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BlogJohn Deere Classic Preview and Picks

John Deere Classic

July 11th – 14th, 2019

TPC Deere Run

Silvis, IL

Par: 71 / Yardage: 7,268

Purse: $6 million

with $1,080,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Michael Kim

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

This week’s field includes:

The field includes 12 of the top-100 players and nobody from the top 50 in the latest Official World Rankings.  Those in the field in the top 100 are #55 Charles Howell III, #56 Kyle Stanley, #62 Sungjae Im, #68 Ryan Palmer,  #75 Lucas Glover, #79 Joaquin Niemann, #80 Ryan Moore, #81 Joel Dahmen, #85 Kevin Streelman, #88 Brian Harman, #93 Kevin Tway and #95 Jhonattan Vegas.

Last year, there were 13 top-100 players and 4 top-50 players.

The field includes 2 of the top 25 on the FedEx point standings for 2019, #15 Charles Howell III and #23 Sungjae Im.

The field includes 6 past champions: Michael Kim (2018), Ryan Moore (2016), Brian Harman (2014), Zach Johnson (2012), Jonathan Byrd (2007) and John Senden (2006).

A perfect way for fantasy golfers to check on the past performance of all the players in the John Deere Classic field is our performance chart listed by the average finish.  Another way to check who is the best is through a special formula worked out in Golfstats that gives us the best average performances at the John Deere Classic field in the last five years or check out our sortable 8-year glance at the John Deere Classic field.

A good cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmakers in England.

Another cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmaker in Las Vegas.

 

Time to look at our who’s hot and who isn’t:

