This week’s Dell Technologies Championship marks the second of four postseason FedEx Cup Playoffs events. It also marks the end of the summer. Because of the Labor Day finish, this tournament is played from Friday-Monday, which certainly changes the viewing experience for golf fans.
Let’s take a look at this week’s contest.
What: Dell Technologies Championship | When: Aug. 31 to Sept. 3
Where: TPC Boston — Boston, Massachusetts
Ranking the field (odds)
Field strength — A+: The only person it’s missing, really, is Rickie Fowler (more on that below). Tiger obviously juices up ever tournament, but he’s not the only headliner this week — and won’t be for the next four.
Three stories to watch
1. End of the Ryder Cup road: U.S. captain Jim Furyk has some pretty interesting — and perhaps hairy — decisions to make in the coming days about his squad. With three of the captain’s picks coming on Sept. 4, nobody is quite sure how this is going to play out. Woods and Phil Mickelson seem like (and are) locks. DeChambeau probably can’t be left off after winning the Memorial and The Northern Trust, plus finishing ninth in the Ryder Cup standings, one spot out of qualifying. Traditional thinking says the remaining spot will go to a veteran like Matt Kuchar or Zach Johnson, even though they’re pretty far back in qualifying. But how do you leave Tony Finau, who finished second last week to DeChambeau, off the team? And how will Furyk use the first three picks vs. the final one on Sept. 10? Lots of questions, few answers until then.
2. Rory McIlroy returns, Rickie Fowler sits: This event is notable for two guys who both skipped last week’s Northern Trust. Fowler will again miss with an oblique injury which is a mini (like, really mini) siren for the Ryder Cup. McIlroy, who missed last week with disinterest, comes to TPC Boston having won this tournament twice in his career. He’s looking for a kick-start before Paris, and if there’s a track in the playoff rota that would provide it for him, it’s probably this one.
3. Wait, is Bryson going to win the FedEx Cup? The winner of the first playoff event has only gone on to win the whole thing one time, but DeChambeau is now first in FedEx Cup points with three tournaments left. If he can hang on a little in the next two weeks, he should be able to go to East Lake with his own fate — and the fate of $10 million — in his own hands. This week, historically, is bigger than last week, though.
Good spot by @JustinRayGC on just how pivotal Boston has been for recent FedExCup champs:
2013 Stenson (Win)
2014 Horschel (T-2)
2015 Spieth (MC)
2016 McIlroy (Win)
2017 Thomas (Win)
— Will Gray (@WillGrayGC) August 28, 2018
- 2017: Justin Thomas
- 2016: Rory McIlroy
- 2015: Rickie Fowler
- 2014: Chris Kirk
- 2013: Henrik Stenson
Dell Technologies Championship picks
Winner: At some point, he’s not only going to knock the door down, he’s going to set it on fire and knock down three other doors, too. All of a sudden, he might be playing for a Ryder Cup spot, especially if he wins.
Top 10: Day has converging trends. He has three top 10s at this course and is streaking coming in after a mini-lull in the middle of his season. Five straight top 20s following a missed cut at Shinnecock and the U.S. Open.
Sleeper: Horschel is quietly having a great few months, and he’s found success in these playoffs (and on this course) before. He finished second in 2014 en route to his FedEx Cup title.