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The PGA TOUR Playoffs Take TPC Boston (Norton)

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Hello friends. It’s Deutsche Bank week I mean Dell Technologies Championship week! Boston rejoice!

I love this event. Been about 5 times over the last 6 or 7 years. Been with everything from a buddies group to a girl I lived with to 3 chicks who I think only went because I said I was taking over the Barstool Instagram. Had a blast every time.

Sunglasses and hat – the best Riggs.

TPC Boston, which is in Norton, which is closer to Providence than Boston, hosts the world’s best every year since 2003. The Boston stop has transformed from a “whatever” late summer event to a FedEx Cup playoff stop. It attracts the top stars and produces elite winners (champs since ’06):

2006 – Tiger Woods
2007 – Phil Mickelson
2008 – Vijay Singh
2009 – Steve Stricker
2010 – Charley Hoffman
2011 – Webb Simpson
2012 – Rory McIlroy
2013 – Henrik Stenson
2014 – Chris Kirk
2015 – Rickie Fowler
2016 – Rory McIlroy

We all know by now that the FedEx Cup means considerable cheddar on the line. People like money. People also like holidays, which is the reason we’ve got a Friday start, Monday finish this week.

The Track

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Played TPC Boston for the first time last year — it’s fun, beautiful, fair, and has been altered more than my girl Lindsey Pelas, most recently tweaking the 12th and 13th to make them tougher and a bit more New England-ey. These guys like to rip TPC Boston up; look how deep they’ve taken it over the past decade.

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Sup Lindz.

Here’s my buddy Welchy teeing off through the tight window on the par-4 6th.

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Rory, same shot.

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7,261 yards. Par 71. A very New England topography. Gil Hanse and Brad Faxon renovated the original Arnold Palmer design in 2007, bringing out more of the natural grass, bumps, and grass bunkers. Hanse came in again over the past year to tweak 12 and 13.

Getting up-and-down ain’t easy. It can be firm, dry and tangly — this pic I snapped from the side of the 231-yard par-3 11th is a great example.

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Notable Holes

2nd, Par 5, 542 yards

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Slight dogleg right. Reachable with a good tee ball, but it’s all carry into this back-to-front green. With a stone wall guarding the front edge, it can be an intimidating second — we’ll see plenty of bailouts to the left. The first is a pretty short hole, so guys will be expecting to get off to hot starts.

4th, Par 4, 353 yards

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We get it by now. Reachable par-4. This one’s got bunkers everywhere and tries to scare you visually. An aggressive tee ball will put most guys in greenside bunkers with pretty simple up-and-downs, but something wayward makes 5 or worse very realistic (trust me, I know).

Or you can just roast an iron 290.

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16th, Par 3, 187 yards

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Gorgeous, cheeky little 3-par here. Card says 187 but with the different pin locations and tee boxes they’ll use, it will frequently play 15-30 yards shorter. With the exception of the right pin, the green contour funnels most balls towards the hole, so guys should have good birdie looks here. With water looming short and left though, miscues go heavily punished.

Henrik found that out in 2015.

18th, Par 5, 530 yards

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This hole gets a ton of chatter and for good reason. It’s been changed many times, ultimately settling on a steeply raised green compared to the closely-mown chipping areas all around it. It rattles a lot of cages. With any decent drive, everybody in the field can pump it over the ravine and get their ball green-high in two. That’s where things get tricky. Few balls stay on the surface, so guys must negotiate this bad boy to get it close.

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Bump it? Flop it? Try some weird in-between shot? Who knows. Add in that most balls trundle into some rough, on a downslope, and you see why cages get rattled.

(Billy Horschel chunked one into the shit here to lose the tourney in 2014. It was awesome. Sadly he won the next 2 events, the FedEx Cup, and $10+ million. Darnit.)

lol @ Johnny’s “pressure” call.

Clubhouse

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Don’t love it. Don’t hate it.

Clubhouse grade = 5.0.

Weather

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The Field

100 guys who have played the best this year. Pretty solid crop; 70 move on to Chicago’s Conway Farms in 2 weeks. Stenson, Sneds, J.B. Holmes, and Scott Piercy optioned Boston for varying reasons (mostly injuries).

Predictions

Winning Score

We know it’ll be low. How low is the question. With rain expected Sunday, things will be soft and guys will potentially play more than 18 holes Monday. Thinking REAL low.

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-19.

Winner

Jason Day hasn’t won since last year’s Players Championship. By all accounts, he’s had a shitty year. That’s about to change. Day’s finished runner-up at TPC Boston (2010) and inside the top-15 each of the last 4 years. He also posted a sneaky T6 last week and a T9 at the PGA. He’s coming.

JDay takes her down.

DFL

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Kevin Streelman. Missed the cut with rounds of 74-80 last week. Love it, poor guy’s got Steven Bowditch Memorial DFL written ALL OVER HIM.

Dark Horse

Harold Varner III’s PGA Tour season a few weeks ago was done. Over. Finished. Then he found his game, posting a T10 at the Wyndham and a T20 at Glen Oaks. He’s buzzing. Will he win? Doubtful, but he’s coming in at 175-1 and he’s playing WELL. Inviting.

Here are your betting odds.

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Coverage

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Squaaaaad! The hilariously honest, spiteful, stubborn Johnny Miller is back in the booth. NBC Sports/Golf Channel will be seeing the season out with the coverage. Also doing the Presidents Cup.

Friday: Golf Channel 2:30-6:30PM
Saturday: Golf Channel 3-6:30PM
Sunday: Golf Channel 1-3PM; NBC 3-6PM
Monday: Golf Channel 11:30AM-1:30PM; NBC 1:30-6PM

Final Thoughts

Speaking of coverage, we had NBC Sports/Golf Channel’s very own tower analyst Peter Jacobsen on the pod this week. Very funny, witty, insightful guy who’s been DEEPLY involved with the game for I think ever. Huge golf guy, 7-time Tour winner, and now been covering it live for over a decade. Very cool chatting with him.

Enjoy Boston.