Who’s Hot in the field for the John Deere Classic

Player 3M Open Rocket Mortgage Travelers Champ. U.S. Open RBC Canadian Open Memorial Tournament Charles Schwab PGA Champ. Byron Nelson Wells Fargo Zurich Classic RBC Heritage Masters
Joaquin Niemann
(195.33 pts)
T23
(27)
T5
(70)
T5
(70)
DNP T31
(12.67)
T27
(15.33)
T31
(6.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T38
(4)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP
Collin Morikawa
(158 pts)
T2
(100)
DNP T36
(14)
T35
(20)
T14
(24)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Nate Lashley
(150 pts)
CUT
(-10)
Win
(132)
DNP T28
(29.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP 69
(0)
DNP T29
(7)
T45
(1.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP
Kevin Streelman
(144 pts)
T34
(16)
T35
(15)
T15
(35)
DNP DNP 4
(53.33)
T31
(6.33)
DNP DNP T45
(1.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
T6
(20)
DNP
Viktor Hovland
(136.67 pts)
T13
(37)
T13
(37)
T54
(0)
T12
(50.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T32
(12)
Cameron Tringale
(133 pts)
T42
(8)
T5
(70)
T71
(0)
DNP T11
(26)
DNP DNP DNP T23
(9)
CUT
(-3.33)
T5
(23.33)
DNP DNP
Sungjae Im
(127 pts)
T15
(35)
T21
(29)
T21
(29)
DNP 7
(36.67)
T57
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
83
(0)
T31
(6.33)
T37
(4.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Matthew Wolff
(122 pts)
Win
(132)
CUT
(-10)
T80
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Wyndham Clark
(118 pts)
T5
(70)
T17
(33)
T15
(35)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
T54
(0)
DNP
Brian Harman
(109.33 pts)
T7
(55)
CUT
(-10)
T8
(50)
DNP T50
(0.67)
T27
(15.33)
T31
(6.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
T24
(8.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Peter Malnati
(106 pts)
T46
(4)
T29
(21)
T30
(20)
DNP T31
(12.67)
T17
(22)
T40
(3.33)
DNP T72
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
T9
(15)
T16
(11.33)
DNP
Vaughn Taylor
(102 pts)
DNP T46
(4)
4
(80)
DNP DNP T48
(1.33)
T58
(0)
DNP T17
(11)
T13
(12.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Doc Redman
(100.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
2
(100)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T18
(10.67)
DNP DNP DNP
Sam Burns
(97 pts)
T7
(55)
T42
(8)
T43
(7)
DNP DNP WD
(-3.33)
T31
(6.33)
T29
(14)
T72
(0)
WD
(-1.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
9
(15)
DNP
Kevin Tway
(96 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
T5
(70)
DNP T44
(4)
DNP T19
(10.33)
77
(0)
T53
(0)
DNP T13
(12.33)
DNP T36
(9.33)
Wes Roach
(92.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
T3
(90)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T11
(26)
DNP DNP DNP T72
(0)
T70
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP
Brian Stuard
(92 pts)
DNP T5
(70)
CUT
(-10)
T65
(0)
DNP T33
(11.33)
T64
(0)
DNP T59
(0)
DNP T22
(9.33)
T16
(11.33)
DNP
Joey Garber
(89.33 pts)
T7
(55)
T29
(21)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T27
(15.33)
DNP DNP DNP T29
(7)
CUT
(-3.33)
T37
(4.33)
DNP DNP
Zack Sucher
(88.67 pts)
T58
(0)
CUT
(-10)
T2
(100)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP T35
(5)
T50
(0.33)
DNP DNP DNP
Troy Merritt
(83 pts)
T7
(55)
CUT
(-10)
T71
(0)
DNP DNP T17
(22)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T53
(0)
DNP T22
(9.33)
T10
(13.33)
DNP
Ryan Palmer
(77 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T35
(10)
DNP T6
(20)
CUT
(-6.67)
T43
(2.33)
DNP Win
(44)
T28
(7.33)
DNP
Mackenzie Hughes
(69.67 pts)
T66
(0)
T21
(29)
T51
(0)
DNP T14
(24)
DNP T8
(16.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
T30
(6.67)
T63
(0)
DNP
Shawn Stefani
(69 pts)
T15
(35)
T35
(15)
T71
(0)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T20
(10)
T13
(12.33)
T30
(6.67)
DNP DNP
Lucas Glover
(68 pts)
T7
(55)
DNP CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-13.33)
DNP T52
(0)
DNP T16
(22.67)
DNP T31
(6.33)
T18
(10.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Jason Dufner
(66.67 pts)
T66
(0)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T35
(20)
DNP T7
(36.67)
T40
(3.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T4
(26.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
T63
(0)
DNP
Kyle Stanley
(62.33 pts)
DNP T21
(29)
T36
(14)
T65
(0)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T8
(16.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T21
(19.33)
Alex Prugh
(60.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
20
(30)
T21
(38.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP T79
(0)
T31
(6.33)
T13
(12.33)
DNP DNP
Matt Every
(57.67 pts)
T79
(0)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
T17
(11)
DNP T2
(33.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
T3
(30)
DNP DNP
Nick Watney
(57.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
T46
(4)
T30
(20)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T22
(18.67)
T8
(16.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T31
(6.33)
T9
(15)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Roger Sloan
(53.67 pts)
T15
(35)
T21
(29)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T56
(0)
DNP T31
(6.33)
DNP T79
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Ted Potter, Jr.
(53.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
T5
(70)
DNP DNP DNP 73
(0)
T58
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
T67
(0)
DNP
Nick Taylor
(52 pts)
T46
(4)
T35
(15)
T71
(0)
T43
(9.33)
T27
(15.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T54
(0)
T9
(15)
T58
(0)
DNP
Denny McCarthy
(51.67 pts)
T23
(27)
T21
(29)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T23
(9)
CUT
(-3.33)
T37
(4.33)
T33
(5.67)
DNP
Stephan Jaeger
(51 pts)
T66
(0)
CUT
(-10)
T30
(20)
DNP T14
(24)
DNP DNP DNP T17
(11)
CUT
(-3.33)
T22
(9.33)
DNP DNP
Daniel Berger
(51 pts)
T15
(35)
DNP CUT
(-10)
T49
(1.33)
T35
(10)
DNP T53
(0)
T71
(0)
T23
(9)
T54
(0)
DNP T33
(5.67)
DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

