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FedExCup 2014: 10 Players Who Need a Great Week at TPC Boston

Ben AlberstadtFeatured ColumnistAugust 27, 2014

FedExCup 2014: 10 Players Who Need a Great Week at TPC Boston

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    John Locher/Associated Press

    As the FedExCup 2014 continues, all the golfers in the 100-man Deutsche Bank Championship field are hoping for a great week at TPC Boston. Some golfers, however, need an inspired performance more than others.

    Most significantly, only 70 of the 100 golfers will make it through to the third playoff event, the BMW Championship. Notable players such as Geoff Ogilvy, Vijay Singh and Ian Poulter are among those who really need a great week in Boston. Without a brilliant showing, all three could see their seasons come to an end.

    Beyond those who are most desperately hoping for a great week, a handful of players need a strong outing to position themselves ahead of the Tour Championship.

    And while it may not seem like it to the casual observer, Rory McIlroy needs a great showing at TPC Boston. 

    Read on to find out why and to see who else has to have a great week and what the golfers in question need to do in Boston to move on in the playoffs. 

Geoff Ogilvy

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    John Locher/Associated Press

    FedEx Cup standing: 100

    Finish he needs to guarantee BMW Championship: 13

    Finish he needs to guarantee Tour Championship: 2

    The bubble man, Geoff Ogilvy, punched the last ticket for the Deutsche Bank Championship. Thus, at 100th in the FedEx Cup standings, he needs a great week in Boston to book passage to the next event.

    After missing the cut at the Barclays, Ogilvy's back is against the wall. In his last start at the Deutsche Bank Championship (2012), Ogilvy finished tied for 51st.

    In other words, Ogilvy would probably prefer to play at another course, knowing he needs to finish 13th or better. 

Vijay Singh

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    Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

    FedEx Cup standing: 95

    Finish he needs to guarantee BMW Championship: 18

    Finish he needs to guarantee Tour Championship: 2

    Fifty-one-year-old Vijay Singh needs a great week at the Deutsche Bank Championship, as his time to capture significant tournaments is running out. Plus, he'd like his 2013-2014 season to be defined by something other than his ongoing legal battle with the PGA Tour

    Singh won the Deutsche Bank Championship in 2008, so he's returning to a venue where he has previously played well. However, the Fijian's game wasn't sharp at Ridgewood last week, so he'll have some work to do on the range to get things in order for the second playoff event.

    Fortunately, there's seemingly no place Singh would rather be. 

Ian Poulter

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    Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

    FedEx Cup standing: 91

    Finish he needs to guarantee BMW Championship: 22

    Finish he needs to guarantee Tour Championship: 2

    At 91st in the FedEx Cup standings, Ian Poulter needs a great week just to make it to the BMW Championship. As a stalwart of the European side, he'll also want to play well ahead of the Ryder Cup, which begins in less than a month. 

    It's been an off year for Poulter; he's placed inside the top 10 just twice. Since finishing tied for 17th at the U.S. Open, Poulter has missed two of four cuts. And he didn't finish better than 52nd in the tournaments where he made the cut. 

    Fortunately Poulter finished tied for ninth at the Deutsche Bank Championship last year. A repeat, or near-repeat, of that performance will earn him a spot in the BMW Championship field. 

Luke Donald

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    John Locher/Associated Press

    FedEx Cup standing: 80

    Finish he needs to guarantee BMW Championship: 39

    Finish he needs to guarantee Tour Championship: 2

    Luke Donald has faded from view over the past couple of seasons. He'll want to be sure he's included in the roster of "70 best players on the PGA Tour." To ensure that, he needs to finish 39th or better at the Deutsche Bank Championship in order to earn a spot in the BMW Championship. 

    Donald missed the cut at the Barclays, which has put him behind the eight ball entering the Deutsche Bank Championship. He famously doesn't like the track and referred to course architect Gil Hanse in a less-than-flattering manner in a tweet he meant to send as a direct message in 2012. 

    Donald tied for 26th at TPC Boston in 2012 and finished outside the top 40 last year. It's important for his reputation that he put his contempt for the track aside and play well enough to make it to the BMW Championship. 

Phil Mickelson

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    Mike Groll/Associated Press

    FedEx Cup standing: 57

    Finish he needs to guarantee BMW Championship: Likely any

    Finish he needs to guarantee Tour Championship: 3

    After a week defined by disappointment and the #PhilWasHere meme in New Jersey, Mickelson needs a great week at TPC Boston for the sake of his sanity, if nothing else. 

