John Deere Classic Key Fantasy Stats

John Deere Classic

July 6th – 9th, 2023

TPC Deere Run

Silvis, IL

Par: 71 / Yardage: 7,289

Purse: $7.4 million

with $1,332,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
J.T. Poston

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:

This is based on the most vital stats from TPC Deere Run, data from last year’s John Deere, and data from all the players in the field with stats from 2023.
The most important thing to realize about TPC Deere Run is that it’s one of those rare courses on tour that benefits short hitters, and those that hit it long have no real advantage. Those that hit it long must throttle back a bit because they run out of fairway. The course plays at 7,289 yards, but the fairways are always firm and get a lot of roles. 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, Michael Kim, Lucas Glover and last year’s champions J.T Poston who ranked 104th in driving distance on the PGA Tour in 2022. I know the longest golf player Bryson DeChambeau won in 2017, but that was an anomaly.
Lots of birdies are always made on the course; last year, 1,803 were made, with only seven courses seeing more birdies, Detroit G.C., Sedgefield, St. Andrews, Country Club of Jackson, TPC Summerlin, Keene Trace, and TPC Craig Ranch.

The greens are easy to read, and you do well on them, so this course also caters to players who don’t put very well. The tournament is being played two weeks before the British Open, so the course should be firm and fast. Now TPC Deere Run went through a major renovation after the 2021 event. All 80 bunkers were completely rebuilt in the renovation, with four being eliminated. Some other changes stretched the course 21 yards, but the bunker work will make the course a notch tougher. Last year the course played to a 69.88 average, more than a shot over par, as it ranked the 34th hardest course on the PGA tour.
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 three categories: Strokes Gained Off-the-Tee, and Strokes Gained Approach-the-Green. After that, Strokes Gained Putting is important because this is a course that is easy to putt; there is not much undulation in the greens, so poor putters have a good chance this week. We saw that in J.T. Poston winning last year, he ranked T-41st in Strokes Gained Putting for the year, but for the week at the John Deere, he was 31st. In Strokes Gained Approach-the-Green Poston was 10th, and in Strokes Gained Off-the-Tee was 15th. The year before in winning, Lucas Glover ranked 137th in Strokes Gained Putting, but for the week at John Deere, Glover was 19th. So you can see the combination, short hitters that are poor putters have a great chance this week. Last is the birdie average; those at the top of the list will make many of them, and it’s a requirement to win. The course is pretty easy; last year, it played to an average of 69.88 as 1,803 birdies were made. The year before, the scoring average was 69.51, with 1,802 birdies made. 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 12 years, we have seen Steve Stricker win three times and Jordan Spieth winning twice, along with Bryson DeChambeau, Zach Johnson, Ryan Moore, and Kenny Perry, so the event has seen some marquee champions. On top of that, 2021 champion Lucas Glover isn’t a slouch; he won the 2009 U.S. Open, while the defending champion J.T. Poston won the 2019 Wyndham on top of the John Deere.
So after weeks of playing on tough courses in the U.S. Open, Canadian Open, Memorial, and the PGA Championship, players get a break, and this week is all about making the most birdies and eagles.

*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.

*Strokes Gained Putting: This is a great way to determine how a player does overall on the greens by determining the length of the putt and calculating the percentage the player should make the putt, and coming up with a stroke figure.

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

Of the 156 players in the field, 121 have stats on the PGA Tour for 2023.

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

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