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Monday, 19 November, 2018

Determined Jason Day is a hugely attractive Dell boy

Aaron Wise also a good bet at TPC Boston

Jason Day has been making hardly any serious mistakes
1 of 1

Sky Sports from 1.30pm Friday

Bryson DeChambeau has stormed to the top of the FedEx Cup standings after his impressive four-shot romp in the opening leg of the playoffs last week and the new pacesetter will be looking to extend his lead in the Dell Technologies Championship.

The action starts a day later than usual – a Friday first round to set up a public holiday Monday finish at TPC Boston – and 98 of the 100 qualifiers go to post. That includes the top five in the world rankings, with Dustin Johnson assuming favouritism at 9-1.

Justin Thomas, the defending champion, is a stand-out 11-1 with Betfair to retain the trophy. Tiger Woods, up to 26th in the world rankings, can be backed at 22-1. The top 70 in the FedEx list will qualify for next week's BMW Championship.

Palmer's top tip
Jason Day 16-1
The volatility of the FedEx Cup points system means several players – even Jordan Spieth down in 33rd spot – will still believe they can win the main prize with three events remaining. Jason Day will certainly still be targeting the $10m bonus cheque from eighth position in the standings and the Australian ace can help his cause by winning the Dell Technologies Championship.

Day has looked close to securing a third victory of 2018 for a number of weeks. He is on a run of five consecutive top-20 finishes – the last four in top-class company – and it is surely only a matter of time before he puts together a winning 72-hole total.

One of driving, iron-play or putting has cost Day more serious title tilts in each event of late, but all departments have been close to top order, and the former world number one can approach the closing stages of the campaign confident that he will threaten silverware.

TPC Boston is a fantastic set-up for Day, who appreciates the generous fairways and has the putting ability to deliver the low scoring typically required for victory there, and he has consistently got among the birdies. His form figures from ten previous Boston visits – all in FedEx Cup combat – are 50-19-2-3-51-13-7-12-15-25.

Day has an excellent record generally in the FedEx playoffs and he won two playoff events in 2015 – the first and the third. The 30-year-old, entirely focused on the FedEx Cup while others are letting the Ryder Cup creep into their minds, looks a rock-solid each-way option at 16-1 getting seven places in a field of 98.

Next best
Aaron Wise 70-1
The long-term future looks extremely bright for sweet-swinging 22-year-old Aaron Wise, but his more immediate plans will feature a trip to East Lake for a Tour Championship debut next month. Fifth spot in The Northern Trust on Sunday essentially locked a place for the mega-bucks US Tour finale in Georgia.

Competing in the Tour Championship is a huge fillip because it opens so many doors into all the elite events the following year. Wise will be buzzing after his Northern Trust performance in New Jersey, where he closed with a pair of 67s, looking thoroughly world-class in the process. He has got power on tap and putts superbly.

Wises's scintillating A-game had already shown up three times previously this year, resulting in second place in the Wells Fargo Championship, a three-shot maiden title in the AT&T Byron Nelson and sixth spot in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone. TPC Boston plays to his strengths, encouraging attacking golf, and further FedEx fireworks could be in store.

Others to note
Justin Thomas
The FedEx Cup champion won this event in fairly comfortable fashion last year and should probably be favourite with form figures of 1-6-8 from his last three US Tour starts.

Jon Rahm
The aggressive Spaniard will relish the simple nature of TPC Boston, where he finished fourth last year, and can be fancied to bounce back from his Northern Trust missed cut.

Tony Finau
The Utah giant looked better than ever with putter in hand last week, his runner-up finish laying down a strong claim for a Ryder Cup wildcard spot. Boston dangerman.

Jordan Spieth
The three-time Major champion, despite missing a tap-in with one hand from seven inches in round two, played some decent golf in The Northern Trust. Last year's Boston runner-up has another chance to end his victory drought.

Rory McIlroy
The four-time Major champ and former world number one has twice triumphed at TPC Boston, so will see this as a golden opportunity to get back to winning ways. He suffered with some injury niggles at the US PGA last time out, then skipped The Northern Trust.

Brooks Koepka
The hottest player on the planet and two-time 2018 Major winner has a poor record at TPC Boston (MC-57-18), but has never carried more self-belief.

Staking plan
J Day
4pts each-way 16-1 Boyles, Power, Sky Bet
A Wise
1pt each-way 70-1 Betfred

The lowdown

Course TPC Boston, Norton, Massachusetts

Prize money $9m ($1.575m to the winner)

Length 7,342 yards Par 71 Field 98 (Rickie Fowler and Francesco Molinari qualified but withdrew)

Course records – 72 holes 262 Vijay Singh (2008), Charley Hoffman (2010), Henrik Stenson (2013) 18 holes 61 Vijay Singh (2006), Mike Weir (2008)

Course winners taking part Adam Scott, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Charley Hoffman, Webb Simpson, Rory McIlroy (twice), Henrik Stenson, Chris Kirk, Rickie Fowler, Justin Thomas

When to bet By 1.15pm Friday

Where to watch Live on Sky Sports from 1.30pm Friday

Time difference Boston is five hours behind the UK and Ireland

Last week – The Northern Trust 1 B DeChambeau (80-1), 2 T Finau (55-1), T3 B Horschel (100-1), C Smith (200-1), T5 R Palmer (250-1), A Wise (160-1), A Scott (45-1)

Course overview This tournament got a new sponsor last year, having been the Deutsche Bank Championship from its inception in 2003. The event always finishes on a Monday, which is Labor Day in the States.

The TPC Boston is typically the easiest of the FedEx Cup playoffs venues, with a score of 14 under par or better topping the leaderboard in the previous 15 US Tour events on this course. A winning total of 22 under has been reached on three occasions. The fairways are generous and birdies are plentiful.

Arnold Palmer was the original designer, but Gil Hanse and Brad Faxon combined for a course renovation in 2007. There are three par-fives – the second (542 yards), seventh (600) and 18th (530). The trio of long holes is where the eventual champion usually picks up shots.

The fifth, sixth, 12th and 14th, four long par-fours, are tough holes, while the third is the only one of the four par-threes which played under-par last year. The greens are bentgrass.

Story of last year A back-nine burst allowed Justin Thomas to overtake his pal Jordan Spieth and win by three shots, a stepping stone to FedEx Cup glory.

Weather forecast Clear and cool, with light breezes throughout.

Type of player suited to challenge The wide-open TPC Boston sets up for birdies, with big-hitters able to rip the par-fives to shreds. Power is useful on many holes, but a hot putter is essential throughout to reach the low 72-hole total which is always required to win this event.

Key attribute Touch


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TPC Boston is a fantastic set-up for Day, who appreciates the generous fairways
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