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Monday, 10 December, 2018

Mickelson can put on a thrilling show for the Boston masses

Glover suffering with knee problem

Phil Mickelson was TPC Boston champion a decade ago
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Live on Sky Sports Golf from 5pm Friday
Event starts 1.15pm

The Dell Technologies Championship, the second leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs, starts in Boston at 1.15pm with all of the best players in the world lining up.

The marquee group in the first set of threeballs features world number one Dustin Johnson and Open champion Jordan Spieth, who had an epic battle for glory in the opening playoffs event on Sunday. Johnson and Spieth resume hostilities at 2.15pm, with USPGA victor Justin Thomas for company.

The trio of Hideki Matsuyama, Rickie Fowler and Jon Rahm headline the later wave at 6.40pm. Reigning FedEx Cup champion Rory McIlroy is out a little earlier, alongside Ollie Schniederjans and Si Woo Kim, but the most attractive threeball option is Phil Mickelson at 5.52pm.

Mickelson has not been firing on all cylinders in the last few weeks, but the TPC Boston is the sort of track where Lefty could be revived. A low-scoring layout with wide fairways is exactly what he needs and the ultra-attacking showman can leave Ian Poulter and Lucas Glover in his wake.

Mickelson won this tournament in 2007, the first time it became a FedEx Cup event, and that was his TPC Boston debut. He was fourth in 2012 and loves entertaining the crowds in this sports-mad city. Despite his inconsistent recent form, Phil The Thrill can be fancied to account for his playing partners.

Poulter played in this tournament every year from 2007 through 2015, missing the cut four times, finishing in the top ten only once. He failed to qualify last year. A couple of decent efforts this term have put Poulter back on the golfing map, but the Englishman has become a grinder better suited to tougher tracks. He is more likely to be a factor at somewhere like Sawgrass than TPC Boston.

Glover arrived at the course limping on Wednesday, having suffered a knee injury in the third round The Northern Trust, where he slumped to the floor for several minutes to get physio. His knee is taped up, but little can be expected of him in Boston.

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Daniel Berger to beat Jason Dufner is the most appealing 72-hole match-bet option. Berger, like Mickelson, is well suited to the demands of TPC Boston. The youngster finished 12th on his debut there in 2015 and 41st on his return last year. Bright summer form means Berger could easily contend this time.

The great strength of Dufner is precision driving, which is not a golden ticket at this venue, and this weak putter could be tailed off at the end of a low-scoring week.

Dustin Johnson and Jason Day both seem likely title contenders and a small dual forecast investment is also recommended. Johnson and Spieth dueled on Sunday and this week it could be Johnson versus Day.

P Mickelson to win threeball
2pts 7-4 Betfred
D Berger to beat J Dufner
2pts 5-6 Betway
Johnson-Day dual forecast
1pt 80-1 Sky Bet

TPC Boston is the sort of track where Lefty could be revived
E.W. Terms
Sky bet