A Game of Power and Precision

By Golf Channel DigitalAugust 29, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 Deutsche Bank ChampionshipSean OHair will be making his first trip to the TPC of Boston for this weeks Deutsche Bank Championship. It will be his debut in Tigers tournament.
 
Woods, whose Tiger Woods Foundation is the primary charitable benefactor of this event, wont be handing out any free advice to his adversary, but to find the key to winning, all OHair need do is check out some statistics.
 
Tiger Woods and Vijay Singh
Vijay Singh stayed a step ahead of Tiger Woods in last year's event.
The Deutsche Bank is only in its third year of existence, which means its difficult to associate a pattern to winning; however, there are a couple of things that really stand out.
 
Each of the two tournament champions led the field in greens hit in regulation. Adam Scott did so when he won in 2003, and Vijay Singh did the same en route to victory in 04.
 
But while iron accuracy is significant, so too is driving power on the par-71, 7,415-yard layout.
 
Last year, the top 6 players in the field in terms of driving distance all finished inside the top 12 in the tournament. That included winner Singh, runners-up Scott and Woods, and Daniel Chopra, who tied for fourth.
 
Currently, there are six players who rank inside the top 20 on the PGA Tour in both driving distance and greens hit in regulation.
 
And only one of them is in this weeks field: Woods.
 
Five for the Title:
 
Tiger Woods
Since missing the cut at the Byron Nelson, Woods has yet to finish outside the top 4 in an event. That includes victories in the Open Championship and in his most recent start, the WGC-NEC Invitational. This being Tigers tournament, since it benefits his foundation, Woods would love to add this trophy to his collection. He tied for seventh in the inaugural event in 2003 and tied for second a year ago. This is most likely one of just four remaining official, individual events for Tiger in 2005. He has five victories on the year, and has his sights set on running the table, which would tie his nine-win season of 2000.
 
Davis Love III
Despite some significant and positive changes to the TPC of Boston course for the 2004 tournament, many recognizable names are skipping the event. The first two editions featured players like 03 champ Scott, Darren Clarke, Jim Furyk, David Toms, Stewart Cink and Stuart Appleby. None of those players are in attendance this week, including Scott, who said he just needed a break.
 
Only three of the top 15 players in the world are in this years field. In addition to Woods and Singh, there is Love. It will be Loves first appearance in the tournament, and one of only a handful of opportunities to avoid his second straight winless season. He has plenty of length to compete on this venue; his confidence may be the key to his contending.
 
Sean OHair
Sean O
Sean O'Hair looks to lock up rookie-of-the-year honors this week.
Its been a wild ride for the tour rookie, and one that will continue this week in Norton, Mass. OHair took a break last week after having played eight of the previous nine tournaments. OHairs run included a win at the John Deere, a tie for 15th at the Open Championship, a tie for eighth at the Buick Open and a cut made at the PGA Championship. OHair has been one of the tours most consistent performers of the season, having missed only one cut since the beginning of March. After a week off, he should be recharged and ready to make a strong run down the stretch.
 
John Daly
Daly, who tied for second last week at the BMW International Open in Germany, obviously has the power to be a factor at the TPC of Boston. Daly also has an affinity for the sponsor, finishing T3 at the Deutsche Bank Players' Championship of Europe the week after the Open Championship. Daly tied for 37th in last years event in Boston.
 
Brad Faxon
Faxon, a native New Englander, lives about 30 minutes from the course in Barrington, R.I. Faxon represents the TPC of Boston and has served as a player-consultant. Even though he lacks raw power, Faxon has used his course knowledge and superb short game to tie for 24th in 2003 and tie for ninth in 2004. He won last week's Buick Championship with a final-round 61 for his first tour victory since 2001.
 
Playing Out the Front Nine
 
Four more to keep and eye on
 
*Brett Wetterich, who ranks third on tour in driving distance. Wetterich is also in the top 40 in greens hit in regulation, and as we know, thats the winning combination on this venue.
 
*Tim Petrovic, who has a pair of top-10s since his maiden victory in the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. He is a native of Northampton, Mass., and has finished inside the top 25 in each of his two Deutsche Bank starts.
 
*David Duval, who tied for 13th in this tournament a year ago. Duval hasnt made a cut in 15 starts this season. His showing here a year ago, however, was his best performance since the 2002 Invensys Classic at Las Vegas.
 
* Vijay Singh, who will not be able to defend the title he won last year by birdieing three of the last four holes. Singh withdrew on Tuesday citing back spasms caused by an injury that occurred while he was playing table tennis with his son at home.
 
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    DJ, McIlroy, Spieth listed as PGA betting favorites

    By Will GrayJuly 23, 2018, 1:38 pm

    Three majors are in the books, but there's still one more trophy up for grabs in two weeks' time.

    While next year The Open will signal the end of the 2019 major season amid a revamped calendar, this is the final year that the PGA Championship will be held in August. The tournament returns next month to Bellerive Country Club outside St. Louis, which last hosted the PGA when Nick Price won in 1992 and hasn't hosted a PGA Tour event since Camilo Villegas won the 2008 BMW Championship.

    Oddsmakers at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook published PGA betting odds shortly after the final putt dropped at Carnoustie and Francesco Molinari left with the claret jug. Topping the board are a trio of major champions: Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth, all listed at 12/1.

    McIlroy won the PGA in both 2012 and 2014, while Spieth needs only the Wanamaker Trophy to round out the career Grand Slam. Johnson has recorded four top-10s in the PGA, notably a T-5 finish at Whistling Straits in 2010 when a few grains of sand kept him out of a playoff with Martin Kaymer and Bubba Watson.

    Fresh off a T-6 finish in Scotland, Tiger Woods headlines the group listed at 16/1, behind only the three co-favorites as he looks to win a 15th career major.

