Jim Herman’s shock victory at the Wyndham last weekend catapulted him into this bracket, as did strong finishes from Zach Johnson and Shane Lowry, who all now compete to break the top 70.
That cut-down bracket will be fighting it out a the BMW Championship next weekend, before East Lake plays host to the final 30 to determine the FedEx Cup winner after the play-offs were shortened from four to three events at the end of last year’s cup.
About TPC Boston
The TPC Boston has played host to the Deutsche Bank Championships and, more recently, the Dell Tech Championships in 2017 and 2018. Numerous changes have been made to this Arnold Palmer course over the last 20 years, with Gil Hanse’s tweaking coming under a lot of criticism from some of the World’s elite.
This is an extremely varied course, with some incredibly long, and also some incredibly drivable par 4s and 5s, while more recently, changes to the middle of the course looked likely to take the sting out of the bigger hitters on the circuit though they still seem to be doing just fine.
The notable trends on this course favour the biggest drivers and the most composed putters, with approach play nullified here more than most. That’s largely the reason for Xander Schauffele’s poor record here, albeit with a small sample of 49th and 53rd finishes in his two previous events, while the winning stats show the best tee and green players will be competitive.
The last nine winners have ranked 10-50-5-37-28-30-1-3-10 in terms of driving distance, and with over half of those winners in the top 10, including each of the last three, and we can’t see this being any different.
Putting follows a similar pattern, with the same winners going 4-2-1-15-15-4-1-12-7 in putting average, respectively. These greens are looking to run above 12 on the Stimpmeter, which is extremely fast paced, and a lack of composure around the hole could cause a downfall. It’s on this basis that we get our first pick.
The Northern Trust Betting Tips
Tony Finau at 28/1 is the only player on the PGA tour to have ranked in the top 10 for both these key factors over the past 12-months (9th and 9th) and is looks well poised to convert some of these strong tournaments into victories.
He has six top 10 finishes in 2020, including three from his past four events including an impressive tie for fourth at the PGA Championships last time out. He also managed another fourth at the Dell Tech on this course back in 2018, and with such a variety of holes, he can unleash and hold back his big drive on the holes that suit, without overworking it and he looks well worth backing to place.
Our second pick for the weekend goes to Patrick Reed. The American is a two-time winner of this tournament under both this name and its predecessor, the Barclays. Although neither of those wins came on this course, those victories show how he can bring his game when it really matters.
He currently sits sixth in the points and is under no pressure when it comes to qualifying for the BMW next weekend, meaning he can go out and continue the momentum he’s been picking up in recent weeks.
Like Finau, he’s had top 10 finishes in six events this year, including 10th at the Memorial back in July, before an impressive 13th at the PGA champs which he followed up with another top 10 at Wyndham last weekend.
What’s more, he also has course pedigree with three top 6 finishes from his last four tournaments here, and with him being the top ranked player on tour for putting average over the last year, we definitely wouldn’t be surprised to see him take the win at 28/1.
Our final pick goes to the in-form Jason Day for the second event running. Day was among the leaders from the first round at the PGA Champs, eventually finishing in a tie for fourth which is a fourth top 10 finish in a row.
That feat is a career first for the Australian, though without a win in that run he won’t be too concerned and as he said himself, he’s going to win pretty soon.
While he doesn’t rank too highly on the green over the last year, that’s definitely improved recently and has ranked in the top 15 for putting accuracy in three of his last four tournaments, while these greens really suit his putting.
His work on the greens hasn’t been a strong point of his career, though on this course he’s ranked in the top 11 for putting accuracy in six of his last nine events, and with his putting better than it’s ever been, prepare for a top four days from Day here.
He’s had top 25 finishes in all but one of his last nine made cuts in Boston, and with two FedEx Cup Play-off wins already in his career, the occasion will be by no means lost on him, so we’ll get behind him each-way at 20/1.
DeChambeau, Thomas And McIlroy
Market leaders Bryson DeChambeau and Justin Thomas have very strong cases going for them too. The former has been playing wonderfully since the restart and is driving the ball further than anyone off the tee, while his putting has been impeccable too, ranking in the top 10 in his last three events, and was the best putter in his fourth place at the PGA, though at just 11/1 looks a touch on the short side for us.
Last years’ FedEx Cup winner Thomas is only a slightly bigger price at 12/1, and had a great win at Silverlake as he held off Brooks Koepka.
He did so with his scrambling though, as his driver failed him on numerous occasions that weekend, and he can ill-afford to rely on that part of his game here.
Rory McIlroy is never far away from the top of the market, and for the most part played some very good golf in the first major of the year. Though little lapses cost him dearly, and he’s yet to break the top 10 in six events since the restart, so again looks too short for us.