Round 1 of the PGA playoffs are in the books, and we now move just up the eastern seaboard to Boston for Round 2. The Deutsche Bank Championship is played at Tournament Players Club Boston (TPC Boston). The top 125 in FedEx Cup points competed last week (well, 119 of the 125 qualifiers), and now that points are tallied, the top 100 move on to Boston. This week still has a cut, and still at top 70 and ties, so if you're around the 75-100 in ranking, you really want to make the cut this week and pass a bunch of folks on the list in order to advance to Round 3. To qualify for The BMW (round 3 next week), you must be in the top 70 when this week ends.
It's game week, and I fully understand where this is on the Dawg Sports popularity totem pole, so I won't bore you with much background. Just know that Rory McIlroy returns this week, and the cream is really rising to the top. We had only a single casualty: Erik Compton. Erik was 122nd entering last week's Barclays, but withdrew during the first round and so his season is finished (the season ends in a month after the Tour Championship in Atlanta). There was a bit of a shakeup in the points, but most of our guys were already solid, and a few improved their position:
Hudson Swafford moved from 100th to 93rd. He's on the outside looking in, so needs to make the cut at a minimum and hope the 70-100 guys don't make it.
Brian Harman moved from 69th to 62nd (two holes-in-one last Sunday make a big difference).
Russell Henley slid from 38th to 49th. Though he made the cut last week, he finished last and received only 3 points.
Brendon Todd moved up from 53rd to 47th.
Harris English fell one spot to 42nd.
Chris Kirk missed last week's cut, and fell from 29th to 39th.
Kevin Kisner moved up 4 valuable spots to 13th.
And Bubba Watson remained unchanged in the 3rd position. Even after finishing solo 3rd place, and every round under par. Goes to show that the points are volatile.
Pretty much every one of the 100 qualifiers will play this week, as the fields get smaller your performance is magnified. Only Sergio Garcia (as of this print time) has not committed, but he's ranked 31st and should be qualified even into next week's tourney. This week is also the last chance to earn FedEx Cup points for The President's Cup, played in October in South Korea. The Presidents Cup is a friendly team event between the US and the rest of the world (less Europe). It's the Ryder Cup for the rest of the world's golfers. Our US squad will be chosen in the coming weeks, and I'll be sure to let you know what Bulldogs made the squad (Bubba is a lock, and Kisner is making a case).
Since it's Labor Day weekend, the tourney doesn't start until Friday and ends Monday. TV Coverage remains on Golf Channel Friday/Saturday 2:30-6:30 pm ET, Sunday 1-3:00 pm ET, and Monday 11:30-1:30. NBC gets its golf back on with Sunday coverage 3-6:00 pm ET and Monday 2:00-6:00 pm ET. I think they all realize everyone will be watching college football Saturday.
** If the picture at the top looks familiar, it's because I used it last week. It was used because Chris Kirk, a UGA product, won a FedEx playoff event last year and last week was the start of the playoffs - seemed logical enough. Lack of foresight means that I didn't think that it would be more appropriate to use it this week, because this week is the tourney he actually won last year, so is more appropriate now. My bad.