Frazzled takes a brief look at the Deutsche Bank Championship and he has selections of Billy Horschel and Russell Knox.
Time constraints mean that we will simply provide our picks this week for the 2nd event in the Fedex Cup playoffs.
Two years ago, after the Ryder Cup team had been picked, Billy Horschel had a point to prove to captain Tom Watson. He had been in sensational form in 2013, with a win in the Zurich Classic, a huge run of consecutive cuts made and then a solid Fedex Cup series. In 2014 he had not caught fire at the time the Ryder Cup team was announced, although a 6th in the Fedex St Jude Classic and an 11th place finish in the Quickens Loans were solid efforts.
However on the eve of Tom Watson picking his team, Horschel played outstanding golf in the Deutsche Bank until he fluffed a 6 iron on the final hole and then managed to bogey the Par 5 closer, when he had been in the middle of the fairway. Whether winning this event rather than finishing runner up to Chris Kirk would have got him a spot at Gleneagles is very debatable, but Horschel bounced back from that disappointment to win both the BMW Championship and the Tour Championship and take the Fedex Cup playoff title.
This time around, Horschel again finds himself as an outsider with regard to securing a wildcard pick. However his form looks very solid recently and he is a player that relishes a busy schedule. He nearly always records his best finish when he has played the week before and now after having 5th in the Wyndham and 13th last week in The Barlcays, he gets a chance to make a statement to Davis Love on a course that owes him something after 2014.
Horschel is ideally suited to the TPC Boston venue with his outstanding tee to green game. He ranks 25th in Strokes Gained Off The Tee, 23rd in Strokes Gained Tee to Green and a very solid 49th in Greens In Regulation. His putting can be hit or miss, but if he has a solid week on the greens then he must have an outstanding chance of contending this week. He is a player that is likely to thrive in the Ryder Cup with the big crowds motivating rather than intimidating him and given that this is an Arnold Palmer design, like Hazeltine, a big performance could be another reason for Davis Love to select him. Regardless of what happens with the wildcard picks, we like him this week at 55/1 with Bet365.
1.5 points each way Billy Horschel at 55/1 with Bet365
We saw last week that the focus that players had on the Ryder Cup proved to be the critical component in selecting the winners (although we did not pick them!!) after Thomas Pieters won in Europe and Patrick Reed won The Barclays to secure a spot on the United States team.
Russell Knox has motivation of a different kind after missing out on a spot on the European team. With Lee Westwood shooting +2 in Switzerland, Knox could show Darren Clarke exactly what a mistake he made by having a huge event this week. He was gracious in his comments after the team was picked, but it would be unnatural not to be hugely disappointed, given that he is ranked 20th in the World, has won a WGC event and won his penultimate PGA start in the Travellers, which is an event that provides a reasonable guide to this. Knox was also runner up to Rory McIlroy in the Irish Open at the Palmer designed K Club and his form here last year is much better than it might appear. A 12th was a very solid finish, but he carded a final round 75 to fall down the leaderboard on the final day.
Knox is a brilliant tee to green player and this relatively short venue suits him better than many of the longer tracks. He is 80/1 with Betfred and Bet365 to win the event and 14/1 with Ladbrokes to be Top European. Both these prices appeal.
1 point each way Russell Knox at 80/1 with Bet365 and Betfred
1 point each way Russell Knox - Top European at 14/1 with Ladbrokes (1/5 odds - 3 places)