Preview and Predictions for the 2016 Deutsche Bank Championship

Ben Alberstadt@benalberstadtFeatured ColumnistAugust 31, 2016

Preview and Predictions for the 2016 Deutsche Bank Championship

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    The second week of the FedEx Cup playoffs has arrived, and with it the Deutsche Bank Championship (don't say it like this guy) from TPC Boston in Norton, Massachusetts, which is (fun fact) about 10 miles from where the New England Patriots play. 

    Those still alive in the FedEx Cup playoffs number 100 golfers. With a field of 70 for next week's BMW Championship, even the most mathematically challenged among us can calculate 30 golfers won't be making it to Crooked Stick in Carmel, Indiana. 

    All of the top 100 golfers in the points standing (except Danny Willett) will tee it up at TPC Boston, with strong play off the tee and good work with mid-to-long irons critical, as it is every year.

    For the full preview and our prediction to win, read on.

Tournament Information

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    Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

    Defending Champion: Rickie Fowler

    Where: TPC Boston, 7,297 yards, par 71

    What

    Total Purse: $8,500,000 

    Winning Share: $1,530,000 

    FedEx Points to Winner: 2000   

    When 

    Friday-Saturday: 2:30-6:30 p.m. ET (Golf Channel)

    Sunday: 1-3 p.m. (GC), 3-6 p.m. (NBC)

    Monday: 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (GC), 1:30-6 p.m. (NBC)

Biggest Storylines

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    Jockeying for position and watching which players will slide inside the top 70 to earn a spot in the BMW Championship field will dominate storylines this week—in addition to whatever is going on at the top of the Deutsche Bank Championship leaderboard.

    With the European Ryder Cup squad set, attention turns to the American side. Captain Davis Love III will make three of his four captain's picks following the BMW Championship, so players who finished just outside the rostered eight will be keen to impress—including the likes of Jim Furyk and Rickie Fowler. 

    Many eyes will be focused on Henrik Stenson this week, as the big Swede withdrew from The Barclays with a knee injury. His fitness for the playoffs looks questionable, and Europeans will be anxious to see Stenson healthy ahead of the Ryder Cup. 

    Other questions: Will Rory McIlroy put together a decent week of putting? Will Sergio Garcia, who took last week off, continue his summer of great form? How will (defending champion) Rickie Fowler rebound from a miserable Sunday at The Barclays? 

    And an interesting tidbit: The last six Deutsche Bank Championship winners have come from behind on the final day. Only four winners out of 13 in tournament history have closed out 54-hole leads.

The Favorites

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    Jason Day: It will be no surprise that the No. 1 golfer in the Official World Golf Ranking is placed among the favorites to win this week. And with top-15 finishes in his last three efforts at TPC Boston, Jason Day is an attractive play. He tied for fourth at The Barclays last week amid an otherworldly putting display.

    Dustin Johnson: Returning to action at The Barclays last week, Dustin Johnson will tee it up at a venue where he's had mixed luck. DJ tied for 18th at Bethpage, New York, returning from nearly a month off. Third on tour in total strokes gained, Johnson has the game to win anywhere he plays (TPC Boston included, of course).

    Jordan Spieth: Struggling with his iron play for much of 2016, Jordan Spieth looked to have things sorted in that department at The Barclays where he was eighth in strokes gained approaching the green and tied for sixth in greens in regulation. While he missed the cut at TPC Boston last year, he does have a top-five finish at the venue (2013).

The Dark Horses

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    Jim Furyk: Trying to catch the captain's eye for a Ryder Cup berth, Jim Furyk wasn't terribly impressive in the first playoff event. Still, the sure-handed veteran has been solid this summer, and he was a top-five finisher at TPC Boston last year. 

    Ryan Moore: The always-under-the-radar Ryan Moore has a pair of decent showings at TPC Boston in 2010 and 2011. He tees it up this week on the heels of a tie for seventh at The Barclays. The Washington native is 22nd on tour in total strokes gained this season. 

    Jason Dufner: Quietly having something of a bounce-back season, Jason Dufner has cobbled together respectable tied-for-22nd finishes in his last two starts. He finished ninth at TPC Boston in 2013 and is 18th on tour in strokes gained from tee to green this season.

Prediction

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    Winner: Adam Scott

    Scott has finished worse than 16th only once in his last five tries at TPC Boston. And at a course that demands strong play from tee to green, choosing the guy who picked up a ludicrous 14.07 strokes on the field from tee to green last week seems more than sensible.

    Scott is also the tour leader in strokes gained from tee to green this season, so his showing at Bethpage Black was no fluke.

    Putting is always a concern with this particular Australian (he was worst in the field in SG:P of anyone who made the cut at The Barclays), but assuming he's able to wield the flatstick at even an average level this week, he's a great bet to win.  

    He's finished outside the top 20 only twice in his last eight PGA Tour starts. His play from tee to green is the best in the business, and he's returning to a course where he's had success. Fade the likes of Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth, whom the oddsmakers favor ahead of Scott this week, according to Odds Shark.  

    All stats via PGATour.com and the PGA Media Guide.

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