    Mickelson told Golf Channel's Jason Sobel, “I’m barely keeping my sanity; I’m so frustrated" as he left Ridgewood Country Club after Saturday's third round.

    While he doesn't need a top-25 finish to make it through to the BMW Championship, he does need a good tournament to reawaken the positive forces that seemed to surround him at the PGA Championship. 

Martin Kaymer

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    David J. Phillip/Associated Press

    FedEx Cup standing: 23

    Finish he needs to guarantee BMW Championship: Likely any

    Finish he needs to guarantee Tour Championship: 25

    It's surprising that a player who won both the U.S. Open and The Players Championship isn't inside the top 20 in the FedEx Cup system.

    While this may reflect negatively on the points system, it also indicates that Kaymer could use a jump-start to move himself up in the standings and have a legitimate hope of raising the FedEx Cup. 

    Therefore, the German needs a good week in Boston to put him in the position he deserves to be in entering the Tour Championship. 

Webb Simpson

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    Chuck Burton/Associated Press

    FedEx Cup standing: 22

    Finish he needs to guarantee BMW Championship: Likely any

    Finish he needs to guarantee Tour Championship: 27

    If Webb Simpson wants to state his case to U.S. Ryder Cup team captain Tom Watson and give himself a reasonable chance at winning the FedEx Cup, he'll need a strong showing at TPC Boston. 

    Simpson was 15th in the Ryder Cup points standings at the end of qualification. After a tie for fifth at the Wyndham Championship, things seemed to be going in a good direction for Simpson. However, he laid an egg at the Barclays, shooting 74 and 72 to miss the cut. 

    While he's already secured a spot in the BMW Championship, Simpson needs to show his resolve and bounce back from a poor performance in New Jersey. Surely, Watson will be watching. 

Justin Rose

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    John Locher/Associated Press

    FedEx Cup standing: 20

    Finish he needs to guarantee BMW Championship: Likely any

    Finish he needs to guarantee Tour Championship: 46

    Justin Rose will make the BMW Championship. Still, he needs a good performance in Boston to put himself inside the top 15 or so. If the Englishman is able to lock up such a position entering the BMW Championship, he won't need to be brilliant there in order to give himself a shot at winning the FedEx Cup at the Tour Championship. 

    Fifth in the Official World Golf Ranking, if Justin Rose is to be considered an elite player, he needs to at least contend for the FedEx Cup. He's never finished better than fifth in the season-ending competition (2011), however.

    Rose will want to remedy the above, and the next step toward doing that is a quality performance at the Deutsche Bank. 

Adam Scott

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    Adam Hunger/Associated Press

    FedEx Cup standing: 16

    Finish he needs to guarantee BMW Championship: Likely any

    Finish he needs to guarantee Tour Championship: 70

    Adam Scott was recently the top-ranked golfer in the world. He's currently the 16th-ranked player in the FedEx Cup standings. One would assume this state of affairs is unsatisfactory to him, even given the Australian's mild-mannered nature.

    Scott finished tied for 15th at the Barclays last week, but he had to be disappointed by a third-round 75. With a better third round, he could have contended in New Jersey.

    Returning to a course where he finished inside the top 10 in 2012, Scott needs a great week to open up a clear path to capturing the FedEx Cup.  

Rory McIlroy

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    Adam Hunger/Associated Press

    FedEx Cup standing: 2

    Finish he needs to guarantee BMW Championship: Likely any

    Finish he needs to guarantee Tour Championship: Likely any

    Rory McIlroy has plenty of viable excuses for his lackluster showing at the Barclays. He's virtually assured a spot in the season-ending Tour Championship already, so he can just coast the next two weeks and turn it on at East Lake, right?

    Unfortunately not.

    Imagine McIlroy did the above. The situation when he arrived at the Tour Championship would be one of rampant questioning and growing doubt.

    "What's wrong with Rory?" "Is it fatigue?" "Is his hot streak over?" "Does he care about the FedEx Cup?" "Is he really the heir to Tiger Woods?" 

    Furthermore, McIlroy could plummet out of the top five in the rankings with a pair of poor showings and thus make his only path to winning the FedEx Cup one that involved winning the Tour Championship. Surely, he doesn't want that and would prefer to be able to lock up the trophy with, say, a top-10 finish at East Lake, which would be a possibility if he enters the competition ranked first, second or third. 

    If you're the No. 1 player in the world and the true best player in golf, sitting in the second spot has to aggravate you (especially considering the relative achievements of Hunter Mahan and McIlroy this year). Thus, not only does McIlroy need a great week in Boston, but he surely wants one as well. 

     

    Projections are based on data from PGATour.com. All stats via PGATour.com.

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