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The 7 most underrated players at the Deutsche Bank Championship

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The Deutsche Bank Championship hosts the second leg of the FedExCup Playoffs this week, and DraftKings is holding a monster contest — a $450,000 purse with $100K going to the winner.

And if you haven’t signed up for DraftKings in the past, the contest is free with your first deposit. Translation: New users have a FREE run at $100,000.

Click here to enter.

Cash prizes are awarded up to 37,705th place. And with the help of my picks this week, there should be no reason why you can’t win some money while enjoying the Playoff excitement.

Check out my picks and analysis below, and don’t forget to enter.

The Course

www.tpc.com

www.tpc.com

TPC Boston plays in excess of 7,200 yards and plays to a par-71 for the event. Originally designed by Arnold Palmer and later re-designed in 2007 by Gil Hanse and Brad Faxon (as consultant), it is not the typical TPC network golf course.

With reachable par-5s and 100 of the best players in the world working their way around this course, low scores have been standard fare. On average, the winning score has been 17.92 under par over the tournament’s 12-year history, which equates to an 18-hole stroke average of 66.52. In other words, players have to bring their “A” game.

Vijay Singh (2008), Charley Hoffman (2010), and Henrik Stenson (2013) won shooting 22-under par (262), representing the lowest 72-hole winning score for this tournament. There is nothing to suggest at this year’s tournament, given play to date on the PGA Tour in 2014-2015, that it will be anything other than a shoot-out this Labor Day weekend once again.

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My 7 underrated players

Will Wilcox ($6,800): WD Injury

  • FedExCup Ranking: 88th
  • All-Around Ranking: 202 (1st)
  • Ball Striking: 6 (2nd)
  • Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green — 0.843 (21st)

His FedExCup Ranking is definitely misleading, as Wilcox has not only proved he belongs, but that he has a well-rounded game at the PGA Tour level. He missed the cut last week at The Barclays after an opening 67, but that should only serve to motivate Wilcox this week as he is in the bubble group at No. 88. Wilcox has also demonstrated solid putting and an ability to score in 2014-2015. The biggest question may be whether TPC Boston fits his eye. Wilcox undoubtedly will play with motivation and provides mid-range value at $6,800.

Charley Hoffman ($7,100)

Photo credit: Twitter

Photo credit: Twitter

  • FedExCup Ranking: 17th
  • All-Around Ranking: 577 (43rd)
  • Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green — .200 (80th)
  • Par 5 Birdie or Better Leaders: 45.15 percent (T-48th)

A close look at his on-course statistics will not necessarily do justice relative to the season that Hoffman is having this year. One win, two second-place finishes, six top-10s and 10 top-25s amount to a current ranking of 17th in FedExCup points, all of which demonstrate strong play overall. Hoffman is also a former winner of the Deutsche Bank Championship (2010) and holds a share of the tournament scoring record of 262 (22-under), as noted above.

Notably, Hoffman tends to get hot and stay hot for periods of play and if that happens this week, the $7,100 it takes to get him on your roster is a drop in the bucket. His prior win and experience will certainly serve him well this year at TPC Boston.

Jason Bohn ($7,300)

  • FedExCup Ranking: 24th
  • All-Around Ranking: 516 (26th)
  • Strokes Gained: Putting — 0.366 (27th)
  • Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green — 0.616 (34th)

Bohn is coming off a solid week at The Barclays in which he finished T-9th. He is a savvy veteran, who makes cuts (20 out of 25 this year) and is no stranger to top-25 finishes (11 in 2014-2015). More importantly, Bohn brings a solid 1-2 punch of tee-to-green play and strong, consistent putting. Bohn’s par-5 scoring is not as strong as one might hope, but his cap value of $7,300 is well worth the price of admission. He is also playing for something rare in his career — a spot in the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola, which may be motivation enough. Bohn will likely solidify his place at East Lake Golf Club for the FedExCup finale with an above average finish this week.

Kevin Kisner ($7,300)

  • FedExCup Ranking: 13th
  • Ball Striking: 108 (T-46th)
  • Strokes Gained: Putting — 0.312 (T-41st)
  • Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green — 0.508 (43rd)

As far as this year is concerned, Kisner will likely be best remembered for his epic battle with Rickie Fowler at The Players Championship, as well as playoff loss to Jim Furyk at the RBC Heritage. His final round play at both events firmly demonstrated that he was ready for the big stage. Kisner’s on-course statistics are not likely to blow anyone away, but are incredibly consistent, suggesting an excellent week of putting will put him firmly in the mix. His $3 million plus in earnings this season reveal Kisner’s tendency to get paid and at a minimal investment of $7,100, so he fits nicely into a well-balanced lineup.

This year’s close calls for Kisner have certainly provided critical experience to a player with the ability to go low. He’s on the verge of winning soon, and this might be his week.

Jason Dufner ($7,600)

JasonDufner

Photo credit: Twitter

  • FedExCup Ranking: 81st
  • All-Around Ranking: 655 (63rd)
  • Ball Striking: 70 (25th)
  • Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green — 0.946 (19th)

It has been a tough year in many respects for Dufner; personally and professionally. Yet, he has persevered and seems to be rounding into decent from over the latter part of this summer. Early last Saturday at The Barclays, he was on fire with his putter on incredibly difficult greens suggesting low numbers are again an everyday possibility. Remember, he is a recent major champion (2013 PGA Championship) and still superb from tee-to-green (even in this otherwise off year), which is genuinely supported by the numbers. Dufner warrants serious consideration as moderately priced, but armed with the pedigree and ability to win.

Tony Finau ($7,700)

  • FedExCup Ranking: 32nd
  • All-Around Ranking: 539 (T31st)
  • Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green — 0.739 (29th)
  • Par 5 Birdie or Better Leaders: 49.68 percent (17th)

Finau’s play over the summer is finally generating the buzz and providing him with the credit that he deserves as a rookie on the PGA Tour this season. His most impressive statistic may be 16 top-25 finishes in 29 events, including last week at The Barclays. TPC Boston has historically favored the long hitter and long hitters covet par 5s, which suggests Finau will threaten to contend with even a modest week on the greens. Finau won’t break the bank, and could offer tremendous return with a win this week — and winning isn’t far-fetched for this bomber.

Justin Thomas ($7,900)

  • FedExCup Ranking: 30th
  • All-Around Ranking: 313 (7th)
  • Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green — 0.963 (18th)
  • Par 5 Birdie or Better Leaders: 57.05 percent (1st)

Thomas is on the verge of officially breaking out. He’s had flashes of brilliance throughout this past summer at, among other events, the Wells Fargo Championship and The Greenbrier Classic. At TPC Boston, even though Thomas represents the largest cap hit on this list of PGA Tour players, he is absolutely worth the extra cash. He leads the Tour in par-5 birdies, which will be an asset in this week’s par-5 birdie fest. Also, his overall statistics (par 5s aside), suggest a well-rounded, high-caliber player. Further, Thomas has made 21-of-28 cuts this year, so the percentages say he will be playing the weekend at TPC Boston, even if he doesn’t have his “A” game — a safe pick with tremendous upside.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Steve

    Sep 6, 2015 at 7:26 pm

    Arent we bored yet with the same repeated articles over and over?

  2. Forsbrand

    Sep 1, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    Great selections!!! FINAU YES!!! At last he really is a cracking player. Expect big things from him next year if not this year end?

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