Pro Golf Weekly

Dell Technologies Championship Primer – History, TV, Field, Odds

The first leg of the 2018 FedExCup Playoffs gave us a statement win by Bryson DeChambeau who claimed his second victory of the season, and essentially locked up a spot on the U.S. Ryder Cup team.

Bryson DeChambeau
Bryson DeChambeau reacts after a birdie on the 13th green during the final round of The Northern Trust at the Ridgewood CC in Paramus, NJ on Aug. 26, 2018. Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

This week the PGA Tour ships up to Boston for the final edition of the Dell Technologies Championship. Headlined by Tiger Woods, world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, and defending champion Justin Thomas, the field in the Baystate is comprised of 100 world-class golfers, highlighted by 18 of the world top 20.

While 100 players will enter Boston, only 70 will survive and make the trek down to Pennsylvania for the BMW Championship.

We do not know exactly who will be fortunate enough to move to the third leg, but what we do know without a doubt: they will have earned it.


THE SKINNY

Tournament: Dell Technologies Championship
Dates: Aug. 31 – Sep. 3, 2018
Where: Norton, Mass.
Course: TPC Boston
Distance: Par 36-35-71, 7,342 yards
Architect: Arnold Palmer (2002)
Redesign: Gil Hanse, Brad Faxon (2007)
Format: 100 players, 72 holes, stroke play, 36-hole cut
Purse: $9,000,000
Winning Share: $1,620,00
FedExCup Points: 2,000
Defending Champion: Justin Thomas
Marquee Players: Thomas, Dustin Johnson, Tiger Woods, Brooks Koepka, Patrick Reed, Justin Rose, Jon Rahm, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Bryson DeChambeau, Webb Simpson, Phil Mickelson, Henrik Stenson, Tony Finau


TV & ONLINE COVERAGE

Rd 1: Fri 2:30 pm – 6:30 pm (GOLF)
Rd 2: Sat 3:00 pm – 6:30 pm (GOLF)
Rd 3: Sun 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm (GOLF)
Rd 3: Sun 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm (NBC)
Rd 4: Mon 11:30 am – 1:30 pm (GOLF)
Rd 4: Mon 1:30 pm – 6:00 pm (NBC)
Online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram
(Note: Tournament is held Fri-Mon)


HISTORY

The 16th edition of the Dell Technologies Championship will be its last, as the tournament drew the short straw when the PGA Tour decided to reduce its FedExCup playoffs to just three events. Starting next season, The Northern Trust, BMW Championship and the TOUR Championship will comprise the playoffs.

Dell Technologies Championship
A general view of crowds on the 18th hole during the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston on Sep. 5, 2016 in Norton, Mass. Photo by Ryan Young/PGA TOUR via Getty Images

All is not lost for TPC Boston, though, as the venue will host The Northern Trust, starting in 2020, and then rotate between Boston and New York every other year.

The inaugural Labor Day tournament, then titled the Deutche Bank Championship, was contested in 2003 with Adam Scott taking home the trophy and the $900,000 first prize check. Four years later, the event was assimilated into the then new FedExCup playoffs, offering a larger purse and a guaranteed all-star field.

Despite a relatively short 15-year existence, the list of winners in Boston is quite impressive and includes former major winners in Scott, Vijay Singh, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy, Webb Simpson, and Justin Thomas. Singh (2004, 2008) and McIlroy (2012, 2016) are the only two-time winners in Boston.

Each edition has been held at TPC Boston, an Arnold Palmer design that was built in 2003, but took on a significant redesign from Gil Hanse and Brad Faxon before being used as a FedExCup event.

HISTORY: SCORING RECORDS

Lowest Final Score: 262 (-22)
(Vijay Singh 2008, Charley Hoffman 2010, and Henrik Stenson 2013)

Low Round: 61
(Vijay Singh, Mike Weir)


DFENDING CHAMPION

The defending champion of the Dell Technologies Championship is Justin Thomas, who outdueled Aussie Marc Leishman and good friend Jordan Spieth, shooting a final-round 5-under 66 to capture the second leg of the FedExCup Playoffs.

Justin Thomas
Justin Thomas tees off on the 17th hole during the final round of the Dell Technologies Championship on Sep. 4, 2017 at TPC Boston in Norton, Mass. Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Thomas went on to win the FedExCup and the $10 million first prize.

RECENT CHAMPIONS

2017: Justin Thomas
2016: Rory McIlroy
2015: Rickie Fowler
2014: Chris Kirk
2013: Henrik Stenson
2012: Rory McIlroy
2011: Webb Simpson


STORYLINE: JOCKEYING FOR BMW

The Northern Trust eliminated 25 of the 125 players who made the FedExCup playoffs.

