A smaller 18th green at TPC Boston
The latest tweak by Gil Hanse at the TPC Boston was to the 18th
green, which has proven to be pivotal in recent years.
It’s where Chris Stroud hit a 3-iron to 3 feet last year for
eagle to narrowly advance to the next round in the FedEx Cup
playoffs, and where Ernie Els and Geoff Ogilvy both got up-and-down
from behind the green for birdie to advance.
This year, the par-5 closing hole might be a little tougher in
the Deutsche Bank Championship.
The green not only is a smaller target, it has been elevated by
a few feet and drops off severely behind and to the left of the
green. The putting surface used to be larger, and rough to the left
made it an inviting place to miss.
”The green is way different. We can’t bail left,” Tiger Woods
said. ”Based on the pin, we’ve got to figure out where the spot is
to miss it. The good news is we’ve got probably another 8 or 10
yards from over the hazard to the front edge of the green that we
can land the ball in, and hopefully that’ll be enough to keep it on
Nick Watney said he considered the 18th hole more like a par 4
if the drive was in the fairway, because even though it was a long
iron or hybrid for the second shot, missing to the left was still a
fairly simple up-and-down for birdie.
”Now, I bet there will be a lot of guys who hit the fairway and
lay up, just because it’s really difficult to hit it on the green
with a 4- or 5-iron,” Watney said. ”So I think it’ll add at least
half a shot or three quarters of a shot to the scoring average for
the tournament, just because there’s going to be guys that go for
it, miss it to the left and make a 6, whereas that would rarely
”I think it’s a huge change for that hole,” he said. ”If a
guy is down by one in the last group … that’s a lot more
difficult these days.”
FOUR MORE YEARS: Deutsche Bank has renewed its title sponsorship
of its playoff event with a four-year extension that goes through
The tournament began in 2003, with proceeds going to the Tiger
Woods Foundation, and it became a central piece of the playoffs
when the FedEx Cup began in 2007. It already has delivered an
impressive list of winners at the TPC Boston, which includes Tiger
Woods, Phil Mickelson, Vijay Singh (twice), Steve Stricker and Adam
Scott. U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson won last year.
The announcement Monday evening means that three of the four
playoff events – Barclays, Deutsche Bank and the Tour Championship
– have sponsorship locked up through 2016. The BMW Championship
sponsorship is through 2014.
”We are extremely proud of the success and positive impact the
Deutsche Bank Championship has had over these first 10 years,”
said Seth Waugh, CEO of Deutsche Bank Americas. ”The tournament’s
growth and ascension to the FedEx Cup playoffs is a testament to
the great fans of New England and terrific partnership with the PGA
Tour and Tiger Woods Foundation, as well as EMC as the local
The tournament traditionally ends on Labor Day.
NO LOVE: Nick Watney got no love from his win at The Barclays –
not even a text message.
Watney won the opening FedEx Cup playoff event last week to get
his name into the Ryder Cup mix as a potential captain’s pick, but
he said Thursday he never heard from U.S. captain Davis Love
”I haven’t spoken to Davis,” Watney said. ”I got a text from
That would be Fred Couples, his captain at the Presidents Cup
last fall and a vice captain for the Ryder Cup. Watney wasn’t
reading too much into that. He is downplaying the Ryder Cup hype
that hit him after his big win, especially because no one talked to
him about the Ryder Cup all year until Sunday.
Even so, the text from Couples fired him up.
”He’s a vice captain, right?” Watney said, grinning.
NICE TO MEET YOU: Tiger Woods has made a lot of new friends this
year during some of his weekend pairings. He played with Tom Gillis
in the Honda Classic, Thorbjorn Olesen in the British Open, Branden
Grace for two rounds at Firestone, and two other new faces (for
him) at The Barclays – Gary Christian and David Hearn.
”The tour is getting deeper,” Woods said. ”Most of the guys
that I grew up playing with and know better are actually on the
Champions Tour now. I know that leaderboard. I know all the guys on
that leaderboard. I look at our fields, and I don’t know some of
All of them have been complimentary, especially Christian last
week at Bethpage. Woods wonders if they aren’t hurt by playing
before such large galleries for the first time.
”When played with me on the weekend rounds, they’re not quite
used to the amount of movement and … well, now the new thing are
the cell phones going off,” he said. ”It costs them a shot here
and there, and that’s what it’s done to me in most of the
tournaments I’ve played.”
DIVOTS: Caroline Wozniacki, an early departure at the U.S. Open,
walked the pro-am round with boyfriend Rory McIlroy. … Keegan
Bradley held a fundraiser in his hometown of Woodstock, Vt., for
the Vermont Disaster Relief Fund. The event raised more than
$100,000 for victims from last year’s flood brought on by Hurricane
Irene. ”There was pretty serious damage up there,” Bradley said.
… Scott Stallings keeps a baseball signed by former Boston Red
Sox great Jim Rice in his golf bag. …A year ago, Ernie Els was
No. 99 in the ranking and tied for 16th to move on to the third
round of the FedEx Cup.