Who’s Not Hot in the field for the John Deere Classic

Player 3M Open Rocket Mortgage Travelers Champ. U.S. Open RBC Canadian Open Memorial Tournament Charles Schwab PGA Champ. Byron Nelson Wells Fargo Zurich Classic RBC Heritage Masters
Michael Kim
(-63.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
Martin Trainer
(-55 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
WD
(-1.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP
Whee Kim
(-52.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
T37
(4.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Ollie Schniederjans
(-51 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-13.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T69
(0)
T28
(7.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DQ
(-1.67)
DNP
John Chin
(-43.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP
Julian Etulain
(-37.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-13.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
68
(0)
T32
(6)
DNP DNP
Kelly Kraft
(-36.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP 71
(0)
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
T48
(1.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
T13
(12.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Cameron Champ
(-32.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
T46
(4)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T58
(0)
T54
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Chris Stroud
(-31.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
WD
(-5)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T48
(0.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
T22
(9.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Chad Collins
(-30 pts)
CUT
(-10)
T64
(0)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP T79
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

The Buzz:

At times people don’t realize the complexities of gambling and golf.  When you make DraftKings picks in a sport like Baseball and Football, it’s easy to take stats and predict how a player will do in a said game.  Everything is based on historical data and after you crunch the numbers, the only remaining variable is down to weather and how a player is feeling.  But in golf historical data is about 50% of the equation, the rest is determined via the course, the weather and the field.  The last couple of weeks I couldn’t stress more that the winner would be the player you least expected to win.  We saw this come true, first at the Rocket Mortgage when Nate Lashley, who was a 36-year-old journeyman who had played in just 32 PGA Tour events.  Lashley was ranked 353rd in the Official World Golf Rankings and sure enough, he won by six shots.  How it happened is completely unexplainable other than the fact that it was his week and he put everything together for the performance of his life.  Last week at the 3M Open it was another puzzler. Matthew Wolff age 20, who is just a month from leaving Oklahoma State, with just 3 PGA Tour events under his belt looked like a superstar when in the heat of battle shot 31 on the back nine on Sunday, including an eagle at the final hole in an exciting finish as he beat PGA Tour veteran Bryson DeChambeau by a shot.  The comparison would be a rookie quarterback making his first start against the New England Patriots and outplaying Tom Brady.  Or it’s like a 20 making his first start in a baseball game and going 4 for 4 against the Washington Nationals Max Scherzer and in the ninth inning hits a home run off of Scherzer to win the game.

Wolf was ranked 1,659, nobody has been ranked that high and won on the PGA Tour.

So the good news is this, after two weeks of first-time events we go to the John Deere Classic which has a lot of history and we can also make some assumptions on what it will take to win.  TPC Deere Run is the venue and it’s one of the rare courses on tour that benefits short hitters and those that hit it long have no real advantage, a matter of fact those that hit it long have to throttle back a bit because they run out of fairway.  The course plays at 7,268 yards but the fairways are always firm and get a lot of role.  In an era in which courses have six or more par 4s over 450 yards, Deere Run only has three par 4s over 450 yards.  On top of that, all three par 5s are accessible in two even for the shorter hitters, so you can see why the winners’ ranks of the last decade have short hitters like Zach Johnson, Steve Stricker, Sean O’Hair, Ryan Moore and last year’s champions Michael Kim winning.

Talking about the player you least expected to win, Michael Kim was that person when he won the John Deere last year.  He had only played in 83 PGA Tour events and had only 1 top-ten finish.  Going into the Deere he was ranked 473 so when he won it could have been the biggest shocking win of 2018.  We can see how much the win was a flunk of golf.  Since the win in the last year, Kim has played in 27 events and hasn’t cracked the top-30, his best finish was T-32nd in a field of 32 at the Sentry Tournament of Champions.  That was the last check he cashed, he has missed the cut in his last 17 starts so the odds are high that he may not be around for the weekend at the John Deere

Last year I didn’t pick Kim, but my #1 choice was Francesco Molinari who finished 2nd.

