Deutsche Bank Championship - Review
My participation in the Fed Ex cup has come to an end, having missed the cut at the Deutsche Bank Championship it meant that I had to wait for the results to see if I made it into the third leg of the playoffs. I came to Boston for the Deutsche Bank Championship looking for a good week to push me up the rankings but a terrible first day made it very difficult for me to make the cut. I played in the afternoon of the first round, the forecast was for the Hurricane to come though and cause all sorts of problems. The forecast was so bad that the tour put placing in operation for the day even though the course was perfectly dry in the morning. The morning starters definitely got the best of the weather but as it turned out those of us out in the afternoon didn’t get too bad a day. We managed to get practically no wind but a few heavy showers; all in all it probably played a shot harder in the afternoon than the morning. We did get an hour delay due to a thunderstorm; I had just arrived at the tee to start and the hooter went off. It was a funny delay in that everybody thought that we wouldn’t play for the rest of the day; when it was announced that we would be going back out all the players were surprised as it looked like Hurricane Earl was coming through.
When we did get going just over an hour after I was supposed to start I never managed to get comfortable. It was unusual as I was ready to play at my original tee time but when I came back out I just couldn’t get myself in the right frame of mind. No matter how much I tried I just could get into it. I got off to a terrible start by bogeying my third hole and then hitting it in the water on my seventh, the 16th, and taking a double bogey. This would be a bad start normally but when everyone is making birdies it is even worse. I managed to get myself back to level par with birdies on the 18th, 3rd, and 4th - at this stage I was clawing myself back into it but then a bad drive on the 5th cost me a double bogey as I had to take a penalty drop. Another bogey on the 8th meant that I shot three over par and finished in second last place for the day.
The forecast for the second day wasn’t great - it was to be dry but windy. I played in the morning so we got a couple of holes without much wind and then it got up. Heading out I felt that I needed to shoot five under to have a chance to make the cut. I made a birdie on the 2nd but then couldn’t hole a put on the front nine after that. I gave myself plenty of chances but just wasn’t able to convert them and to add insult to injury I three putted the 9th from 25 feet to be out in level par. I improved on the back nine making six pars and three birdies on the 12th, 16th, and 18th. I nearly holed my tee shot on the 16th to set up a birdie ad after I hit it I saw on the leader board that the cut had moved to 1 under which meant that I still had a chance. In the end I had to hole a chip shot on the last to make the cut, I gave it a good go and for while I actually thought I had holed it. When I was handing in my scorecard the cut was moving towards level par and the forecast was for the wind to get stronger in the afternoon, I was hopeful that I had done enough. It turned out to be one shot too many, the short putt I missed on the 9th hole ultimately cost me making the cut and as a result getting to Chicago for the third playoff.
I came home on Sunday, as it was looking unlikely that I would qualify for the next leg; I knew that there was still a chance but a very slim one. I watched some of the final round to see how I was looking and for a while I thought I had a chance but in the end I never got the storm that I needed to get me in. I have a break now that I hadn’t scheduled, it is not a bad thing, as I probably need one. I will definitely play somewhere before the Ryder Cup as I wouldn’t want to go in cold. It was a disappointing end to my season in the US however I have a lot to play in before my season is over.
Deutsche Bank Championship - Preview
I am in Boston for the second of the Fed Ex cup play-offs. I am currently 57th in the Fed Ex rankings and to make it into the next round, the BMW Championship I have to be in the top 70. Then to make it to the Tour Championship I have to be in the top 30. More importantly, to have a chance of winning the overall I need to win this week or next week.
I travelled up to Boston on Tuesday afternoon as this week we start on Friday. I took Monday off and went to the US Open Tennis, and then Tuesday I hung around New Jersey for the morning and afternoon as my family were flying out that evening and it was my birthday. The tennis was a great day out, I got to go along to a sporting event and be the spectator for once and not have to worry about performing or doing anything other than sitting back and enjoying myself, and I certainly did that. I went along with one of my sponsors, Citizen, as they also sponsor the US Open.
Wednesday I went to the course and did some practice and I also played a few holes. I wanted to sort a few things out after last week so I spent a few hours on the range trying to figure out where a few pulls came. Once I got that sorted I went out and played seven holes. I have played here a few times now so I know the course well. I went out on the course at about four o’clock which was great as there was nobody around, so I could take my time and do some chipping and putting. Hitting chip shots and bunker shots on the course is great as they are shots that you are very likely to end up playing during the week.
Thursday was pro-am day this week, it was a bit weird playing a pro am on a Thursday it felt like Wednesday all day. I was happy with how I played, unfortunately we didn’t win the team event but we had a good time. After the pro-am I did a small bit of practice, mainly on my short game. Nothing too much as I never want to over do it the day before the tournament.
The course is in very good condition, the greens are firm but the fairways aren’t running quite as fast as last year. This used to be a bombers paradise but over the years they have made a lot of modifications to it so that it brings everyone into the tournament. There is no doubt that it is still a big advantage in being long around here but it is not the be all and end all. With the greens as firm as they are the most important thing this week will be a good short game as you will see plenty of players rolling off greens. Generally the scoring is good around here and I reckon that this year will be no different. The greens are good to putt on which is always a big factor in low scoring events.
One of the biggest factors to the tournament this year is Hurricane Earl - it is supposed to hit us on Friday. If the forecast is right Friday afternoon could be very tough, unfortunately I am playing in the afternoon. There is a possibility that it could be so bad that we don’t play until Saturday but that could be wishful thinking.
I need to have a good week to move myself up the Fed Ex rankings and give myself chance of winning the series. I had a chance to win here last year so it is a course that I am confident on. If I can get myself in the same position on Monday this year as I did last year then I am happy to take it from there and see how I get on.