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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Saturday's Alright in Boston

Notes & Quotes on DBChampionship


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.

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