Dell Technologies Championship
It was a solid week for us in the end at The Northern Trust with Adam Scott returning a full place and our trader Jamie Lovemark producing a fine performance over the first two days.
In the end though Bryson Dechambeau took a grip of the tournament with a fine 3rd round and closed things out fairly comfortably on Sunday.
All in all it was a tremendous performance from ‘The Scientist’ and he must now surely be a lock for a pick from Captain Furyk for a trip to Paris.
So we now move on to week two of the Play Off’s, the Dell Technologies Championship.
As we know, last week we saw the field whittled down from the 125 players who qualified for The Northern Trust down to this weeks field of 100.
After this week the field will be cut again down to 70 players who will then go on to the BMW Championship next week at Aronimink.
The Dell Technologies Championship first debuted on the PGA Tour calendar back in 2003 under the guise of the Deutsche Bank Open.
In 2007 it then became one of the inaugural Fedex Cup play off events.
The event was renamed the Dell Technologies Championship in 2017 when Dell took over as the lead sponsor.
The event has been played since inception at TPC Boston in Norton, Massachusetts.
The event is played over the Labor Day holiday weekend and therefore unlike other PGA Tour events it runs from Friday through to a Monday finish.
TPC Boston is a par 71 measuring just over 7340yds.
The greens are Bent Grass.
The course was designed by Arnold Palmer in 2001 and underwent a Gil Hanse redesign in 2006.
The course sets up for low scoring with the Par 5 2nd hole, which measures 542 yards and the par 5 18th hole, which measures 530 yards, historically both offering eagle opportunities.
The Par 4s on offer have also historically been one of the easier sets of Par 4s on the tour.
Having said that it should be noted though that over the last three years due to firmer conditions TPC Boston hasn’t been quite as much of a pushover as it was in previous years.
So let’s take a look at the last ten winners of the Dell Technologies Championship since 2008.
The winners of these events have been as follows;
2017 J Thomas
2016 R McIlroy
2015 R Fowler
2014 C Kirk
2013 H Stenson
2012 R McIlroy
2011 W Simpson
2010 C Hoffman
2009 S Stricker
2008 V Singh
The first thing I wanted to take a look at here was how the winner of this event had performed in their previous start at the first Fedex Cup Play Off event, The Barclays.
Considering that the Fedex Cup Play Off’s are basically about momentum at first glance this actually threw up some fairly surprising numbers as you will see from the below;
Barclays Finish in Previous start
2017 J Thomas 6th [won PGA in prior start to Barclays]
2016 R McIlroy 31st
2015 R Fowler MC
2014 C Kirk 53rd
2013 H Stenson 43rd
2012 R McIlroy 24th [Won PGA in prior start to Barclays]
2011 W Simpson 10th [Won Wyndham in prior start to Barclays]
2010 C Hoffman 27th
2009 S Stricker 2nd
2008 V Singh 1st
As you can see from the table above since 2008 & 2009 when V Singh and S Stricker triumphed here on the back of 1st and 2nd place finishes respectively in their previous starts at the Barclays, the winner at TPC Boston has produced the goods here on the back of a fairly underwhelming performance the previous week.
However, dig a little deeper though and we see that two of the recent winners, Thomas and McIlroy, had won the PGA Championship in their start prior to the Barclays whilst another, Webb Simpson had won the Wyndham Championship in his start prior to the Barclays.
That means that in fact five of the last ten winners of this event had actually finished 1st or 2nd in one of there two previous starts to the Dell Technologies.
In addition Henrik Stenson had finished 3rd, 2nd & 3rd in his three previous starts prior to the Barclays.
One other point that is worth noting about the past ten winners of this event is that all of them bar Charley Hoffman had won on the PGA or European Tour already that season.
Past course form does not appear to be too much of a requisite as whilst Rory has won this twice over recent years JT, Fowler, Kirk, Stenson, Simpson & Hoffman hadn’t even notched a top 10 here between them prior to their wins!
All in all then it would seem that the formula to finding the winner here is to look for an elite player who has won already that season, who has been in decent form of late but perhaps was slow out of the gates in the Fedex Cup in the first event.
The winning score over the past ten years was as low as -22 earlier in the decade, however over the last four years we have seen -15 win for three consecutive years before Justin Thomas won with -17 last year.
As mentioned for the past few years we have seen firmer conditions at TPC Boston however this year there are storms forecast for Thursday prior to the event and showers in the forecast for Both Friday & Saturday.
If this forecast holds up we will a see a soft course and therefore quite possibly lower scoring than we have over the past few years.
Wind does not look to be an issue with nothing more than 8-9mph forecast all week.
As I always say though…this could all change!
I have gone with five players this week as follows;
ADAM SCOTT – 28-1 - 1pt E/W – 1/5 odds 1st 7 FINISHED 49th
I said in my preview last week that Adam Scott must surely be back in the winners enclosure very soon if he continues to putt like he currently is and I reiterated this in a tweet on Sunday, on this basis I am keen to make the Aussie my headline pick this week.
