Deutsche Bank Championship: Phil Mickelson and 10 Big Name Golfers in Contention

Mike LynchContributor IIISeptember 5, 2011

Deutsche Bank Championship: Phil Mickelson and 10 Big Name Golfers in Contention

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    It's going to be a wild finish at the Deutsche Bank Championship.  A whopping 24 players are within four strokes of leader Bubba Watson heading into Monday's final round at TPC Boston. It is quite possible that the winner could finish before the final group plays the back nine.

    The Monday finish coincides with Labor Day and it is the only tour event that starts on a Friday.  The unique finish will benefit from one of the tightest leaderboards of the year.

    Live coverage begins on The Golf Channel at 11:30 AM EST.  NBC picks up the tournament at 2:00 PM EST.  With so many players in contention, it is best to start watching early.

    Here are 10 players who could win the Deutsche Bank Championship.

10. Ernie Els

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    It's been a down year for the Big Easy.  Els needed to play the Wyndham Championship just to qualify for the FedEx Cup playoffs.  He's battling each and every week to keep playing this year and needs another strong finish to play next week.  Els is seven-under-par, four off the lead and tees off at 11:55 AM EST. 

9. Dustin Johnson

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    Johnson is in position to win for the second straight week and put a stranglehold on the FedEx Cup.  His win at The Barclays vaulted him to the top of the Fed Ex Cup standings.  A follow up victory at TPC Boston could allow the bomber to cruise to a $10 million check.  Johnson is four off the lead and tees off at 12:05 PM EST.

8. Phil Mickelson

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    Mickelson debuted the belly putter this week and then scrambled to make the cut.  However, a third round 63 leaves him only four strokes back.  If Lefty puts together another low round, he could be back in contention for the FedEx Cup.  Mickelson tees off at 12:15 PM EST.

7. Rickie Fowler

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    This may finally be the week for Fowler to break through.  He showed an ability to play well in windy conditions at The British Open and Monday may bring that challenge.  This would be an enormous stage for Fowler to capture his first victory.  He tees off at 12:25 PM EST, three behind the lead.

    Keep an eye out for Nick Watney as well.  He will start 10 minutes after Fowler.

6. Charl Schwartzel

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    The Masters Champion created a bit of controversy by skipping The Barclays.  Only two strokes off the lead, his strategy may turn out to be well thought through.  A win here would completely negate skipping the first round.  Schwartzel tees off at 12:55 PM EST.

5. Luke Donald

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    The top ranked player in the world has a chance to put together a very special season.  He leads the PGA Tour Money List and could conceivably win the FedEx Cup and the Race To Dubai.  Being the top player on both the PGA and European Tour would make up for a majorless season.  Donald tees off at 1:05 PM EST.  He is two shots off the lead and playing with hot rookie Webb Simpson.

4. Jim Furyk

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    The 2010 FedEx Cup Champion seems to have found his game at the right time.  Furyk has picked it up and a solid finish will put him in position to repeat.  He is only two strokes back and will tee off with long hitting Gary Woodland at 1:15 PM EST.

3. Adam Scott

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    Scott has spent much time in the limelight recently due to his employment of Tiger Woods' ex-caddie Steve Williams.  It has overshadowed just how well the Australian has played this year, especially recently.  He emerged from a tight field at the WGC Bridgestone to win, so he has experience playing in traffic.  Scott is one back and tees off at 1:25 PM EST.

2. Jason Day

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    Another Australian in the midst of a great year is Jason Day.  He has been in contention seemingly every week but has failed to get a victory this season.  With so many close calls, it seems inevitable that he picks up a W this year.  Day is one off the lead and in the final group teeing off at 1:45 PM EST.

1. Bubba Watson

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    The sole leader at 11-under-par, Watson is looking to pick up his third win of the season.  Doing so would not only put his in a good position to win the FedEx Cup, but would also probably make him the front-runner for the PGA Tour player of the year.  Watson could have played much better on Sunday and taken a sizable lead to the final round.  However, he seems to have a much better attitude on the course and it could pay off for him in the final round.