So will the John Deere be hard to pick?  Probably, the field is total crap but as I said with the historical data we can see that the course does favor short hitters, but since most of the marquee names are getting ready for the British Open the field is stacked with a lot of players just like Nate Lashley and Matthew Wolff or even Michael Kim who could have the career weekend of their lives

History of the John Deere

The John Deere Classic was created in 1971. Founded by a businessman in Davenport, Iowa, it began as a satellite PGA event known as the Quad City Open. It stayed in Davenport through 1974, where it subsequently moved to the Oakwood Country Club in Coal Valley, Iowa. The John Deere Classic remained in Coal Valley until 2000, where the move to Silvis coincided with the opening of TPC Deere Run.

The John Deere Classic took center stage in 2005 when Michelle Wie attempted to become the first woman to make a PGA cut since Babe Didrikson Zaharias. After an opening round 1-under, Wie found herself in prime position to make the cut. Through 14 holes in round 2, Wie was 3-under for the day, 4-under for the tournament. Her momentum dissipated on Number 15 as she proceeded to pull her drive severely, then from their chip into a bunker and eventually, made double bogey. Wie ended up missing the cut by one shot.

Since 1997, the event has been the week before the British Open was it was always a struggled to get a good field of players.  In 2008 tournament organizers came up with a plan that helps attract players.  They made a charter flight available in which players would be able to leave the Sunday after play.  It’s a comfortable journey as players enjoy big business class seats with minimal hassle in getting to the British Islands since the plane landed at an airport near the venue of the championship.  The charter has been a big hit and helped the tournament land a lot of marquee names.

The tournament began as the Quad Cities Open in 1971 and was a “satellite event” on the PGA Tour. It became an official tour event in 1972. Title sponsors have included Ed McMahon (1974–79), Miller Brewing Company (1982–85), Hardee’s (1986–94) and John Deere (since 1999).

Course information:
  • TPC Deere Run
  • Silvis, Il.
  • 7,268 yards     Par 35-36–71
  • The course rating is 75.6 rating with a slope rating of 145 from the championship tees. The course is part of a TPC network and is open to outside play.  It also sells local memberships.
  • Long before golfers began traveling to TPC Deere Run, native Americans migrated there. They came to this western Illinois location for the bounty of wildlife, the proximity to the Rock River and the natural beauty of rolling hills and wooded ravines.
  • In more recent times, the property became Friendship Farm, one of the top Arabian horse breeding operations in the U.S. As a result, the property was maintained in its most natural beauty and provided a near-perfect setting for the property’s destination today, a golf course that appears to have been here for over a 100 years.
  • TPC Deere Run boasts a bit of ancient philosophy and feels to the golf course, which stretches to 7,213 yards, an intimidating length for a par-71 track. Some 74 bunkers are strategically placed throughout the course and vary in depth and shape. There are a few blind shots and chipping areas to confound the best players. There are gentle doglegs, requiring precision more than power.
  • The natural features of the former horse farm high above the Rock River Valley have not been compromised, and the Rock River is visible on nine holes. D.A. Weibring, the course designer, extracted a few trees (less than 20 percent), but he essentially left the property, with its dramatic pitches and rolls, intact. The course inhabits roughly 170 acres, but Weibring and design associate Chris Gray disturbed less than 60 acres during construction.

Last year the TPC Deere Run was the 46th hardest course (out of 51) on the PGA Tour playing to a 69.38 average.

