. Tiger Woods' foundation concentrates its efforts on youth and breaking cycles of poverty through college-access programs for children of low-income families. Significant efforts are made in the area of mentorship, professional development and providing four-year scholarships to many first generation scholars. ... On the player's side, a purse of $8 million is on the line at the DBC with $1,440,000 going to the winner and $864,000 for the runner-up. Overall, the FedExCup playoffs has a $10 million dollar bounty awaiting the season champion with the top five players at the Tour Championship being in the best position to gain the lofty prize.

Hunter, the hunted: Hunter Mahan vaulted to the top of the FedExCup points list with his win at The Barclays in Ridgewood, NJ last weekend, shooting 68 and 65 to close out the tournament. "Jumping to "No. 1" and securing my spot in Atlanta, it feels good having done that," said mahan when he met the media after the Thursday Pro-Am outing. "I want to be the FedEx Cup champion. I was close a few years ago (2011 when he finished 2nd). "Golf is all about winning. Top-5s are great, Top-10s are great, but if you don;t win, you're not making an impact in the game. Winning is the most important thing and it's heavily favored in this format. I think it's fun for our sport to have a "winner-take-home" (all) kind of mentality, since we don;t have that in golf, kind of a finale. I think it's pretty neat with so much on the line."

Defending Champ: Henrik Stenson, the 2013 DBC Champion, is teeing-off as No. 66 on the FedExCup list after serious moving-up exercises at the PGA Championship where he tied for third place and his T38 at The Barclays last week. In doing so, he moved from No. 92 to 66 and is now in place to possibly defend his title. Last year, Stenson overcame a two-stroke deficit to Sergio Garcia to card a 5-under 66 to outpace Steve Stricker on a rain-soaked Labor Day, The 38-year old Swede became the fourth international golfer to win the DBC, joining Adam Scott (Australia, 2003), Vijay Singh (Fiji, 2004, 2008) and Rory McIlroy (No. Ireland, 2012). Stenson recorded scores in the 60s in each of his four rounds, becoming only the seventh player to do so.

Said Henson when he met the media in Boston: "It's great to be back at a venue where you've done well in the past or won in the past," he said. "I need some sort of result this week to carry on to Denver (BMW Championship). I don;t need any miracles, but if I want to make it to Atlanta, I have to have a good showing this week or next week. I'd rather do it this week than to wait to the last minute. I'm trying to move on and it would be a shame not to make it to the Tour Championship and defend my title."

Be sure to follow @DigSportsDesk for up-to-the-minute coverage of the Deutsche Bank Championship and visit http://www.digitalsportsdesk.com 

Thursday, August 28, 2014