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Rupert Wyman 3rd Sep 2009 - 7:46

Bank on Tiger in Boston

Tiger Woods lost last week's opening FedEx Cup play-off event, The Barclays, by just one shot. This was despite the fact that the world number one had 114 putts.

His putting may be an issue as last week he made just 85.3% of his putts from 10 feet or closer, well below his average of 90.4%. Tiger's all-round game is so good though that at 13/8 he can give punters value for money at the TPC Boston in the second FedEx Cup event, the Deutsche Bank Championship.

In six of his last eight starts he has finished first or second and the course in Boston should be much more to his liking than last week's in New Jersey with wider fairways and generally favouring the big hitters, so he has an even bigger chance than normal.

In addition he won this tournament in 2006, and will be keen to show the Boston public what they missed last year as he sat out this tournament for the first time, following his knee surgery.

In his last appearance here, in 2007, he finished second so has a great recent record at the course. Last week's winner Heath Slocum is a big price once again at 100/1 to win again after his Barclays success at an opening price of 200/1.

Slocum has made three straight cuts at the Deutsche Bank so could end up giving punters at least a run for their money. Although with finishes of 15th, 23rd and 44th he will need to make sure he is completely on his game as he was last week in New Jersey when he shot a final round 67 to win his first tournament since 2005.

A more likely challenger for Tiger will be the in-form Padraig Harrington (16/1). After a relatively poor season Pod sparkled into life at the Bridgestone Invitational in August with a second place finish behind Tiger. Since then he has been tied for tenth at the PGA Championship and finished tied for second with Tiger last week.

His performance at The Barclays was particularly impressive as he had to recover from a bad second round draw which resulted in him carding a 75 on the Friday. In the other three rounds he shot 67s each time and the three-time Major winner looks well set to challenge Woods yet again.

Ernie Els (20/1) and Steve Stricker (22/1) were the other two players that finished in the four-way tie for second in The Barclays. The latter missed a putt on the 72nd hole of The Barclays to force a play-off with Slocum which was very unlike him as he ranks fifth on the PGA Tour in putting.

He has nine top-ten finishes this season with two wins, plus he ranks second on the PGA Tour in scoring average so is more than capable of being up there again. It is also worth noting that at the TPC Boston Stricker has finished 13th, ninth and seventh in the last three years.

Els finished third here last year and the South African is playing full of confidence at the minute as a result of a good swing and to emphasise the point his final round in the Barclays was bogey free.

Vijay Singh beat the field by five shots last year and Els by eight as the Fijian won the Deutsche Bank for the second time after his 2004 success. The world number 14 is out of form and therefore at a relatively big price of 40/1 to make it a third Deutsche Bank win.

His finishes in this tournament have been fourth, first, second, 60th and first so ignoring that failure in 2007 if he can find anything near his best then he will be great value and perhaps a return to one of his favourite courses, where the layout and length suit his game and where he holds the record of 61, could be just the spark he needs.

Robert Allenby is one of only four players to hit a hole in one at the course and the Australian is priced at 60/1 to win his first event of the year. Can his sublime ball striking reap rewards for you here? He has a relatively good tournament record with four top 20 finishes and is ranked in the top 20 in greens in regulation, total driving and proximity to the hole from the fairway, so he should at the very least make the cut.

Despite the abundance of talent on show in Boston I expect Tiger to go one better than last week with the course more in his favour and land the second FedEx Cup event.

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