THE WEEKLY WEDGE: 2018 DELL TECHNOLOGIES CHAMPIONSHIP

72

What’s up, Playmakers? Welcome back to another edition of The Weekly Wedge, where we will be diving into the 2018 Dell Technologies Championship at TPC Boston. This week’s tournament is being played in the greatest city in the world – the city of champions – and I’m fully expecting some great play from the top 100 players on tour, as these guys battle it out to try and make it into the top-70 in order to play in the third round of the playoffs next week at the BMW Championship. This tournament has been played here at TPC Boston since 2003, so we have quite a bit of course history to look at and it should be one of the main things you are looking at this week when building lineups.

This 7,300-yard, par 71 course is definitely one that favors the bombers. Not only is there a fair amount of length here in Boston, but the fairways are also quite easy to hit and the rough around the fairways isn’t anything to be afraid of. You’re definitely going to see a lot of driver this week, and a lot of guys playing aggressively to try and improve their Fed Ex Cup rankings to ensure they play as far into the playoffs as they can. With the quick, Bentgrass greens here at TPC Boston, the players are really going to enjoy the putting surface and I think this is a week where we could see some pretty low scores.

There are three par 5’s out there this week, and all of them are reachable and provide a sizeable advantage to the longer hitters. The same can be said for the four par 3’s being laid out to the field this week, as three out of the four are playing at over 200 yards. As long as the par 5’s and par 3’s are, the main focus this week is going to be on the Par 4’s. These are the holes where we will see most of the scoring, and where the players who don’t necessarily have the length as some of the bombers will have to take advantage to keep up with the rest of the field.

Weather looks to be fairly mild throughout the whole weekend, with Monday expected to heat up quite about to round out the tournament. Wind will be a slight factor, but nothing that should be anything to worry about too much. As always, remember to check the weather up until lock to make sure there aren’t any sudden changes, especially being in New England this weekend where the weather is known to be extremely unpredictable at times.

Key Stats

  • Course History – a player’s performance history on a particular course
  • SG: Off-the-Tee – the amount of strokes gained on the field generated from hitting the fairway off the tee
  • SG: Approach – measures the amount of strokes gained from shots not off the tee and more than 30 yards out
  • Proximity to Hole – the average distance a player’s ball comes to rest after an approach shot
  • Par-4 Scoring – measures the amount of strokes gained on par-4 holes

$10,000 and Above | Justin Thomas | $11,400

With such a strong field this week in the city of champions, you’re going to need a stud like JT if you plan on winning any kind of money this week. JT has been in fantastic form over his past few tournaments, finishing 1-T6-T8 in his past three starts. Not to mention, he won this exact tournament last year here at TPC Boston. Over his last 24 rounds, he ranks top-50 in the field in SG: off the tee, 4th in DK points, and 1st in SG: approach. On the year, JT ranks in the top-50 in proximity, 10th in driving distance, and 2nd in par 4 scoring. As much as I could sit here and list stats to you all day long on why to play JT, he’s just a beast who is in fantastic form and should not be overlooked in any format. It would not surprise me at all if JT won here for the 2nd year in a row.

Pivots: Jason day ($10,400) | Jordan Spieth ($10,000)

$9,900 – $9,000 | Tiger Woods | $9,700

Tiger has made five straight cuts now, and with the approach shot being at such a premium this week, I think it could be another week of tiger contending for a win. Ranked right behind JT in the field in SG: approach, he’s also sitting at 9th in both total SG and DK points. But where Tiger really shines is his proximity to the hole, where he ranks 14th overall on tour this year. His ability to put the ball in the fairway and stick greens on par 4’s is second-to-none, and his without a doubt one the best and purest ball strikers on tour. Ranking 20th this year in par 4 performance, Tiger will definitely be able to make up for his driver woes by taking an iron off the tee and setting himself up nicely for some good scoring opportunities on holes of the like. Another thing I love about Tiger this week is he loves the fast greens as opposed to the slower ones, and his putting game has actually started to come around as of late. If Tiger can get the putter going this week, he could be dangerous and could easily contend for a spot in the top 5. He will definitely carry some ownership just because he’s the GOAT, but he lives for the big moment and needs a good performance to secure his spot in the Tour Championship.

Pivots: John Rahm ($9,100) | Patrick Cantlay ($9,000)

$8,900 – $8,000 | Bryson DeChambeau | $8,700

After dominating the weekend last week at the Northern Trust, this could easily be the start of a serious Fed Ex Cup tear for Mr. DeChambeau. He’s a guy that not only always plays with a serious chip on his shoulder, he thrives on it. He’s on a mission every single week trying to prove everyone wrong and what better of an opportunity to do that than the biggest stage of the year, the playoffs. He finished in the top 30 here last year, and will definitely be looking to improve on that this year. Over his last 24 rounds, DeChambeau ranks in the top 30 in the field in SG: off the tee, SG approach, and DK scoring; and his ceiling is so much higher than that if he plays like he did last weekend. His performance at Ridgewood last week should not be overlooked, he should make a great play in all formats.

Pivots: Hideki Mastuyama ($8,900) | Patrick Reed ($8,400)

$7,900 – $7,000 | Keegan Bradley | $7,200

This is the hometown play of the week, as not only is Keegan Bradley a Boston guy but he’s also had some pretty good form lately to finish off the season. Last month he carded six eagles on his way to a 4th place finish at the RBC Canadian Open, and if you were watching it was pretty obvious he was able to benefit from his length. I see no reason why he can’t do that again this weekend. Over his last 24 rounds, Bradley ranks in the top 50 in SG: off the tee, 16th in SG: tee-to-green, and 6th in SG: approach. On top of being in good form as of late, he has also finished in the top 35 here in Boston each of his last four starts in the playoffs and I will take that value all day long at just $7,200. The thing to really love about Keegan this week other than having the homefield advantage and playing well as of late is his ability to approach the green, ranking 22nd on tour this year in proximity to the hole. Bradley could be pretty chalky because of him being from the Boston area, but he will be a great target for some salary relief at such a low price.

Pivots: Paul Casey ($7,900) | Gary Woodland ($7,700) | Rafa Cabrera Bello ($7,300)