|Deutsche Bank Championship - August 31, 2009
DEUTSCHE BANK CHAMPIONSHIP
The Second of Four Playoff Events
Par: 36-35—71Yards: 7,202
Winner's FedExCup Points Share: 2,500
Purse: $7,500,000Winner: $1,350,000
2008 Champion: Vijay Singh (262, -22)
Woods Leads Playoffs after Week One
After one week of the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup, Tiger Woods leads Steve Stricker by 1,276 points. Making the biggest move was Heath Slocum, who earned his third PGA TOUR victory by winning The Barclays. He jumped from 124th place to third with his win. Zach Johnson is in fourth, and Kenny Perry rounds out the top five. The PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup continue this week at the Deutsche Bank Championship.
Singh Defends at Deutsche Bank Championship
With 25 players eliminated from the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup, a field of 100 will be competing this week at the second Playoff event, the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston in Norton, MA. A year ago, Vijay Singh won the event by five strokes over Mike Weir. He returns to defend his 2008 title, ranked 78th in the Playoff standings. The top-70 players will advance to next week’s third Playoff event, the BMW Championship.
Singh has enjoyed unprecedented success at TPC Boston. Besides his 2008 victory, Singh also won the tournament in 2004 to become the event's only two-time winner. He also finished second in 2006.
Deutsche Bank Championship Notes
Vijay Singh posted a final-round, 8-under 63 last year to become the first multiple winner of the Deutsche Bank Championship. He also won in 2004. His 22-under 262 effort a year ago is the tournament’s 72-hole record. Singh (2006) and Mike Weir (2008) share the TPC Boston 18-hole record of 10-under 61.
Phil Mickelson will be making his 400th career PGA TOUR start when he tees it up at this week’s Deutsche Bank Championship. In his two previous starts, he won in 2007 and tied for 73rd a year ago.
Steve Stricker has found his groove at TPC Boston. After missing his first three cuts from 2003 to 2005, he has since reeled off ties for seventh (2006), ninth (2007) and 13th (2008), respectively, at the Deutsche Bank Championship.
While the first three playings of the Deutsche Bank Championship saw the 54-hole leader go on to victory, the last three champions have come from off the pace. A year ago, Vijay Singh added his name to the tournament’s list of come-from-behind winners, which includes Tiger Woods (2006) and Phil Mickelson (2007).
This year marks the sixth time Tiger Woods has played the Deutsche Bank Championship and first since 2007. He has one win (2006) two runner-up showings (2004 and 2007) and a tie for seventh (2003). The only time he hasn’t finished inside the top 10 was in 2005, when he tied for 40th. Woods’ lowest 18-hole score at TPC Boston is the final-round 63 he shot in 2006.
While 18 players entered the final round with a chance to record all four rounds in the 60s at the 2008 Deutsche Bank Championship, only Vijay Singh (64-66-69-63) pulled off the feat. The TPC Boston has been kind to Singh. He has four top-four finishes in five career starts at the Deutsche Bank Championship and is a collective 65-under in five TPC Boston starts.
There has never been a playoff at the Deutsche Bank Championship, and only once has the winning margin been one stroke. That happened in 2005 when Olin Browne edged Jason Bohn. The other winning margins have been five strokes (2008), four strokes (2003), three strokes (2004) and two strokes (2006 and 2007).
A year ago, those finishing inside the top three were all international players. They were winner Vijay Singh (Fiji), runner-up Mike Weir (Canada) and Ernie Els (South Africa) and Camilo Villegas (Colombia), who tied for third. All four of those players have already qualified for the International team at the 2009 Presidents Cup scheduled for Harding Park Golf Course in San Francisco, CA.
E NOTES FROM THE PGA TOUR
Four players played their way into this week’s Deutsche Bank Championship thanks to their finish at last week’s The Barclays. Richard S. Johnson, Troy Matteson, Fredrik Jacobson and Heath Slocum all came from outside the Top 100 to qualify for this week’s PGA TOUR Playoff event for the FedExCup. In fact, Slocum and Matteson were the last two players to qualify for The Barclays at positions #124 and #125.
Five rookies remain in the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup — Webb Simpson, Jeff Klauk, James Nitties, Marc Leishman and Scott Piercy. Only Simpson (#41) is currently inside the Top 70, the cutoff point to qualify for next week’s BMW Championship.
This week’s Deutsche Bank Championship will be the last PGA TOUR Playoff event to have a 36-hole cut.
The top 33 players in this week’s field are assured of reaching next week’s BMW Championship. The remainder will be competing for the other 37 places in field in Chicago.
DEUTSCHE BANK CHAMPIONSHIP NOTES
He’s the defending FedExCup and Deutsche Bank Championship champ, but three-time Shell Houston Open winner Vijay Singh will need to move up in the standings if he’s to qualify for next week’s BMW Championship. Singh is currently 78th in the standings, but has a great track record at the TPC Boston. Singh has two wins, a second and a fourth in five starts and is 65-under par at the course.
Tiger Woods, the current #1 in the FedExCup standings, has a great track record of his own at the Deutsche Bank Championship. Woods won the event in 2006 and has two seconds and a T7 in five appearances. He’s 57-under par at the TPC Boston.
Look for low scores this week if history is any indicator. The TPC Boston played to a stroke average of 69.869 last year. Despite having a smaller field than the average TOUR event, only two courses yielded more eagles (53) than the TPC Boston did last year.
Last year’s Top 5 finishers (including ties) included players from Fiji, Canada, South Africa, Colombia, Spain and the U.S. It could happen again this week as the field includes players from 13 different countries.
Mark O’Meara recorded his fourth runner-up finish of the season and the eighth of his Champions Tour career last week at the Boeing Classic. He’s still looking for his first win, but a look at his PGA TOUR history indicates that it should be coming soon and often. He had six runner-up finishes on the PGA TOUR before claiming his first title and went on to win 16 times in his career, including two majors. By the way, he’s won five times at Pebble Beach, site of this week’s Champions Tour stop — the Walmart First Tee Open at Pebble Beach.
Loren Roberts has been one of the hottest players on the Champions Tour of late with two wins, a T4 and a T5 in his last four outings. He’s second in the Charles Schwab Cup standings, just 86 points behind leader Fred Funk.
More on Roberts: He needed just 73 putts in winning last week’s Boeing Classic. In one 14-hole stretch in the second round, Roberts one-putted 13 times.
Jeff Sluman is the defending champ at the Walmart First Tee Open at Pebble Beach. He has enjoyed a lot of success at Pebble Beach. In addition to his win last year, Sluman was the runner-up at the PGA TOUR stop there in 1992 and the runner-up at the U.S. Open later that same year.
Last week’s nine-hole sudden-death playoff won by Gary Christian equaled the all-time Nationwide Tour record for longest playoff first set in 1998 at the Lehigh Valley Classic when Eric Booker defeated Notah Begay III.
Just like the PGA TOUR, the Nationwide Tour has a strong international flavor. The top 3 finishers last week at the Northeast Pennsylvania Classic hailed from England (Gary Christian), Sweden (Mathias Gronberg) and Norway (Henrik Bjornstad).
Heath Slocum’s win last week at The Barclays was the 255th by a former Nationwide Tour player on the PGA TOUR.
Three members of last year’s graduating class are still alive in the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup. Jeff Klauk, Marc Leishman and Scott Piercy are all scheduled to compete this week at the Deutsche Bank Championship.