    Here's a look at the betting odds for a number of contenders, with the opening round of the PGA just 17 days away:

    12/1: Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth

    16/1: Tiger Woods, Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler

    18/1: Justin Rose

    20/1: Brooks Koepka, Jon Rahm

    25/1: Tommy Fleetwood, Francesco Molinari, Jason Day

    30/1: Patrick Reed, Hideki Matsuyama

    40/1: Henrik Stenson, Alex Noren, Paul Casey

    50/1: Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson, Sergio Garcia, Tony Finau, Xander Schauffele, Matt Kuchar

    60/1: Marc Leishman, Branden Grace, Louis Oosthuizen, Patrick Cantlay, Bryson DeChambeau, Webb Simpson

    80/1: Adam Scott, Zach Johnson, Kevin Kisner

    100/1: Ian Poulter, Thomas Pieters, Tyrrell Hatton, Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Daniel Berger, Kevin Chappell, Brian Harman, Brandt Snedeker, Charley Hoffman

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    Molinari moves to No. 6 in world with Open win

    By Will GrayJuly 23, 2018, 12:31 pm

    After breaking through for his first career major title, Francesco Molinari reached some rarified air in the latest installment of the Official World Golf Rankings.

    The Italian's two-shot win at Carnoustie moved him up nine spots to No. 6 in the world, not surprisingly a new career high. But it's also a quick ascent for Molinari, who has now won three of his last six worldwide starts and was ranked No. 33 in the world after missing the cut at The Players Championship two months ago.

    A share of second place helped Xander Schauffele jump from No. 24 to No. 18 in the updated standings, while the same result meant Kevin Kisner went from No. 33 to No. 25. Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy both went up one spot after T-2 finishes to No. 2 and No. 7, respectively - a new career high for Rose.

    The drama in the rankings unfolded at No. 50, as Tiger Woods moved up 21 spots to exactly No. 50 following his T-6 finish. While some projections had him moving to 51st, Woods was able to sneak into the top 50 just in time to qualify for a return to the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, as the top 50 in the rankings both this week and next qualify for Akron.

    That includes Zach Johnson, last year's runner-up who was not yet qualified but moved from No. 52 to No. 49 this week. It also includes Kevin Chappell, who went from 61st to 47th with a T-6 finish in Scotland.

    Despite missing the cut at Carnoustie, Dustin Johnson remains world No. 1 for another week followed by Rose, Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm. Molinari is now at No. 6, with McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler and Jason Day rounding out the top 10.

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    Simpson overtakes DeChambeau in Ryder Cup race

    By Will GrayJuly 23, 2018, 12:09 pm

    A T-12 finish at The Open allowed Webb Simpson to move past Bryson DeChambeau into the eighth and final automatic qualifying spot in the U.S. Ryder Cup points race with just three weeks to go.

    Simpson finished the week at 3 under, five shots behind winner Francesco Molinari. Adding another strong result to his win at TPC Sawgrass and T-10 finish at the U.S. Open, he's now edged in front of DeChambeau by less than 41 points. But with players earning one point per $1,000 each of the next two weeks and 1.5 points per $1,000 at the PGA Championship, the race is far from over.

    Jordan Spieth's T-9 finish strengthened his position at No. 6, as the top six players are essentially assured of qualifying automatically. Rickie Fowler held onto his spot at No. 7, while Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner both moved onto the bubble following T-2 finishes at Carnoustie. After a T-6 finish, Tiger Woods jumped from 31st to 20th.

    Here's a look at the updated American standings, with the top eight after the PGA qualifying automatically and captain Jim Furyk adding four picks in September:

    1. Brooks Koepka

    2. Dustin Johnson

    3. Patrick Reed

    4. Justin Thomas

    5. Bubba Watson

    6. Jordan Spieth

    7. Rickie Fowler

    8. Webb Simpson

    ---

    9. Bryson DeChambeau

    10. Phil Mickelson

    11. Xander Schauffele

    12. Matt Kuchar

    13. Kevin Kisner

    14. Tony Finau

    15. Brian Harman

    On the European side, Molinari was already in position to qualify automatically but is now assured of a spot on Thomas Bjorn's roster this fall. Fellow major champs Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy also solidified their footing with runner-up performances.

    Here's a look at how things look for the Europeans, with the top four from each list after the PGA Championship qualifying automatically:

    European Points

    1. Francesco Molinari

    2. Justin Rose

    3. Tyrrell Hatton

    4. Tommy Fleetwood

    ---

    Thorbjorn Olesen

    Russell Knox

    Eddie Pepperell

    World Points

    1. Jon Rahm

    2. Alex Noren

    3. Rory McIlroy

    4. Paul Casey

    ---

    Matthew Fitzpatrick

    Sergio Garcia

    Ian Poulter

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    Weather extends Barbasol to Monday finish

    By Associated PressJuly 23, 2018, 12:25 am

    NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - A thunderstorm has suspended the fourth round of the PGA Tour's Barbasol Championship until Monday morning.

    Sunday's third stoppage of play at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came with the four leaders - Hunter Mahan, Robert Streb, Tom Lovelady and Troy Merritt at 18 under par - and four other contenders waiting to begin the round.

    The tournament will resume at 7:30 a.m. on Monday. Lightning caused one delay, and play was stopped earlier in the afternoon to clear water that accumulated on the course following a morning of steady and sometimes-heavy rain.

    Inclement weather has plagued the tournament throughout the weekend. The second round was completed Saturday morning after being suspended by thunderstorms late Friday afternoon.

    The resumption will mark the PGA Tour's second Monday finish this season. Jason Day won the Farmers Insurance Open in January after darkness delayed the sixth playoff hole, and he needed just 13 minutes to claim the victory.