Deutsche Bank Championship: Cash in on course king Hoffman

Charley Hoffman loves TPC Boston
Charley Hoffman loves TPC Boston

Dave Tindall, who had 50/1 Barclays winner Patrick Reed as his headline pick last week, brings us his analysis and tips for the second FedEx Cup play-off event - the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston...

"Looking at his numbers, Hoffman has recorded 11 rounds between 62 and 67 (inclusive) in his last six visits to TPC Boston so it’s a track he loves to go low on."

Main Bet: Back Charley Hoffman @ 71.070/1

Each-way terms: ¼ odds, 5 places

Main Bet: Back Charley Hoffman e/w @ 70/1

Charley Hoffman won this tournament with 22-under in 2010 and was three clear at halfway last year after opening 67-63.

A 76 in round three stopped him becoming a dual winner but a strong finish gave him another top three.

Looking at his numbers, Hoffman has recorded 11 rounds between 62 and 67 (inclusive) in his last six visits to TPC Boston so it's a track he loves to go low on.

What does he like?

From 2014: "I mean it's noted by the winners and everything, you've got to be able to hit it pretty far out here. It's a big golf course. The fairways are big. The cross bunkers, if you hit it longer, you can carry them. This is a big hitter's golf course. Big advantage. It's definitely the guy that hits it a little longer has a little advantage on this golf course."

Hoffman is 39th in Driving Distance this year so, yes, he hits it big.

Last year: "This is one of those courses you get on the tee, set up well, and the visuals are good. And I tend to make a few more putts than average for me out here on these greens, which is nice."

Add in that old classic, "this golf course fits my eye" (2014), and it's pretty clear why Hoffman arrives in Boston each year expecting to play well.

Since winning the Texas Open in April he hasn't exactly set the world alight but the American has certainly been solid. He's only missed two cuts in nine starts since, those coming in tough conditions at Sawgrass and the US PGA at Baltusrol.

He's had four top 25s since his Texas triumph and, notably, two have come on his last two starts. Hoffman was T25 in the Travelers Championship after shooting all four rounds in the 60s and improved to T13 in The Barclays last time after completing his week with a 67.

Scrambling has been an important skill at TPC Boston and Hoffman got it up and down 69.2% of the time at Bethpage (7th for the week) so his short game skills look sharp.

On one of his favourite courses of the year, the 70/1 looks very playable.

Next Best: Back Sean O'Hair e/w @ 90/1

Usually a player's price gets clobbered when he has an obvious mix of course and current form but the 90/1 about Sean O'Hair still has some juice in it.

True, it's shorter than we're used to seeing but that price is still big enough given what he brings to the table in Boston.

For course form, read three top 10s and two further top 25s at TPC Boston.

O'Hair was T15 on debut here back in 2005 and added T9 in 2007 and T8 in 2009. But it was last year when he produced his best finish, rounds of 68-67-67 putting him third with a round to go before he ended up fourth.

Looking back, the Texan actually led through 36 and 54 holes in 2009 while he was fourth at halfway in 2007. In other words, he's used to seeing his name high on the leaderboard here.

O'Hair seems to have been around for ages but he's still only 34 and that is often a golfer's prime so there should still be plenty of opportunities for him to add to his four PGA Tour titles, the last of which came back in the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

Given his current form, it might just come here.

Never the most consistent, he'd missed three straight cuts before shooting 69-68-64-69 to post T22 at the Wyndham Championship. With his confidence restored, O'Hair then played some impressive golf to finish T2 at the Barclays last week.

His numbers at Bethpage certainly took the eye - 2nd in the All-Around, 19th DD, 15th DA and 12th GIR. What bodes well for this week is that O'Hair was ranked 2nd in Scrambling at The Barclays.

Asked last year about his liking for this track, he responded: "I think it's a very playable golf course, which makes it fun. You don't get on the tee shots and feel like you can't miss it. You feel like you can give it a whale and you go find it and the rough is not too bad. Just kind of allows you to play a little bit freer."

O'Hair is 22nd in Driving Distance this year so likes to "give it a whale" and he seems in a good place.

"I feel good about my game. It's all right there," he said after finishing runner-up last week. "I've just got to put four rounds together. I haven't won in a long time, so that's kind of my goal. I'd like to win."

Let's hope he can get in the mix at 90s - a decent price given that only 100 go to post.

Final bet: Back Gary Woodland e/w @ 70/1

After landing a nice 50/1 winner with Patrick Reed last week, I thought about leaving some chips on the table and backing him again.

I just feel he may slightly take his foot off the gas after getting the win and securing his Ryder Cup spot which was a huge goal of his.

Both winners on the main tours last week - Reed on the PGA and Thomas Pieters in Europe - had been at the Olympics so perhaps there was a feelgood factor from that in their play too.

In which case Sergio Garcia could be a decent option at 33s. He finished T8 in Rio and has played some fine golf since winning the Byron Nelson at the end of May. The Spaniard also has a couple of top fives here (2013 and 2008) so he was close.

But I'll end with another at a big price and take Gary Woodland at 70s.

As we know, he smashes it off the tee (7th in DD) which is a big plus here and he heads to Boston after a top four in The Barclays.

In Davis Love's recent Ryder Cup press conference, the US skipper namechecked Woodland as a possible captain's pick and the two-time PGA Tour winner would certainly put the cat amongst the pigeons with a victory at TPC Boston.

It's certainly a course he feels he can do well on. "Boston is good for me," said Woodland after last week's top five at The Barclays. "I've played well the last couple years, so I'm excited about that."

The results he referred to were T29 in 2014 and T12 last year. He also posted T25 on debut in 2011 and in four visits he's shot a 65 and two 66s.

Perhaps those stats aren't off-the-planet good but it's a foundation for a big week and he thinks one could be lying just around the corner.

"The game feels really good," said Woodland at Bethpage Black. "So it was nice to get some work done with Butch (Harmon) last week and really bring it into this week and get some results."

As well as his usual monstrous driving, he was 6th in GIR and 4th in Scrambling. In fact, Woodland was 1st in the All-Around last week so clearly his game backed up his positive words.

With three top four finishes in his last nine starts he's been landing the each-way cash so the 70/1 looks good and hopefully he can hit the jackpot.

As for the market leaders, Jason Day's loose driving at Bethpage won't be as punished here so he looks an obvious danger.

Jordan Spieth looks to be on the up again but Rory McIlroy still isn't convincing and Henrik Stenson had to withdraw from The Barclays with a bad knee although if he starts well he could be one to watch.

Dustin Johnson should like the course (he has a couple of top fours in amongst some average finishes) but is still trying to find his early summer spark again while Adam Scott admits he hasn't putted well since The Masters.

So, I'm happy to swerve the front of the market and go to war with some bigger prices with the right profile for success.

Dave's 2016 P/L (based on £5 e/w per selection outrights, £10 win top 5s/10s)

Staked: £1000
Returned: £1048.75
P/L: +£48.75

(After The Barclays)

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