Note: I am getting married this Saturday and will be going on my honeymoon after. At the request of my soon to be wife, the fried egg will be shutting down next week. I did get one Bones like veto, so you will get an email on Tuesdaymorning recapping this weekend's Dell. Now onto this week in golf.
The FedEx Cup Playoffs head to TPC Boston for the second of four events. The top 100 players in the standings remain and this week's event is hosted from Friday - Monday to take advantage of the long Labor Day weekend.
What happened last year…..
Rory McIlroy chased down Paul Casey on a blustery Monday afternoon to capture the title. McIlroy started the day six shots back but shot a flawless 6-under 65 to setup a two shot win. The win was Rory's first of two during last year's playoffs, a run that helped propel him to FedEx Cup Champion and the $10 million dollar prize.
The long-time host TPC Boston will have a new look this year on the 12th and 13th holes. These two holes were untouched during the extensive 2006 renovation done by Gil Hanse. For the latest changes, Gil Hanse came back to do work on the original Arnold Palmer Design. The changes include, lengthening the 12th to make it a 500+ yard par 4 along with lowering and reshaping the 13th green. The latest iterations continue with the theme of the 2006 changes of making the course more natural to its New England setting.
Storylines to watch
Cut to 70
Players able to make their way into the top 70 of the FedEx Cup standings will earn a week off and a spot at the BMW Championship. A couple of big names currently on the outside looking in are Bubba Watson and Adam Scott. Watson will look to stay hot after last week's t-6th which moved him from 113th to 72nd in the standings.
With the recent birth of his second child coming early, Adam Scott is able to play at TPC Boston a course he has had a great deal of success on. Scott will only have to move up a few spots to get into the top 70 and given his course history I would expect that to happen.
The U.S. roster will be selected next week, leaving the players one last chance to impress captain Steve Stricker. The team will consist of the top 10 in the points standings and two Captain's picks. The big question will center around aging and struggling star Phil Mickelson. Lefty sits 17th in the standings and has only notched one top 10 finish since April. I would venture to guess that Phil is a lock given his reputation and friendship with Stricker, but based on recent form it’s a questionable pick.
Last week's Dustin Johnson pick brought Paulie's total to 9 winners in 2017. He will look to keep the winners coming in the playoffs and has a great deal of course history to work off of at TPC Boston. Check out his picks here.
The Web.com Tour Finals kick off this week. The field consists of the top 75 players from the Web.com Tour money list and PGA Tour players who finished 126th-200th in the FedEx Cup Standings. These players will fight it out over four weeks for 25 PGA Tour cards. While the top 25 on the Web.com Tour Money List have already earned a spot they can improve their priority ranking over the next four weeks. The first event of the series heads to Columbus, Ohio hosted at the Ohio State Scarlet Course.
A quick history lesson on the Scarlet Course
The course was originally designed by Alister Mackenzie in the early 1930's. At the height of his career, Mackenzie had recently completed Cypress Point, Crystal Downs, and Pasatiempo. Shortly after landing the Ohio State job, Mackenzie began construction at Augusta National. Mackenzie would die before the completion of the course but construction was carried out by the great Perry Maxwell and it opened in 1938. The Scarlet Course built the reputation of being one of the country's finest championship tests.
The University sought to make improvements in 2006 and hired famed alum Jack Nicklaus to restore the course. Nicklaus won the bid based on a plan which would include tree removal, bunker shaping, and minimal green alterations for the modern game. A well done restoration of Mackenzie's work would have turned the Scarlet into one of the greatest courses in the country.
With the job in hand, plans changed and Nicklaus ensued to desecrate one of the greatest courses in the country. He started by altering the routing of the golf course and dramatically changing the 4th hole. Later he decided they needed to destroy all 18 of the Perry Maxwell built green complexes; replacing them with his signature segmented style with predictable undulations. Today the Scarlet Course is not a Mackenzie golf course, just another difficult and boring Nicklaus design.
The European Tour heads to the Czech Masters
A fresh pod
Zac Blair joins Soly to talk about his season, The Buck Club and his love of golf course architecture. Listen on the NLU website, iTunes or Stitcher.