If we take a look at Adam’s stats from Ridgewood CC we will see that quite remarkably for him he topped the field for SGP on the week.
His iron game wasn’t too shabby either as he was 10th for GIR on the week and 17th for Strokes Gained Approach To The Green.
The only thing which probably stopped Adam from pushing Bryson closer was that he was slightly wayward of the tee finishing the week 37th for DA.
So we move on a week and this sees Adam returning to a venue, which he has had plenty of success at in the past, TPC Boston.
Scott won the inaugural Dell Technologies Championship in 2003 [or Deutsche Bank as it was back then] with a total of -20.
He then followed this up with a 2nd place finish on defence the following year.
More recently he has added four further top ten finishes in his past seven starts in the tournament since 2010.
On this basis I think we can safely say TPC Boston fits Adam’s eye!
We have seen with Scott over the years that when he gets in the groove he is a man to keep on side.
In 2016 for example he finished 2nd, 1st & 1st in three consecutive events in the spring before finishing 4th in each of the first three Fedex Cup Play Off events [including here at TPC Boston].
Go back two further years and we will see that he didn’t finish outside of the top 16 in ten consecutive events on the PGA Tour from May right through to the Tour Championship in September.
In summary therefore the case for Scott this week is as straightforward as they come, he loves the track, his confidence is up, he is putting the lights out and he is most definitely a man to follow when he gets on a roll.
BILLY HORSCHEL – 55 -1 - 1pt E/W – 1/5 odds 1st 7 WD DURING RND 1 DUE TO ILLNESS
Another player who it is hard to ignore this week and for whom the case is fairly straightforward is former Fedex Cup champion Billy Horschel.
We all know of course what the Florida Gator did in the Fedex Cup back in 2014 and his memorable run to the $10 Million began here at TPC Boston when he finished 2nd.
Those with a long memory will remember that Billy actually had the event in his grasp that week until he chunked a shot in to the water on the 18th. All credit to him though as he certainly made up for that disappointment over the following few weeks!
As we know the strength of Billy’s game like Adam Scott’s is his long game and that is in fine fettle at the moment.
At Ridgewood CC he ranked 3rd for GIR on the week and 20th for DA with the only thing to hold him back slightly being the putter.
Furthermore over the weekend Horschel went 36 holes bogey free, which was quite an achievement considering the course was toughening up.
Billy ranked 7th in Strokes Gained Tee To Green over the week at The Northern Trust, gaining 8.5 strokes on the field, and he really excelled in this area over the weekend in keeping with his bogey free play.
We can see from this that Billy is really starting to get in the groove at the moment and he should enjoy the similar softish conditions from last week, which I anticipate being in play again this week.
I have backed Billy a couple of times this season and each time the logic has been the same, when he starts to find form, he is a man to keep on side.
Unfortunately on both occasions he hasn’t delivered for us however I am confident that this philosophy will pay dividends in the long run and for this reason I am keen to have Billy in our team this week.
JON RAHM – 25 -1 - 1pt E/W – 1/5 odds 1st 7 FINISHED 43rd
I said earlier in my preview that a formula to finding the winner here was to look for a player who had performed well a couple of events prior but, for whatever reason had dipped in the first Play Off event, and one man that fits that bill this week is Spaniard Jon Rahm.
I am sure some readers my disagree here but in my mind I see Rahm, at least at this stage of his career, as a bit of a ‘flat track bully’.
Now don’t get me wrong The Spaniard is an absolute superstar in the making and I am sure one day will lift major championship trophy’s however there is no doubt he can at present get a little ‘hot under the collar’ shall we say and this seems to see him come unstuck on tougher courses such as Carnoustie and Shinnecock Hills this year.
If we then take a look at Jon’s CV we see that with the exception of his maiden PGA Tour win, which came at Torrey Pines, his other four [off course very creditable] Euro/PGA Tour wins to date all came on tracks which required winning totals of -19 to -24.
On this basis a return to TPC Boston where he finished 4th on his debut last year should be the perfect antidote to a couple of, lets be honest, fairly awful days in New Jersey last week, which lead to a missed cut.
I’m not sure why Jon was so out of sorts last week, it may have been he was under the weather or it may have simply been that Ridgewood CC was not to his liking, either way he hasn’t become a poor player overnight and I am happy to write that off as a couple of bad days at the office.
Instead I will return to focusing on Jon’s form on more straightforward tracks and the fact that of course in his previous start to The Northern Trust he finished 4th in the PGA Championship.
This actually leads us to an interesting point in that, perhaps in keeping with my view that Rahm can lose patience if things aren’t going his way, his propensity since the spring has either been to be right in the hunt or to miss the cut.
