The second leg of the PGA Tour Playoffs for the FedExCup takes place this week in Norton, Mass., where TPC Boston plays host to the Deutsche Bank Championship.
The tournament is celebrating its 10th anniversary and, as has been the case since the tournament was first played, it will start on Friday and conclude on Labor Day.
Before the start of the championship, we caught up with TPC Boston PGA Senior Head Golf Professional David Corrado for a little Q&A.
Corrado talked about the new and improved 18th green at TPC Boston - which is sure to create some drama late in the tournament - and spoke a little about the Ryder Cup implications that are on the line, as U.S. Captain Davis Love makes his four captain's picks the day after the Deutsche Bank Championship ends.
PGA.com: Thanks for joining us, David. Fan turnout-wise and course condition-wise, this is one of the best weeks on the PGA Tour year in and year out, as players head to TPC Boston for the second leg of the PGA Tour Playoffs for the FedExCup -- the Deutsche Bank Championship. Speaking of conditions, I played there a few weeks back on Media Day. Can you tell our readers how different the green at the par-5 18th is compared to last year?
Corrado: The renovation to 18 green is a significant change to the finishing hole at TPC Boston. The entire green complex has been changed and should provide for a compelling finish to the event. The green was reduced in size, elevated, shifted slightly further away from the hazard, and placed at an angle for the players approach. The changes will reward the second or third that is played on the proper line and distance but the errant shot will make for a more difficult up and down. The green surrounds offer many shot options for the player that misses the green as the closely mown areas and terrain can be traversed with shots played at many trajectories.
The finish is sure to be exciting as the players try to plan and execute the finish to their round.
PGA.com: This week marks the 10th anniversary of the Deutsche Bank Championship. Can you talk about how special that is? You've had great champions and the tournament seems to get more and more prominent.
Corrado: It is extremely exciting to celebrate our 10th anniversary of the event. The Deutsche Bank Championship has become a Labor Day tradition with our scheduled Monday finish and being part of the FedEx Cup Playoffs certainly adds to the prominence of the event. We have had some outstanding champions over the past nine years and having the field comprised of the top 100 players in the FedExCup standings, we are assured of one of the best in the game being added to the list this year.
PGA.com: Last year, we were hammered by Hurricane Irene a few days before the tournament started. The grounds crew at TPC Boston did an incredible job getting the course ready after that storm. How differently, if at all, will the course play this year seeing as we've had pretty much perfect weather for the last three weeks?
Corrado: The golf course is in excellent condition again this year due to the hard work of Golf Course Superintendent, Tom Brodeur, and his staff. While Tuesday brought a significant amount of rain in a short amount of time, the golf course should firm up throughout the week with excellent weather conditions are forecasted through the weekend.
PGA.com: Surely Keegan Bradley is going to have a huge contingent of supporters this week. Can you imagine what it would be like for a New Englander to win at TPC Boston?
Corrado: New Englanders certainly back their own and I'm sure Keegan will have a large gallery on the golf course. There is always excitement surrounding players competing in their home towns and that excitement can push players to excel. Golf enthusiasts in the area are excited to watch all the top players in the world compete this week and we should have some great crowds on the golf course watching a number of prominent pairings.
PGA.com: Final question for you, David. There's a story within a story this week, as it's the last chance for American players to make a case to U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Davis Love III as to why he should consider them for a captain's pick next Tuesday. What does that add to the tournament?
Corrado: The Ryder Cup implications involved with the event adds another level of excitement. With the Olympics still fresh in everyone's mind, the opportunity for American players to represent their country in the Ryder Cup carries even more significance. Many players will have to do their best not to let this added pressure affect their strategy and execution on the golf course. There is a lot at stake out there and the player that can remain focused has the best chance at positioning themselves to make a run at the FedExCup, and potentially a Ryder Cup berth if they have not already qualified.