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Fantasy Aces: Deutsche Bank Championship

JEFF BABINEAU

Best bet: Ernie Els. OK, so I’m out of Tiger picks (which are maxed out at seven), but I’m feeling pretty good about the Big Easy as he returns to Beantown. Last year he rolled in and finished third, taking an instant liking to TPC Boston, and he has quietly been rounding into form since The Memorial this spring (with the exception of his lost week at Bethpage, of course). He’s closing in on that 40th birthday, and there’s a sense of urgency to get back into that winner’s circle pretty soon. If the flatstick cooperates, it’ll happen.

Ace up my sleeve: I was prepared to go with Jason Bohn, who, at No. 147 in the Sagarins, definitely qualifies as a sleeper. Instead, though, the Sags give me Vijay Singh outside the top 50, so I’ll put my stake on the Big Fijian, who has a nice record in Boston. You know, horses for courses.

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JIM MCCABE

Best bet: Steve Stricker. In his last three stops at TPC Boston, Stricker has been T-13, T-9, T-7 with eight of his 12 rounds in the 60s. There’s also this: He’s played in all nine of these “playoff” tournaments and has finished outside the top 20 just once, with five top 10s, including last week at The Barclays. In other words, call him “Mr. August into September.”

Ace up my sleeve: Padraig Harrington. Hey, I’m not the one who crunches the numbers and said he was ranked 75th. So, if it’s available, I’ll gladly take the layup. Especially since the Irishman appears “in form.”

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SEAN MARTIN

Best bet: Steve Stricker. I only have one Tiger Woods start remaining, and I’m saving it for Cog Hill and the BMW Championship. Stricker has finished in the top 15 the past three years at TPC Boston and is coming off a runner-up showing at The Barclays.

Ace up my sleeve: Padraig Harrington. His turnaround has been amazingly quick. Harrington has three consecutive top-10s in PGA Tour events. Here’s hoping he keeps it going in Boston, where the Irishman should be a fan favorite.

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ALEX MICELI

Best bet: Tiger Woods. He has blown two chances to win tournaments, one a major no less. Do you really think he will drop another one?

Ace up my sleeve: Stewart Cink. He’s not playing as well as he was in Scotland, but considering where he is in the rankings, you have to take him.

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LANCE RINGLER

Best Bet: Ernie Els. He has posted three top 10s in his last five starts and is showing a form we have grown used to seeing out of the Big Easy. After a tie for second last week, look for Els to continue to make some noise in the playoffs.

Ace up my sleeve: Padraig Harrington. He is making a strong close to the 2009 season. After missing the cut in six of seven events – Harrington has rebounded with three consecutive top 10s.

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JEFF RUDE

Best bet: Tiger Woods. Little numbers tell the story. No. 1 in the world. He has gone 1-1-2-2 in his last four starts. He went 2-1-2 in three of his last four starts at TPC Boston.

Ace up my sleeve: Padraig Harrington. Doesn’t sound, smell, taste or look like a darkhorse. But he’s 75th in our rankings despite excellent play of late, and No. 75 puts him the darkhorse category. And I’m picking him because I need points. This is about points.

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ERIC SODERSTROM

Best bet: Tiger Woods. Pairs with TPC Boston almost like baked beans and pahked cahs.

Ace up my sleeve: Webb Simpson. Seems to play well in spurts and is coming off a good week at The Barclays. I’d pick Harrington, but I’m sure everyone else is going with the Irishman and I need to take chances to move up.

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• • •

Field based on Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index:

1. Tiger Woods

2. Hunter Mahan

3. Steve Stricker

4. Jim Furyk

5. Kenny Perry

9. Geoff Ogilvy

10. Luke Donald

11. Camilo Villegas

13. Phil Mickelson

14. Paul Casey

15. Zach Johnson

16. Nick Watney

17. Ian Poulter

19. Ernie Els

20. Sergio Garcia

22. Robert Allenby

23. David Toms

24. Retief Goosen

25. Lucas Glover

26. Tim Clark

27. Kevin Sutherland

28. Sean O’Hair

32. Anthony Kim

33. Woody Austin

34. Justin Leonard

35. Scott Verplank

37. Jeff Overton

38. Charley Hoffman

40. Kevin Na

41. Mike Weir

42. Steve Marino

46. Davis Love III

48. Michael Letzig

51. Chad Campbell

52. Bob Estes

53. Stewart Cink

58. Dustin Johnson

59. Brian Gay

60. Fred Couples

61. Boo Weekley

62. Ben Crane

63. Y.E. Yang

65. Pat Perez

66. Mark Wilson

67. Stephen Ames

68. Jason Day

70. Jonathan Byrd

72. Vijay Singh

74. J.J. Henry

75. Padraig Harrington

78. Rory Sabbatini

79. Paul Goydos

80. Matt Kuchar

82. Charles Howell III

84. Angel Cabrera

86. John Senden

88. Charlie Wi

89. Ryuji Imada

92. Jeff Klauk

93. Mathew Goggin

94. Rod Pampling

98. John Mallinger

101. Kevin Streelman

103. Justin Rose

104. Brian Davis

107. Jerry Kelly

109. Bubba Watson

110. Cameron Beckman

114. Nick O’Hern

115. Bryce Molder

118. Bo Van Pelt

122. Fredrik Jacobson

123. Jason Dufner

125. John Rollins

128. Scott McCarron

129. Marc Leishman

130. J.B. Holmes

133. Ryan Moore

135. John Merrick

139. Greg Owen

145. Briny Baird

147. Jason Bohn

151. Nathan Green

154. Troy Matteson

157. Lee Janzen

161. Kevin Stadler

166. James Nitties

172. D.J. Trahan

175. Richard S. Johnson

179. Bill Haas

180. Tim Petrovic

181. Brett Quigley

189. Webb Simpson

198. Heath Slocum

200. Brandt Snedeker

212. Ted Purdy

233. D.A. Points

234. Greg Chalmers

237. Daniel Chopra

245. Scott Piercy

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