As I pointed out earlier the forecast leads us to believe that we will see a softer course at TPC Boston this year than we have done over recent years, which could lead us to scores back in the region of -20.
If my hunch here is correct this ‘straight in front of them’, test of aggressive golf should be right up Jon’s alley and I can see him putting the disappointment of The Northern Trust behind him and producing a big week.
KYLE STANLEY – 100-1 –1pt E/W - 1/5 odds 1st 7 FINISHED 12th
If you look down the leaderboards over recent years at TPC Boston you can see that solid ball strikers tend to perform well here.
I have already mentioned two such players in Scott and Horschel who are in our team this week and who have played well here in the past.
In addition you only need to look at Rory’s record here and throw in the fact that Fowler, Stenson and Hoffman have all won here and you get a clear picture that a good tee to green game does the job at TPC Boston.
All of this leads me to arguably the most consistent tee to green player on tour in the form of Kyle Stanley.
To back this up we only need to look at the fact that Kyle ranks in the top 10 for Total Driving, GIR, and Ball Striking.
The problem as we know with Kyle is the flat stick, however this did not stop him contending at Firestone recently where he finished 2nd.
This is an interesting pointer as this years winner of the WGC Bridgestone Justin Thomas lifted the trophy at TPC Boston last year, whilst two other TPC Boston form horses McIlroy and Scott also have strong Firestone records.
It was perhaps understandable that Kyle suffered a bit of let down at the PGA recently after performing so well at Firestone, however he had a solid enough week at The Northern Trust to finish 28th, so he looks ready to push on again.
Kyle has teed it up four times at TPC Boston with his best performance coming on his debut on the track in 2011 when he finished 10th, so although he hasn’t set the world alight here he has shown he can handle the track.
Also as mentioned earlier past course form here whilst of course always a positive doesn’t seem to be crucial.
Kyle showed at the Bridgestone that he can go low on a receptive golf course when he opened up with a 63.
With his stellar tee to green game he is sure to give himself plenty of looks this week and if he can get the putter to cooperate I can see him giving us a great run at a big e/w price.
AARON WISE 70-1 –1pt E/W - 1/5 odds 1st 7 FINISHED 69th
For my final pick this week I am going to go with the rookie phenom Aaron Wise.
I gave Wise a chance at the PGA a couple of weeks ago on the back of his performance at the WGC however he unfortunately disappointed that week.
Last week at The Northern Trust however he bounced back to form with a 5th place finish, which included a final round 67 as he made a run at Dechambeau.
Unfortunately a couple of late bogeys slightly derailed Aaron however it was still another great performance from this hugely talented rookie.
At Ridgewood CC Aaron ranked 12th on the week for SGTTG and 9th for DA so as is the case with Scott, Horschel and Stanley there is clear evidence that his long game is in good shape, which as already stated is important here.
In fact it’s worth noting that basically even though Aaron missed the cut at the PGA he played well in the second round at Bellerive, so basically it is a case of one bad round in his last 10.
Wise is making his debut at TPC Boston this week however again if we look at two of the courses he has performed well on, Quail Hollow and Firestone they fit the profile, most noticeably through Rory, of course correlation.
At this stage of his career Wise is of course not quite the finished article yet so you run the risk that he will have an ‘off week’, however there is no doubt that he is a hugely talented player who will be at the top of the game for many years to come, and if he does get in to the hunt he will not be afraid to win in this company.
We saw with Schauffele at the Tour Championship last year that a confident, emerging, ‘young gun’ can do damage in these Play Off events and at the prices on offer I am happy to take a chance that Wise could be the ‘young gun’ to do that this week.
UPDATED 28th AUGUST
TRADER - S STALLINGS FINISHED 49th - BEST PRICE TRADED 270
I'm going to roll the dice this week with Scott Stallings as our trader.
The line of logic in taking a chance on Scott this week is fairly simple, which I shall outline as follows;
Basically Scott as we know is a 'streak' player and he is worth following if something good happens for him to potentially get some momentum going.
I followed this logic with Scott earlier in the season when I picked him as our trader for the Fedex St Jude in Memphis and it paid dividends.
The thought pattern then was that Scott had made his way through Sectional Qualifying for the US Open on Monday and he was pumped to then be heading straight to what basically amounted to his adopted home state event in Memphis.
This week we are presented with a fairly similar scenario. Scott went in to last weeks Northern Trust outside of the top 100 however as a result of his 28th place finish at Ridgewood CC he literally secured his place in this weeks Dell Technologies Championship on the 18th green.
Other than of course the fact that Scott will be delighted to have made his way through to the next stage of the Fedex Cup the extra significance of him reaching TPC Boston is that the event is played less than an hour from his town of birth, Worcester in Massachusetts.
So in summary we are presented with a pretty similar situation to the one which brought us joy with Scott earlier this year and on that basis I am happy to take my chances with him as our trader this week.
CURRENTLY TRADING @ 700+