  • In 2017 the TPC Deere Run was the 38th hardest course (out of 50) on the PGA Tour playing to a 69.75 average.
  • In 2016 the TPC Deere Run was the 39th hardest course (out of 50) on the PGA Tour playing to a 69.90 average.
  • In 2015 the TPC Deere Run was the 43rd hardest course (out of 52) on the PGA Tour playing to a 69.648 average.
  • In 2014 the TPC Deere Run was the 42nd hardest course (out of 48) on the PGA Tour playing to a 69.764 average.
  • In 2013 the TPC Deere Run was the 36th hardest course on the PGA Tour playing to a 69,397.

So the course is easy, in 2015 1,803 birdies (along with 32 eagles) were made during the week, the 3rd most birdies made on any course on the PGA Tour.  Last year 1,855 birdies and 45 eagles were made.

LET’S TAKE A LOOK AT VITAL STATS THAT ARE IMPORTANT FOR THOSE PLAYING AT TPC DEERE RUN.

This is based on the most vital stats from TPC Deere Run, based on data from last year’s John Deere and using data from all the players in the field with stats from 2019.
The most important thing to realize about TPC Deere Run is that it’s one of the rare courses on tour that benefits short hitters and those that hit it long have no real advantage, a matter of fact those that hit it long have to throttle back a bit because they run out of fairway. The course plays at 7,268 yards but the fairways are always firm and get a lot of role. In an era in which courses have six or more par 4s over 450 yards, Deere Run only has three par 4s over 450 yards. On top of that, all three par 5s are accessible in two even for the shorter hitters, so you can see why the winners’ ranks of late have short hitters like Zach Johnson, Steve Stricker, Sean O’Hair, Ryan Moore and last year’s champions Michael Kim winning.
Lot’s of birdies are always made on the course, last year 1,865 were made with only Trinity Forest and Glen Abbey seeing more birdies made. The greens are easy to read and do well on them so this course also caters to players who don’t putt very well. Now the tournament is being played the week before the British Open so the course should be firm and fast.
So in looking at our four categories, we see how much driving makes a difference. But instead of looking for those that hit it long, those that hit it short will at least have as much of a chance as the longer hitter. So it’s a perfect time to look at these strokes gained stats as our first two categories, first Strokes Gained Off-the-Tee and they Strokes Gained Approach-the-Green. After that Putting average is important because this is a course that is easy to putt, not much undulation in the greens so poor putters has a good chance this week. Last is birdie average, those at the top will make a lot of them and it’s a requirement to win. The course is pretty easy, last year it played to an average of 69.38 so a shot and a half under par making it one of the easiest courses on tour. Last year it ranked 46th hardest in a field of 51, so you can see that the winner does need to go low. Normally we would say that a non-marquee name will win, but that isn’t the case. In the last eleven years, we have seen Steve Stricker win three times, Jordan Spieth win twice along with Bryson DeChambeau, Zach Johnson, Ryan Moore, and Kenny Perry so the event has seen some marquee champions.

*Strokes Gained Off-the-Tee: Measurements off the tee to see who saves the most strokes with perfect drives on the course compared to the field

*Strokes Gained Approach-the-Green: See who saves the most strokes with the shots into the greens.

*Putting Average: The average number of putts in a round, based on the year.

*Birdie average: Calculates how many birdies a player makes per round

One thing, on driving distance we re-ranked the players from shortest hitter being number one to the longest being last.

Of the 156 players in the field, 117 have stats on the PGA Tour for 2019.

(beware that a lot of those top picks in DraftKings (like Hovland, Morikawa & Wolff) don’t qualify for PGA Tour starts because of lack of starts)

Click any column title in the table header to sort columns.