Six players – Patrick Rodgers, Brandon Harkins, Trey Mullinax, Charl Schwartzel, Rory Sabbatini, and Alex Cejka – fell out of the top 100 to end their respective seasons, while six others – Nick Watney, Bronson Burgoon, Jhonattan Vegas, Scott Stallings, Danny Lee, and Brian Stuard – played their way into the top 100 in the FedExCup standings to advance to the Dell Technologies Championship.

Jhonattan Vegas
Jhonattan Vegas tees off on the 2nd hole during the third round of The Northern Trust on Aug. 25, 2018 at the Ridgewood CC in Paramus, NJ. Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

TPC Boston will whittle the field down even further, as only the top 70 upon the completion of this week’s tournament will move onto the BMW Championship.

As a result, those currently in the 71-100 range are under pressure to, at the very least, make the cut in Norton. Here are some of the more notable players in that range:

70 – Kevin Streelman 724
71 – Tyrrell Hatton 714
74 – Matt Kuchar 710
75 – Charley Hoffman 698
87 – Jhonattan Vegas 598
88 – Kevin Chappell 597
91 – Branden Grace 590
93 – Russell Knox 585
95 – Ollie Schniederjans 573
96 – Russell Henley 569
100 – Jason Dufner 557

On average, just over six per year jump inside the top 70 at this event, which has the players just on the other side of the bubble nervous too.

Right now Kevin Streelman holds the No. 70 position with 724 points just 10 points ahead of Tyrrell Hatton at No. 71. With playoff points quadrupled, a lot of movement can take place as evidenced by a five-way tie for 15th worth 204 points last week in New Jersey, while a five-way T20 was awarded 164 points.

It’s not just those around and below the top 70 that are motivated to improve their standing either. The Tour Championship only invites the top 30 in the standings after the BMW.

Some are already guaranteed a spot at East Lake, but those who haven’t greatly increase their margin of error in Chicago if they place well in Boston, not to mention that those who are in the top five going into East Lake are guaranteed to win the FedExCup if they win the Tour Championship.

Those five positions are current as follows:

1- Bryson DeChambeau
2- Dustin Johnson
3- Justin Thomas
4- Tony Finau
5- Brooks Koepka

If those five are serious about winning the FedExCup and its $10 million prize, and there is no good reason they would not be, they are best served by continuing their great play into this week. This is not a week off for anyone.


THE FIELD: BY THE NUMBERS

The second leg of the playoffs will feature the top-100 players in the final FedExCup standings, with Justin Thomas defending his 2107 title, and seeking his fourth win of the season, and 10th of his young career.

Dustin Johnson
Dustin Johnson tees off on the 8th hole during the final round of the Dell Technologies Championship on Sep. 4, 2017 at TPC Boston in Norton, Mass. Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

In addition to Thomas, the field in Norton, Mass. will feature all the big names including Tiger Woods, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlory, and Justin Rose.

As we do each week, let’s take a look at the field, by the numbers.


FedEx Top 10

All 10 of the top-10 players in the current FedExCup rankings will be in the field.

  • Bryson DeChambeau (1)
  • Dustin Johnson (2)
  • Justin Thomas (3)
  • Tony Finau (4)
  • Brooks Koepka (5)
  • Justin Rose (6)
  • Bubba Watson (7)
  • Jason Day (8)
  • Webb Simpson (9)
  • Phil Mickelson (10)

World Top 10

Eight of the top 10 in the Official World Golf Ranking will be in the field. Francesco Molinari (6) and Rickie Fowler (8) will not play.

  • Dustin Johnson (1)
  • Brooks Koepka (2)
  • Justin Thomas (3)
  • Justin Rose (4)
  • Jon Rahm (5)
  • Rory McIlroy (7)
  • Jordan Spieth (9)
  • Jason Day (10)

Former FedExCup Champions

There are seven (7) former FedExCup champions in the field this week.

  • Justin Thomas (2017)
  • Rory McIlroy (2016)
  • Jordan Spieth (2015)
  • Billy Horschel (2014)
  • Henrik Stenson (2013)
  • Brandt Snedeker (2012)
  • Tiger Woods (2007, 2009)

PGA Tour Rookies

Eight (8) rookies qualified for the playoffs this year. Five (5) moved on to Boston.

  • Aaron Wise (15)
  • Austin Cook (36)
  • Keith Mitchell (78)
  • Peter Uihlein (83)
  • Satoshi Kodaira (85)

FULL FIELD & ODDS

Dell Technologies Championship | TPC Boston | Norton, MA | Aug. 31 – Sep. 3, 2018

Joel Cook

Joel Cook is Pro Golf Weekly's Lead Writer. He is a member of the Golf Writer's Association of America.

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