Event No. 2
Deutsche Bank Championship
Week II of the Playoffs features the current top 100 on the FedExCup Points list.
All but Danny Willett (No. 85, eliminated) are teeing it this week on a course that should open up the door to a few more folks this week.
Bethpage Black it isn’t.
The last few years have been interesting to say the least. After getting TORCHED to the tune of almost 19-under from 2008 through 2013, Gil Hanse has tightened the screws a bit the last two years.
Here are the last 11 players to post double digits under-par:
Rickie Fowler (-15)
Henrik Stenson (-14)
Charley Hoffman (-11)
Chris Kirk (-14)
Geoff Ogilvy (-13)
Russell Henley (-13)
Billy Horschel (-13)
Rory McIlroy (-11)
John Senden (-11)
Jason Day (-10)
Martin Kaymer (-10)
No repeat business.
No small potatoes.
It’s a bizarre cross sections of up-and-coming players (Horschel, Kirk and Henley), journeymen (Senden, Hoffman) and major champions.
The one angle I don’t see in there is non-winners.
EVERYONE on that list has won MULTIPLE Tour events.
There are also no “newbies” from the up-and-coming ranks.
The course record holders are major champions.
Two of three tournament record holders are major champions, while the other, Hoffman, has four wins in his career.
Drive In, Drive Out
No. 75: Chris Kirk (former champ here)
No. 74: Webb Simpson (former champ here)
No. 73: Alex Cejka (WD last week with pinched nerve)
No. 72: Patton Kizzire (rookie)
No. 71: Marc Leishman (shot 62 here his first trip in 2009)
No. 70:Chez Reavie (lost to Simpson in a playoff)
No. 69: Johnson Wagner (never missed in four tries here)
No. 68: Ricky Barnes (wished this was Bethpage)
No. 67: Brian Harman (never hit the top 10 here so he’s in play!)
No. 66: Brian Stuard (T-16 his last time in ’14)
No. 65: Colt Knost (MC in four of his last five on Tour)
There are your Cliff’s Notes. #URWelcome. Remember, only the top 70 advance.
2015-16 Winners (at time of victory)
In 2014-15 there were 14 players in their 20’s who won tournaments. They accounted for a whopping 24 victories in 47 events.
Under-30 Winners (12 different winners from 14 events)
Emiliano Grillo, 23; Frys.com
Smylie Kaufman, 23; Shriners
Justin Thomas, 22; CIMB
Peter Malnati, 28; SFC
Jordan Spieth, 22; HTOC, DEAN & DELUCA at Colonial
Hideki Matsuyama, 23; WMPO
Jason Day, 28; API, WGC-Dell Match Play, THE PLAYERS
Danny Willett, 28; Masters
Branden Grace, 27; RBC Heritage
Daniel Berger, 23; FESJC
Si Woo Kim, 21; Wyndham
Patrick Reed, 26; Barclays
The guys between 30-39 years of age produced 16 multiple champions in 17 events last season.
Winners, 30-39 (22 players from 24 events)
Russell Knox, 31; HSBC Champions, Travelers
Graeme McDowell, 36; OHL Mayakoba
Kevin Kisner, 31; RSM Classic
Fabian Gomez, 37; Sony Open
Jason Dufner, 38; CB Challenge
Brandt Snedeker, 35; Farmers Insurance Open
Vaughn Taylor, 39; AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am
Bubba Watson, 37; Northern Trust Open
Adam Scott, 35; Honda Classic, WGC-Cadillac Championship
Charl Schwartzel, 31; Valspar
Jim Herman, 38; Shell Houston Open
Charley Hoffman, 39; Valero Texas Open
Brian Stuard, 33; Zurich Classic
James Hahn, 34; Wells Fargo Championship
Sergio Garcia, 36; AT&T Byron Nelson
William McGirt, 36; Memorial
Dustin Johnson, 31; U.S. Open
Billy Hurley, III, 34; Quicken Loans National
Aaron Baddeley, 35; Barbasol Championship
Jhonattan Vegas, 31; RBC Canadian Open
Jimmy Walker, 37; PGA Championship
Ryan Moore, 33; John Deere Classic
There were only four winners last season from 47 events (Furyk, Cejka, Love III and Harrington). Sentimentality and name recognition has no place in fantasy golf, folks.
Greg Chalmers, 42; Barracuda Championship
Henrik Stenson, 40; The Open Championship
Phil Mickelson was the best of the oldies but goodies at Bethpage Black as he finished T-13.
Last year the only rookie to pick up a first-place check was Canadian Nick Taylor. This season it took ONE EVENT to match that total.
Emiliano Grillo; Frys.com
Smylie Kaufman; Shriners
After winners in the first two events of the season, it’s been 42 straight events without one of the newbies collecting a trophy.
Let it be noted that Grillo has:
*Changed his pronunciation of his last name to Gree Low halfway through the year.
*Made the cut in all four majors.
*Finished T-2 in his first Playoff event.
Rookies in the FEC
Remember, 2014 was the only year a rookie has NOT found a spot in The Tour Championship. Here are your choices for this year:
No. 26 No. 34
No. 32 No. 6
No. 58 No. 72
Harold Varner, III,
No. 82 No. 87
Brett Stegmaier, No. 101
Michael Kim, No. 115
My money is on Grillo as he’ll see three weeks in a row on Bentgrass and that won’t bother him as much as three weeks in a row on Bermuda. Kizzire and the rest will need something very special to make the leap into the top 30. Ed. Note: Written before the first Playoff event.
Rookies, journeyman, up-and-comers, I’ll keep track of them all. It’s a life-changer.
First-Time Winners on Tour
2016: (16 and counting)
Emiliano Grillo (Frys.com)
Smylie Kaufman (Shriners)
Justin Thomas (CIMB)
Peter Malnati (SFC)
Russell Knox (WGC-HSBC Champions)
Kevin Kisner (RSM)
Tony Finau (PRO)
Jim Herman (SHO)
Danny Willett (Masters)
Branden Grace (RBC Heritage)
Brian Stuard (Zurich Classic)
William McGirt (Memorial)
Daniel Berger (FESJC)
Billy Hurley, III (QLN)
Greg Chalmers (Barracuda) in his 386th event!
Si Woo Kim (Wyndham)
Each week, when possible, I’ll try and reward those of you who take the time to read my columns with thoughts on a few players who didn’t make the cut, for whatever reason, in my preview column.
Blayne Barber: Sat T-16 heading into Sunday before too many dropped him to T-41. Sigh.
Peter Malnati: Made the cut on the number before finishing T-78. Cut made.
Billy Hurley III: 73-68 to open but faded to T-68 on the weekend.
Kyle Stanley: T-74; wish I could have gotten odds
Kevin Streelman: Has won before in this area (Travelers) and put his first three rounds at Bethpage at par or better last week.
Vijay Singh: If these greens are as easy as some pros have suggested Singh should be able to at least see the weekend.
Brendan Steele: Another who has had TPC run in the past but four of his last eight here are par or worse; never MC in four tries.
David Lingmerth: He’s absolutely all-or-nothing but keeps it and play and can get hot with the putter.
Check out ALL of the ins-and-outs in my Golfweek preview below!
Good luck chops!