Here is a link to the other 107 players stats for the John Deere

DraftKings tips

*Here are the guys that cost the most on DraftKings this week:
  • Viktor Hovland – $10,900
  • Collin Morikawa – $10,700
  • Matthew Wolff – $10,500
  • Joaquin Niemann – $10,200
  • Kevin Streelman – $10,000
  • Lucas Glover – $9,800
  • Sungjae Im – $9.700
  • Zach Johnson – $9,600
  • Charles Howell III – $9,500
  • Brian Harman – $9,400
  • Daniel Berger – $9,300
  • Ryan Moore – $9,200
  • Sam Burns – $9,100
  • Wyndham Clark – $9,000

Quite frankly as I get on a plane headed for Ireland, kind of glad I will be busy with other things and won’t have to play this week.  The field is terrible and the odds on the top players are a stretch, how can you pick a Viktor Hovland or a Collin Morikawa or a Matthew Wolff when they were amateurs just a month ago.  Yes Viktor Hovland has played well of late and I could see his $10,900 price tag, but frankly his has a pair of 13th place finishes along with a T-12th at the U.S. Open.  Sorry that doesn’t qualify in my book as being worth so much money.  Have to say the same with Collin Morikawa at $10,700 and Matthew Wolff at $10,500.  Yes Wolff won at the 3M, but can he do it again this week?  I doubt it, the same with Collin Morikawa, will he be able to replicate his T-2nd finish from last week, probably not.  Now the same with Joaquin Niemann at $10,200, yes he is playing well but not enough to risk such a high price.  I also don’t see it with Kevin Streelman at $10,000 or Lucas Glover at $9,800.  As much as I like Sungjae Im, again the $9,700 price is too high, the same with Zach Johnson at $9,600.  So is there anyone that I like?  Yes, we are now getting to the more reasonable prices and players that are doing ok and can help us.  First off Charles Howell III is $9,500 but he doesn’t have a good track record at TPC Deere Run.  He did have a T-5th but that was way back in 2011.  On top of that, he hasn’t been in the top-25 since the Match Play back in March, so have to say no to Howell.  Brian Harman at $9,400 is up our alley, he won it in 2014 and was T-10th in 2017.  He has been very inconsistent the last couple of years, but he was T-7th at the 3M Open so we have our first true pick.  As for Daniel Berger at $9,300, have to say it’s a toss-up, yes in his only John Deere start he was T-5th in 2017, but his play of late is questionable, but he did finish T-15th at the 3M.  So I can see taking him.  Ryan Moore is at $9,200 and he is there because of his win in 2016 but he hasn’t shown us much since a 3rd at the Valero Texas Open.  So I say it’s a toss-up.  Have to say that Sam Burns at $9,100 and other than his T-7th last week at the 3M he hasn’t done much so I say no.  But Wyndham Clark at $9,000 is ok, he was T-5th last week and been consistent this summer.  He is 39 under in his last 3 starts including a T-5th at the 3M Open.

*Players in that $7,600 to $8,900 price range, which ones are worth the money?:

Have to say my first pick is Bud Cauley at $8,700, he was  T-12th in 2017 and T-8th in 2016 plus he has been ok this year.  Joel Dahmen at $8,400 is also a solid pick, he was 2nd last year and has had his moments this year, he came close to winning the Wells Fargo so we know he can do well down the stretch.  Cameron Tringale at $7,700 is a good choice, he has been steady all year and he qualifies as a player you least expect to win.  He is 3rd in birdie average making 4.05 per round, 40th in Par Breaker

Some of the “bargains” this week at John Deere

Ok, we have to digg out players from this group, first like Sam Ryder at $7,500, his is a good putter, makes a lot of birdies and finished T-2nd last year at Deere.  Johnson Wagner at $7,200 is also a good gamble, has played well in this event and been ok this year.  Jonathan Byrd at $7,100 is also good, has played well at TPC Deere Run and was T-14th in his last start in Canada.  Luke Donald is at $7,000 and could be good, only played the John Deere once in 2003 but the course should be good for him and he could surprise us.  Lastly there are two $6,500 players I like, Chad Campbell and Sam Saunders.  Campbell has had a great record at TPC Deere Run, T-7th last year and T-12th in 2017.  As for Saunders he played great last week till the back nine on Sunday, think he will forget about that and play well.

