PGA Tour: FedEx Cup Playoffs Preview

Golfer lines up iron shot

We preview this week's FedEx Cup Playoffs taking place at TPC Boston between 31 August and 3 September. 

FedEx Cup Playoffs | 31 August - 3 September | TPC Boston, Massachusetts

This is actually one of the youngest events on the PGA Tour. It was first staged in 2003 and was originally known as the Deutsche Bank Championship. Since 2007 it’s been the second event of the FedEx Cup Playoff Series. The field is made of only the top 100 players in the FedEx Cup rankings. Only 98 players will be in attendance though, with Ricky Fowler sitting out through injury while Francisco Molinari takes a rest. Due to the fact that it’s Labor Day in the states this weekend, the event will be played from Friday through to Monday. The top 70 in the standings after this week’s event will be heading off to the BMW Championship at Aronimink next week.

Designed by the late, great Arnold Palmer, TPC Boston only opened as recently as 2002. Gil Hanse actually reduced the length of the course by around 200 yards in 2007- a rare occurrence in this age of creating bombing paradises. The course tends to open up to the big hitters. The fairways are generous, diminishing the punitive fescue and rough. The smaller than average bentgrass greens run at about 12 on the stimp. This is also an event that tends to be dominated by quality. Ten of the last fifteen champions have also been Major Champions.

Bryson DeChambeau underlined his Ryder Cup credentials with an amazing victory last week at the Northern Trust. Patrick Reed has a tremendous record here while the likes of Koepka and Johnson will likely thrive giving the benefits of length at this course. Rory McIlroy will be looking for a repeat of his 2016 heroics. He won two of three FedEx Cup Playoff events to surge to a FedEx Cup success that mitigated an otherwise disappointing campaign. And there’s always the presence of Tiger Woods to contend with. It’s amazing how much his reintroduction to real competition has reinvigorated the interest in the PGA Tour.

Past Winners
2017: Justin Thomas (-17)
2016: Rory McIlroy (-15)
2015: Rickie Fowler (-15)
2014: Chris Kirk (-15)
2013: Henrik Stenson (-22)

To Win Outright:
Dustin Johnson 17/2 | Justin Thomas 10/1 | Brooks Koepka 12/1 | Jason Day 14/1 | Rory McIlroy 16/1

Patrick Reed- To Win 35/1, To Place 15/2
Reed is the ultimate horses-for-courses choice this week. The Masters Champion notched up seven top 10’s in nine starts earlier in the season, making his recent dip perhaps seem more alarming than it is. He still has only one finish outside the top 30 in seven starts. And the combative Reed- the ultimate golfing pugilist-absolutely loves it here around TPC Boston. He feeds off the energy of one of the most raucous sporting atmospheres to be found on tour. His last three trips here have resulted in finishes of fourth, fifth and sixth. His recent dip in form just makes his price more appealing.

Billy Horschel- To Win 50/1, To Place 11/1
I promise you, it isn’t laziness that makes me once again opt for Billy Horschel this week. He paid out in the place markets with an exceptional tie for third last week. Horschel simply loves this time of year and seems to thrive in the knockout cauldron. His price has basically halved this week, but his stats tend to encourage. No player in the entire field has hit more greens in regulation than Billy Horschel in the last six weeks. He will be desperate to continue his form and regain that precious FedEx Cup.

Tyrrell Hatton- To Win 60/1, To Place 13/1
Hatton hasn’t been cut since the Italian Open and has built up solid momentum without ever really standing out. One of the bubble boys, Hatton will be extra motivated to produce a solid showing this week. He finished in a tie for 20th last week after a brilliant final round of 64, having bought his putter a day before. He has three top 10’s in his last seven starts, including a tie for 10th at the US PGA Championship. That was his 2nd top 10 in a Major this season: he finished in a tie for sixth at the US Open.

The Man to Beat- Rory McIlroy- To Win 16/1, To Place 7/2
As I mentioned earlier, McIlroy will be hoping for a repeat of 2016 heroics around this course to save a mediocre season. McIlroy has taken a fortnight off since his PGA Championship exploits, so he should be feeling fresh and raring to go at a course that suits his game perfectly. He wasn’t fully fit when playing here in 2015 and 2017, though he won the event in between. He was also outstanding in holding off Louis Oosthuizen in 2012 to win in 20 under par. He also finished fifth in 2014 despite a disappointing final round.

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Written by Damien Kayat for

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