Deutsche Bank Championship
We discuss the return of the real Nick Watney, the return of FedEx Cup chaos, the return of Peyton Manning, and of course, this week's PGA Tour stop
Deutsche Bank Championship
Where: Norton, Mass.
Course: TPC Boston
Defending champion: Webb Simpson defeated Chez Reavie in a playoff for his second PGA Tour win.
This Week's Fix Six
2. Brandt Snedeker
3. Jason Dufner
4. Tiger Woods
5. Adam Scott
6. Luke Donald
Welcome to another edition of Fantasy Fix, where we were glad to see Nick Watney re-emerge from whatever cave he's been hiding in all year. We were also glad our pre-tournament pick at the Barclays, Dustin Johnson, put forth a good effort. In theory, it should be easier to pick a winner in the FedEx Cup Playoffs with smaller fields. But again, not when someone comes out of nowhere to provide a wild season's latest shakeup. In any event, onto the next one. Here are our thoughts.
The PGA Tour heads north to Norton, Mass. for the Deutsche Bank Championship, the second leg of the postseason. Expect more of a shootout at TPC Boston than what we saw over the weekend at Bethpage Black. In this tournament's nine-year existence, the worst winning score was 14 under, and three times the champion ended up at least 20 under. Also, expect the Boston crowds to be extra enthused with the wave of star power coming to town now that the Red Sox have cleaned house.
Random tournament fact: Olin Browne won this event in 2005. Now, he's best known as that dude whose daughter is dating Rickie Fowler.
Webb Simpson. Last year, Simpson became a star here with a clutch 15-footer for birdie on the final hole of regulation that sent him into a playoff he'd eventually win*. This year, he returns as a major champion. No reason to think he won't be lurking on the leader board again.
*We'll give you a minute to come up with who he beat. Never mind, we'd just be wasting time. It's Chez Reavie. Yep. That Chez Reavie.
STUD OF THE WEEK
Steve Stricker. Mr. September won this event in 2009 and has played remarkably consistently at TPC Boston, shooting over par in just two of his past 22 rounds there. Starting in 2006, and excluding last year when he was battling a pinched nerve, the Strick Show has finished T-7, T-9, T-13, win, solo ninth.
MANDATORY TIGER TALK
For three days at Bethpage Black, Woods looked like the Woods of old, finding himself in contention despite not having his best stuff. Then for five holes on the back nine Sunday, he looked like a 15-handicap. Still, Woods has played well at TPC Boston and if he's to win a third FedExCup, he needs to kick it in gear. Or, I guess he could just wait and win the Tour Championship like Bill Haas did last year. Sorry, I'm still trying to figure out how this is a "playoff" exactly. . .
RIDE THE HOT HAND
Brandt Snedeker. The Barclays runner-up has finished in the top five here each of the past two years. Another such performance would make it nearly impossible for Davis Love III to not tab him as one of his four captain's picks for the Ryder Cup. Love will make that decision on Tuesday. Brandt, it might be a good move to find out what kind of beer Love likes before then.
DON'T RIDE THE HOT HAND
Nick Watney. The impressive winner at Bethpage Black has failed to make the cut in five of his eight trips to Boston. His best-ever finish was a T-33 two years ago. And by the way, how is he No. 1 in the FedEx Cup ranking after struggling the entire season?! Does anyone out there understand these playoffs yet?!
BALL-STRIKERS WORTH KEEPING AN EYE ON
Adam Scott. As a 23-year-old in 2003, Scott captured this tournament in its inaugural year and then nearly defended his title in 2004. He's also finished in the top 10 the past two years. No reason to think he won't add to that streak this time.
Jason Dufner. Long before #Dufsanity swept across the country, Dufner recorded his first-ever runner-up finish at TPC Boston in 2009. And until struggling on the weekend there last year, he had a stretch of nine out of 10 rounds in the 60s. A "dud" last week for skipping the Barclays, we'll totally forgive him (See our lineup above) if he comes back strong here.
WEEKLY YAHOO! ROSTER SELECTIONS
Starters: Steve Stricker, Tiger Woods, Brandt Snedeker, and Jason Dufner.
Bench: Adam Scott, Bo Van Pelt, Bubba Watson, and Vijay Singh.
Care to make a guest pick? Be bold and email me at Alex.Myers@GolfDigest.com or tweet at me (@AlexMyers3) for a chance to appear in next week's column. Or if you just feel like making fun of my picks or sharing your favorite Chez Reavie memory.