Here are some of the secrets of what it takes to play well at the John Deere Classic:

The key stat for the winner:
  • Hitting lots of greens.  Since the course was first used in 2000, the winners have finished T-5th (Michael Clark II), 4th (David Gossett), 1st (J.P. Hayes), T-5th (Vijay Singh), T-23rd (Mark Hensby), T-2nd (Sean O’Hair) and T-2nd (John Senden) in greens hit showing that if you hit a lot of greens, you will do well.  Yes Jonathan Byrd finished T-25th in 2007, and Kenny Perry finished T-22nd in 2008, Steve Stricker was T-14th in 2009, T-11th in 2010, T-33rd in 2011, Zach Johnson was T26th in 2012 while Jordan Spieth was T34th in 2013, but Brian Harman was T-1st in 2014 with Jordan Spieth finishing T-33rd in 2015.  In 2016 Ryan Moore was T-1st in greens hit with 60 of 72 while Bryson Dechambau was T-11th in greens hit with 57 of 72 and last year Michael Kim was 3rd hitting 60 greens.
Here are some more key stats to look to for this week:
  • A stat that nobody will believe: You would be hard press to know how many top-20 world rank players have won the last 11 John Deere’s?  It’s 7; the only ones not in the top-20 of the world rankings was Jordan Spieth (120th) in 2013, Brian Harman (115) in 2014, Ryan Moore in 2016 who was 59th the week of the Deere and in 2017 with DeChambeau who was 144th and last year with Michael Kim (473).
  • Even though the fairways aren’t that demanding, for J.P. Hayes (2002), Mark Hensby (2004) and Sean O’Hair (2005) this has proven to help in their victories.  For the rest of the champions since 1997, they all are between 15th and 49th.  In 2010 Stricker was T-18th, hitting 41 of the 56 fairways, while in 2011 he was T-58th hitting just 36 of 56 fairways. Zach Johnson was T-31st with 41 of 56 while in 2013 Spieth was T-19th in greens hit with 43 of 56.  In 2014 Brian Harman was T-8th hitting 45 of 56 fairways, in 2015 Jordan Spieth was 39th of 56 and ranked T-60th. In 2016 Ryan Moore was T-10th hitting 46 of 56 fairways while in 2017 Bryson DeChambeau was T-32nd hitting 42 of 56 and last year Michael Kim was T-2nd hitting 46 of 56.
  • Being in the lead after the third round doesn’t guarantee a victory, especially at the John Deere.  Since 1995 only ten players won, David Toms in 1997, David Gossett in 2001, J.P. Hayes in 2002,  John Senden in 2006, Kenny Perry in 2009, Steve Stricker in 2010/2011, Brian Harman in 2014, Spieth in 2015, Moore in 2016 and Michael Kim in 2018.  In 2012 Zach Johnson was T-3rd going into the final round, while Jordan Spieth was T9th, six back of third-round leader Daniel Summerhays in 2013.  Last year DeChambeau was T-5th, 4 shots back.   So don’t count on the third round leader to win.
  • The myth of the John Deere was to think about an underdog, or new player that has never won before will win the Deere.  In looking at the winners since the event moved to the TPC course in 2000 between then and 2007 only one true favorite Vijay Singh in 2003 was victorious.  But since the British Open charter went into effect you have marquee names like Kenny Perry in 2008, Steve Stricker in 2009, ’10 & ’11 along with Zach Johnson, Ryan Moore, Jordan Spieth winning and in 2017 with Bryson DeChambeau.  So you can see how perks like a special charter can change the outlook of a tournament.
  • The tournament has the overall reputation of first-time winners.  Since 1973, 22 rookie winners including ten of the last 19 (J.L. Lewis in 1999, Michael Clark in 2000, David Gossett in 2001, Mark Hensby in 2004, Sean O’Hair, John Senden in 2006, Jordan Spieth in 2013, Brian Harman in 2014 and Bryson DeChambeau in 2017.  Michael Kim continued the streak in 2018.
  • One last essential element, the winner this week will be making lots of birdies.  The TPC Deere Run gave up 1,676 birdies in 2007, 1,714 in 2008 and in 2009 along with 1,810 in 2010, 1,915 in 2011 (most of any course that year), 1,894 in 2012 (again the most on the PGA Tour in 2012), 1,930 in 2013 and 1,844 in 2014, the most of any course on the PGA Tour in ’14 while in 2015 the course gave up 1,803 birdies.  In 2016 1,747 birdies were made while in 2017 there was 1,805.  Last year there were 1,855 so look for those that have a high birdie average for the year.
  • The weather has been off and on in the last month.  Still, the Silvis area is looking for some good, dry weather starting with Thursday’s round. It will be hot and muggy, but no storms.

