NORTON, Mass. – There’s a new buzz in town and its’ not one of adulation and cockiness that involves the Red Sox’ historic run at winning 116 games.
That growing buzzing sound you’ve been hearing lately is all about the Dell Technologies Championship, and New England sports fans growing anticipation of seeing Tiger Woods and 100 of the best golfers on the planet teeing it up Aug. 31 – Sept. 3 at TPC Norton.
I know first-hand that this year’s tournament will be “huge” because of the daily request for free tickets arriving in my email address, as well as a dozen text messages asking for complimentary tickets. Seems everyone wants to go this year, or at least they don’t want to pay for tickets. If you’re reading this please don’t ask for tickets because the PGA Tour limits media to only four tickets per writer and my four are long gone.
Go buy tickets online www.DellTechnologiesChampionship.com and be happy you get tickets at all because this golf event is shaping up to be a sellout for many reasons, not just Tiger being here, but because there will be no tournament in 2019!
There have been 15 memorable Labor Day finishes at TPC Norton so far, 13 with the tournament formerly known as the Deutsche Bank Championship, so this one won’t be anything but “awesome.”
The FedExCup Playoffs begins this week at The Northern Trust in Paramus, New Jersey, and the Dell Technologies Championship is next week. Every member of the current top-five in the FedExCup standings – Dustin Johnson (No. 1), Justin Thomas (No. 2) Brooks Koepka (No. 3), Justin Rose (No. 4), and Bubba Watson (No. 5) – have all committed to play at TPC Boston August 31-September 3.
The top 100 in the FedExCup standings are eligble to compete for the second of four FedExCup Playoffs events and all 100 are expected. Past champions Tiger Woods (2006), Phil Mickelson (2007), Charley Hoffman (2010), Webb Simpson (2011), Rory McIlroy (2012, 2016), Henrik Stenson (2013), Chris Kirk (2014), and Rickie Fowler (2015) have all committed to return to New England.
Tiger Woods will be returning to Boston for the first time in five years as he chases his third FedExCup title. Woods, the only two-time winner of the FedExCup, is fresh off a runner-up finish at the PGA Championship, where he posted his lowest final-round score in major championship history with a 6-under 64. With three top-10s in his last four starts, Woods said Tuesday Aug. 21 that he feels he’s right on the verge of earning his 80th career PGA TOUR title and thinks that could come during the FedExCup Playoffs.
“I feel my next wins are coming soon,” Woods said. “How soon? I don’t know, but I’m putting myself there in tournaments now. I’ve done it two of the last three tournaments I’ve played in and they were big events, so I’m not that far away from getting it done.”
Thomas, who won the 2017 Dell Technologies Championship on his way to the FedExCup title, enters the FedExCup Playoffs hoping to become the first player in PGA TOUR history to defend as FedExCup champion. Thomas currently trails FedExCup points leader Dustin Johnson by 83 points.
“I’m really excited to get back,” said Thomas. “It’s a place that I liked when I first went there even though I didn’t play well the first few years, but I liked the golf course and Jimmy had had some success there with Strick. So that was another comforting factor for me. It’s a fun week. I love the city of Boston, great fans, good sports fans, and should be a good week.”
At No. 101 in the FedExCup standings currently, Springfield, Massachusetts native Richy Werenski is set for a big week at The Northern Trust, where he’s trying to play his way into the Dell Technologies Championship for the first time. Werenski narrowly missed out on qualifying last year for his hometown event, finishing No. 106 in the FedExCup standings, missing the second Playoffs event by six spots and ending his season after The Northern Trust.
“Playing in the FedExCup playoffs is always my No. 1 goal going into the new year,” said Werenski in June after competing in the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands where he shot 2-over finishing No. 78. “It will really be a special week if I can crack the top 100 and play sort of a home game in the Dell (Technologies Championship.)”
Werenski is hoping to avoid that fate this year after finishing T53 at last week’s Wyndham Championship, the final event of the regular season. In 31 starts this season, Werenski has made 17 cuts with two top-10s including a runner-up finish at the Barbasol Championship in July.
Brandt Snedeker, the 2012 FedExCup champion, won the regular season’s final event at the Wyndham Championship for his ninth career PGA TOUR title and will be back in Boston next week as he chases his second FedExCup title. Snedeker became only the 10th player in PGA TOUR history to fire a sub-60 round with an opening 11-under 59 at the Wyndham Championship.
Boston-area native and PGA TOUR rookie Peter Uihlein is set to make his first start at the Dell Technologies Championship after finishing the regular season No. 81 in the FedExCup standings.
Tickets are available online for this year’s Dell Technologies Championship starting at $35 and Good-Any-One-Day Grounds tickets going for $70. Weekly grounds tickets are on sale for $205.
For more information about the Dell Technologies Championship, please visit DellTechnologiesChampionship.com.