Deutsche Bank experts' picks

August, 26, 2013

Each week of the season, our experts share their insights into which players fit the criteria for our four categories: Horse for the Course (a golfer who knows the track inside and out), Birdie Buster (a guy who could take it low this week), Super Sleeper (a player who could unexpectedly contend) and Winner.

This week's tournament: the Deutsche Bank Championship at the TPC of Boston in Norton, Mass.

Horse for the Course

Michael Collins, senior golf analyst: Jason Day. The man hasn't missed a cut all year (18-for-18), and I can't see him missing this one, either. Especially given that he's the 10th all-time money leader at this event, doing that in only five tries. Expect at the very least a top-10 from the Aussie who has half of his 18 starts cashing at least a top 25.

Farrell Evans, senior golf writer: Tiger Woods. In eight appearances at the TPC Boston, the 14-time major champion has finished outside of the top 11 only once. He won here in 2006 and has two seconds and a third on his résumé at the Arnold Palmer-designed course.

Bob Harig, senior golf writer: Tiger Woods. Since the FedEx Cup began in 2007, Woods has never finished worse than 11th here in four starts. He also won at TPC Boston before the FedEx Cup and finished second last year.

Kevin Maguire, senior golf editor: Tiger Woods. He has played the event eight times has finished T-11 or better in seven of those. Throw in a T-2 at the Barclays last week and the only reason he might not have a high finish is if he doesn't tee it up at all because of his back injury. Otherwise, he'll be donating another big check to his foundation, which is the main charity beneficiary from this tournament.

Birdie Buster

Collins: Jason Dufner. Still recovering from the PGA Championship hangover, he still managed to shoot no worse than even par every day at the Barclays last week. At TPC Boston, expect Duff to get right back up on the horse and start riding again. This time, I expect to see him in the top five by Sunday evening.

Evans: Henrik Stenson. The Swede's tie for 43rd at the Barclays was an aberration, particularly after opening with a 65 in the first round. He's been the best player on tour this year without a win. This time last year, he was done with the playoffs. Now, at 13th in the standings, he has a great chance to make it to Atlanta for the Tour Championship.

Harig: Adam Scott. He didn't think he had done enough Sunday, but his final-round 66 pushed him to the top of the leaderboard at the Barclays, giving him a second PGA Tour victory this year -– along with the Masters -– and moving him to No. 2 in the world.

Maguire: Phil Mickelson. Lefty turned it up a notch in the final round at Liberty National, so clearly the tank isn't completely empty after that Open Championship win. He owns a victory and two other top-10 finishes in the event, so never count out Mickelson.

Super Sleeper

Collins: Jason Kokrak. Golf is all about momentum, and Kokrak has some right now. His Sunday 67 at the Barclays jumped him 45 spots on the FedEx Cup points list, going from 95th to 50th. Now, being that close to getting into the top 30 with a tournament to spare, he can free-wheel it at a course that sets up very nicely for the bomber from Canada.

Evans:  Rory McIlroy. Even though the 24-year-old former world No. 1 is the defending champion at the Deutsche Bank, he is a long way from the form that led him to this win and three others on the PGA Tour in 2012. His best finish this season was a second at the Valero Texas Open. Still, he is arguably the most talented young player in the game and has the ability to run away from any field with very low scores.

Harig: Camilo Villegas. This week is a bonus for Villegas, who by all rights should not have advanced –- a Sunday 76 seemingly doomed him at the Barclays before others faltered worse. He has had difficulty putting good rounds together.

Maguire: Erik Compton. One of just five guys to play his way into the Deutsche Bank Championship who started Barclays week outside the top 100, the two-time heart transplant recipient knows a thing or two about playing under pressure. He does it every day of his life.


Collins: Phil Mickelson. Talk about a course that fits a guy's eye! In the six times he has teed it up at this venue, only twice has he finished outside the top 25. Now, with Phil coming off a Sunday charge at the Barclays and an extra day's rest, I expect him to make a push back at Adam Scott for that player of the year award.

Evans: Phil Mickelson. After that emotional win at Muirfield, Mickelson could have coasted into a quiet offseason with his family. Instead, he's trying to win his first FedEx Cup playoffs. After a tie for sixth at the Barclays, few are doubting his desire to finish out the season on a strong note.

Harig: Rory McIlroy. He is slowly but surely making strides, even if the results do not completely show it. Although he has dropped to fourth in the world, McIlroy has played some of his best golf of the year lately. The Deutsche Bank is where he got one of his five worldwide wins in 2012.

Maguire: Zach Johnson. Johnson's worst finish in five starts since June? That would be a T-8 at the PGA Championship. He has karma on his side, too, because he skipped the first playoff event for his brother's wedding. Even though his history at TPC Boston doesn't include a top-10 finish, a victory in Beantown just might be in his future.




Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.