Who to watch for at the John Deere Classic

Best Bets:

Viktor Hovland

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
First time playing in this event

Has played great the last three weeks, looking for a top-five to get his PGA Tour card for the rest of year. Hits lots of greens, last week at 3M was T-3rd in greens hit. Was also T-3rd in greens hit at U.S. Open, playing in the John Deere for the first time.

Brian Harman

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T10 CUT T24 Win CUT T19

Past winner at John Deere, playing great now, was T-7th at 3M and T-8th at the Travelers. His greens in regulation has improved over his last six starts, was T-25th at 3M Open.

Wyndham Clark

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
CUT

39 under in his last 3 starts including a T-5th at the 3M Open, he is 1st in putting average, ranks 7th in Strokes Gained Putting on tour in 2019. He is 8th in birdie average making 4.34 per round

Best of the rest:

Joaquin Niemann

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T23

Is T-52nd in Greens in Regulation but 8th in Proximity to Hole meaning he gets his shots from the fairway close to the hole. Was T-12th in Greens in Regulation at 3M and was T-2nd at Rocket Mortgage, T-23rd at the Deere last year, shot a final round 65. His game has been very consistent since Colonial in 24 rounds has been 15 times and has played his last three events in 41 under

Kevin Streelman

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T7 T44 CUT CUT T44 T8 CUT 8

Has played well at TPC Deere Run, was T-7th last year plus a pair of 8 place finishes in 2012 & ’09. Ranks 12th in Greens in Regulation, T-23rd in Proximity to holes, has been 45 under in his last 16 rounds.

Collin Morikawa

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
First time playing in this event

This will be his fifth straight event, in this stretch including the U.S. Open is 31 under par including his runner-up finish at 3M Open. Now is a temporary member of the PGA Tour, looking to get into as many events as he can so he can get into the top-125. Averages 4.75 birdies per round

Solid contenders

Chad Campbell

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T7 T12 T28 T13 T15 T36 T56 T34 T15 7

67 under par in his last 20 rounds at TPC Deere Run. Was T-7th last year at Deere, T-12th in 2017, looking to turnaround his season.

Sungjae Im

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
First time playing in this event

Game has improved this year since Canadian Open he is 44 under in 16 rounds. 40th in Greens hit, Has never played at the John Deere.

Lucas Glover

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T25 CUT CUT T15 T66 CUT T11

After missing the cut at the U.S. Open and Travelers bounced back at 3M Open, shot 62 to finish T-7th. Ranks 24th in Strokes Gained Tee-to-green.

Long shots that could come through:

Sam Ryder

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T2

Good putter, makes a lot of birdies and finished T-2nd last year at Deere, Is 54th in Greens in Regulation, 52nd in total driving.

Cameron Tringale

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
CUT T50 T9 CUT

Has been steady all year and he qualifies as a player you least expect to win. Is 20th in Greens in Regulation this year, is 3rd in birdie average making 4.05 per round, 40th in Par Breaker

Sam Burns

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
First time playing in this event

T-7th at 3M Open was his best finish since his T-3rd in Las Vegas back in October. Good putter, was 25th in putting inside of ten feet, does make a lot of birdies 286 for the year which ranks T-20th on tour.

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