Friday, September 4, 2009

Stricker, Furyk Light Up 1st Round of Deutsche Bank Championship

Steve Stricker and Jim Furyk rendered par virtually a suggestion in the first round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston. They led they way with -8, 63s, trailed by a bevy of low scores. The second event of the "FedEx Cup Runneth Over" cemented Stricker's rep as a playoff monster and Furyk's as a dart thrower. Benign conditions allowed tons of players to go low, but Furyk's 18 of 18 greens in regulation stood as a clinic. Stricker has beaten Tiger Woods in his last three rounds in which they've played together including today's eight stroke pasting. Make it safe to assume that Woods' intimidation factor is dive bombing, at least from Stricker's vantage point.

Trailing in second stood the likes of Angel Cabrera, Retief Goosen, Matt Kuchar, Justin Leonard, and Scott Verplank, all at -6, two back. 16 others were spread between -4 and -5 creating a logjam of red numbers. Woods' -1, 70 and Phil Mickelson's even 71 were terrible rounds on a go low day. Both superstars couldn't buy a putt, although Stricker and Furyk's answer to that problem would have been "Hit it closer". There's no reason to believe the scoring fest won't continue with perfect conditions forecast through Labor Day. Course officials will have to get stupid with pin positions to slow the tidal wave of birdies. First Round Full Field Scores.

Woods is practicing the deadly habit of late of spotting the field a half dozen strokes going into the weekend. The best players in the world will take the spot without even a thank you. Mickelson's game is just lost. Too many coaches and opinions cause a brain freeze. This Average Golfer is acutely aware of the bad stuff that occurs when one thinks on the golf course. Act smart, play stupid.

I for one am a tad underwhelmed by the invented spectacle of the FedEx Cup. I consider the majors to be the pinnacle events. Still, it's compelling golf with great fields before football season gets in full swing. Better than the best players shutting it down after the PGA. Find time between the beer and the burgers and you just might catch something special.

Til' next,