Ninety-nine of the top 100 players in the most recent FedEx Cup standings converge on TPC Boston starting Thursday for the second leg of the lucrative post-season tournament.
Only the top 70 of this field will move on, so the competition will be fierce, particularly at the top of the field where Jason Day has seized the points lead from Jordan Spieth thanks to his win at The Barclays last week.
Day, ranked No. 3 in the world, could theoretically take over as No. 1 if he were to win this week, assuming neither Spieth nor current No. 1 Rory McIlroy finished second.
Day enters the field with 4,459 FedEx points, with Spieth second at 4,169. Only one other player, Bubba Watson, has more than 3,000, but since a win here is worth 2,000 points, pretty much any player ranked from fourth to 50th instantly becomes a major player in the overall architecture with a victory.
The current top 3: Day, Spieth, and Watson, tee off together on the back nine at 9:30 a.m. McIlroy, in his first FedEx action this year, is in an understated group with Kevin Kisner and Hideki Matsuyama on the back nine about half an hour earlier.
McIlroy won here in 2012, and Henrik Stenson, last week’s runner-up, was the champ in 2013. Chris Kirk won a year ago with a 15-under 269, and the defending champion tees off on the back nine at 1:04 p.m. with 2011 champ Webb Simpson and Louis Oosthuizen.
Stenson is in another power trio, matched with top 10 American Dustin Johnson and The Open champion Zach Johnson on the front nine at 1:40 p.m.
Day will be trying to accomplish what only one man prior has done, win the Barclays and the Deutsche Bank back to back. Vijay Singh did so in 2008.
In a typical year, one player will end up winning two of the four tournaments on his way to being crowned the overall champion. In the eight prior incarnations, Tiger Woods did so in 2007; Singh and Camilo Villegas in 2008; McIlroy in 2012; Stenson in 2013 and Billy Horschel a year ago.