The 2009 Deutsche Bank Championship – Preview and Picks

The Deutsche Bank Championship
Thursday, Sep. 4 - Sunday, Sep. 7, 2009
TPC Boston - Norton, Mass.
The Golf Channel/NBC

Week two of the FedExCup Playoff is here with the Deutshe Bank Championship from Norton, Massachusetts. Only the top-100 on the FedEx points list remain after week one and another cut will come before next week when only 70 players will qualify for the BMW Championship. The TPC Boston will host the event and the championship winners have been a who’s who of the PGA Tour with Vijay, Phil and Tiger all winning in recent years. Singh is the defending champion and he will need a good week to make it to the BMW. For those who are planning on tuning in, NBC has the weekend coverage this week instead of CBS.

The TPC Boston has played as one of the easier courses in the PGA rotation over the last few years with the winning total never worse than 14-under. Singh needed 22-under to take the trophy last year and players should plan to card four rounds in the sixties to fare well this week. The 7,304 yard course will play at par-71 for the week and will challenge the players with a series of bunkers on nearly every hole and mounding down the fairways that will require accuracy out of tee shots. The greens will run fast, but the greens are average size at best, so most birdie putts are makeable.

Each week, we take a look at the online golf sportsbooks and highlight a few players we like to contend for the win. We’ll give you a short, middle and long odds pick and breakdowna few head to head matches as well. Here are our picks for the 2009 Deutsche Bank Championship.

Short: Steve Stricker (20 to 1 to win)
Stricker has hada great season that could have been so much better if he could have closed out a little better in a few final rounds. In his 16 made cuts, Steve has 14 top-25 finishes and 9 top-10’s, including two wins. Stricker missed a ten footer on the 18th Sunday that would have forced a playoff, but remains in 2nd on the FedEx list and will be motivated to stay there as the top-5 heading into the TOUR Championship can win the cup with a win. Stricker was 13th here last year and is swinging as well as anyone right now. Steve is 30th in greens, 5th in putting average, 10th birides and 2nd in scoring. Tiger can’t even touch those numbers and Stricker adds a Tour best scrambling percentage which could play big this week in a shootout.

Middle: Nick Watney (30 to 1)
Watney halted a mediocre streak last week with a T6 at the Barclays, one of his four top-10’s this year. The Buick Invitational winner is one of the longest players on Tour, ranking 6th in driving distance and 2nd in par-5 birdie conversions. A bomber is nice to have when the birdies start flying, and Watney is 11th in birdie average and ranks 13th in scoring. If he does make a mistake, Nick is the best on Tour at following it up with a bird, ranking 1st in bounce back percentage.

Longshot: Camilo Villegas (60 to 1)
The 2008 Deutsche is where it all began for Camilo and he turned a T3 finish into consecutive wins in the last two Tour events. He’ll need a good finish to make it to next week and have any chance at making a defense at the TOUR Championship. Villegas hasn’t notched a top-10 since March, and that’s way too long for such a talented player. Camilo is 36th in greens hit, and should take advantage of the par-5’s where he ranks 14th in birdies. The all around rank of 22nd shows a good enough game to win, but the putting average is outside of the top-150, so that needs to change to do anyting this week.

Head to Head Matches (our pick) * all matches are for entire event. Check with your sportsbook for single round matches, updated daily.

Jim Furyk (-115) . Sergio Garcia (-115) (Furyk)
Garcia barely snuck into the field last week and although he shared the first round lead, he followed that up with a second round 76. He’ll be keen on making it to next week, but Furyk will simply put up another top-18ish finish and outclass Sergio. Furyk owns the edge in fairways, scoring average, and scrambling and is by far away the better putter.

David Toms (-115) v. Mike Weir (-115) (Toms)
Don’t feel bad if you didn’t know that David Toms is 3rd in scoring this year and the very best at hitting fairways. Weir had a nice start to the year, but the stat sheet shows he is slipping, especially in hitting fairways and greens. Weir is the slightly better putter, but that can’t make up for the Toms overall advantage.

Good Luck!