The first event of the 2013 FedExCup Playoffs is officially behind us and congratulations are in order for Adam Scott. Scott fired a final round 66 en route to his second victory on the PGA Tour this season (The Masters). Fortune did befall the fine man as Gary Woodland, Tiger Woods and Justin Rose squandered opportunities on the final hole. This takes nothing away from a fine performance and deserving victory by Adam Scott. This week the second leg of the FedExCup Playoffs heads to TPC Boston and the Deutsche Bank Championship.
The Tournament Players Club Boston, as the host course, will play to 7,214 yards and a par of 71. The TPC Boston will prove to be a test for the 100 golfers that have moved forward to the second round of this year’s playoffs. Are there holes that will prove to be a greater challenge than others? Are there holes that could swing the result of the Deutsche Bank Championship? The answer to both questions is yes and I will highlight a few of the key holes this week at the TPC Boston.
While no Tournament Players Club course is every considered easy, the first four holes of the TPC Boston are reasonably mundane. The fifth hole is where the fun begins. The Par-4 466 yard hole requires a long tee shot with extreme accuracy to miss the perfectly placed fairway bunker down the left side. Players will not be able to relax since they will be left with a mid-iron approach to a well protected and challenging three tiered green. Anything from birdie to double-bogey will be in play here this week.
The Par-4 465 yard sixth hole is a long hole that forces players to tee off out of a chute with a slight dogleg curving left. There are two bunkers that come into play down the right side of the fairway assuming players are not affected by the mounds that can be seen from the tee. The approach shot into the sixth green will be challenging by diabolical mounds off the left side of the green and water protecting the greens front edge. If players can play this hole in even par this week they will gain a stroke or even two on the field.
The revamped Par-4 495 yard 14th hole is a challenge to say the least. Gone are the bunkers that used to guard the left side of the fairway and in are mounds and fescue that will wreak havoc on any errant tee shot that ends up in their direction. Players will be forced to play long shots ranging from 200-225 yards even from the best of lies into a challenging and small green. This hole will bring the gamut of scores into play this week.
Short does not always mean easy and that is reflected in the Par-3 161 yard 16th hole. As players play their shots into this green they are challenged by water front and back left of this menacing two tiered green. A visually appealing and golf ball altering stone wall is also awaiting a tee shot that is slightly misjudged. Expect tournament officials to place pin positions close the water increasing the probability of an errant shot finding the drink.
The Par-5 530 finishing hole at TPC Boston is sure to build many dramatic moments as the week plays out. Depending on the players confidence and length there are two distinct lines off of this tee. A tee shot over the two bunkers will leave either a layup or a fairway wood approach to this green. Long hitters can choose to bomb the ball over the right fairway bunker leaving a long to mid-iron into the green and a chance at eagle. The 18th is a classic risk reward hole that will deliver anything from eagle to double-bogey. Imagine choosing your line on the 72nd hole of the tournament needing to make birdie or eagle to win. Now that is drama.
Now that a few problem holes have been defined who has the best chance to tame TPC Boston this week? Which players will make the cut and move on in the FedExCup Playoffs? Predictions and contenders will fly across the wire leading up to tee shots on Thursday morning. Will a young player break through? Will a previous champion once again take the title? Let’s take a look at who I believe will ultimately be victorious at the 2013 Deutsche Bank Championship along with four logical contenders for the crown.
Up Next: The Contenders and The Pick