John Deere Classic Preview

07-11-17

It’s amazing what a rainy morning can do to get me motivated!

The JDC is no longer the Steve Stricker Classic presented by Zach Johnson but don’t be surprised if those fellas make their presence felt this week.

Ryan Moore returns from injury to defend so that adds a layer of uncertainty as well.

John Deere Classic

 

TPC Deere Run

Silvis, Illinois

 

Yards: 7,268 per the official scorecard;

Par: 71 (35-36);

Greens: Bentgrass; 5,000 average square feet;

Stimpmeter: 11′;

Rough: Kentucky Bluegrass and Fescue around three inches;

Water Hazards: 3

Bunkers: 78

Course Architect(s): D.A. Weibring (1998); first event was 2000.

Purse: $5.6 million; $1 million (winner) plus 500 FEC points.

Defending Champion:  Ryan Moore made two bogeys for the week and defeated Ben Martin by two shots.

Notes: 156 players; top 70 and ties play the weekend.

Notes II: This is the final event of The Open Qualifying series which will award a place at Royal Birkdale to the top four finishers not already qualified.

 

2016-17 PGA Tour Winners

Frys.com: Brendan Steele,

CIMB: Justin Thomas

WGC-HSBC: Hideki Matsuyama

Sanderson Farms: Cody Gribble**

Shriners: Rod Pampling

OHL Mayakoba: Pat Perez

RSM Classic: Mackenzie Hughes**

SBS TOC: Justin Thomas

Sony Open: Justin Thomas

CB Challenge: Hudson Swafford*

Farmers: Jon Rahm*

WMPO: Hideki Matsuyama

AT&T Pebble Beach: Jordan Spieth

Genesis Open: Dustin Johnson

Honda: Rickie Fowler

WGC-MC: Dustin Johnson

Valspar: Adam Hadwin*

Arnold Palmer: Marc Leishman

WGC-Match Play: Dustin Johnson

Shell Houston Open: Russell Henley

Masters: Sergio Garcia

RBC Heritage: Wesley Bryan**

Valero Texas Open: Kevin Chappell*

Zurich Classic: Cameron Smith* & Jonas Blixt

Wells Fargo Championship: Brian Harman

THE PLAYERS: Si Woo Kim

AT&T Byron Nelson: Billy Horschel

Colonial: Kevin Kisner

Memorial: Jason Dufner

FESJC: Daniel Berger

U.S. Open: Brooks Koepka

Travelers: Jordan Spieth

QLN: Kyle Stanley

Greenbrier: Xander Schauffele**

*-First-time winner

**-First-time winner AND rookie winner

 

Recent Winners

Hoo Boy.

Better bring a boiling hot putter and leave your bogeys at the door!

The WORST winning score in recent memory is 19-under-par.

THE WORST!

2016: Ryan Moore, 262

2015: x-Jordan Spieth, 264*

2014: Brian Harman, 262

2013: x-Jordan Spieth, 265*

2012: Zach Johnson, 264

2011: Steve Stricker, 262

2010: Steve Stricker, 258

X- not playing this week

*- playoff

 

The Particulars:

Those look like scores from a par-72 track right? That should eliminate all doubt on what it’s going to take this week to win!

Birdies.

Lots of them.

Paul Goydos shot 59 here and didn’t win.

Gamers will have the WONDERFUL task of shrinking down a field that will be drooling to get their hands on TPC Deere Run. When the pros know they have to go super low, they relax and enjoy the NEW challenge of having to make a ton of birdies. As I’ve noted before, the lower the scores, the wider-open the field as most of these guys grew up making birdies and lots of them.

The greens are great and roll true so the pros who hit the most of them should have an advantage. Steve Stricker, Zach Johnson and Jordan Spieth (when he won here) suggest that very good putters can excel as well. Keep the ball in the fairways and putt yer socks off or hit it closer than everyone else. #ParBreakers.

The course annually plays as one of the easiest on Tour and has been in the rotation since 2000 so course form will matter this week, at least for me Also, this is the fourth week in a row on Bentgrass so if some of your favs haven’t been firing, maybe they can’t putt on this surface!

And your favs need to fire this week to have a prayer.

Get this: The top 33 players last year were DOUBLE DIGITS below par and there were only TWO ROUNDS over par in the top 40.

Go. Low. Yo.

All Ryan Moore did last year was lead in GIR and was top 10 in just about everything else.

 

Weather:

As a Midwestern resident this is the time of year where every day has some chance of rain/thunderstorms because of the warm, humid air. The best chance is Thursday afternoon but I’d suggest checking back Wednesday night before making any final decisions. The final three days increase in temperature but only have a 10% of storms.

 

Facts and Figures:

 

  • The event debuted in 1971 with former Commissioner Dean Bemen winning the first two editions.
  • Moved permanently to TPC Deere Run in 2000.
  • Only Stricker and Spieth have won multiple events.
  • Americans have won all but three editions since the move.
  • Course record: 59, Paul Goydos, 2010.
  • Tournament record: 258, Steve Stricker, 2009.
  • Lowest round last year was 62 by Ben Martin and Morgan Hoffmann.
  • Biggest margin of victory in the last six events was last year as Moore won by two shots.

 

The Field

 

Favorites

In order of preference for this week and tournament only. Rankings vary week-to-week based on event, course, life, etc.

Daniel Berger: The last two times he’s played TPC courses he defended his title at Memphis and required Jordan Spieth to hole out on him in a playoff at TPC River Highlands. For my money he’s the most talented in the field and I’m not worried about him playing this course for the first time. He’s 27th in scoring and 14th in birdie average.

Brian Harman: The 2014 champ has been on fire recently as he won at Eagle Point and placed T-2 at the U.S. Open. His confidence is through the roof and his short game follows. He makes plenty of birdies (22nd) and is 30th in scoring because his putter is top 10 in strokes gained.

Kyle Stanley: Fresh off of his first win since 2012 there’s no guessing where his game is at currently! He’s fifth on Tour in scoring average and has been pummeling fairways and GIR all season. After finishing solo second here in 2011 he’s added T-18, T-19 and T-22 in three of the last five years.

Charley Hoffman: There’s nothing better than riding a quality veteran and he rattles off over two months of made cuts in a row. Hoffman’s last eight weekends have resulted in paydays and the last two have been solo eighth at Erin Hills and T-3 at Travelers. Of his 15 weekends all season he’s taken home top 25’s in 10 and top 10’s in half of those.

Danny Lee: With four top 10’s in his last seven weekends, all made cuts; I see absolutely no reason to abandon ship this week. Last time he played this event he fired 62 on Saturday and went on to finish 19-under, TIED FOR THIRD. #Golower.

Kevin Kisner: I joked last week that he was just like Justin Thomas in the sense that he burns BOILING HOT and yet can turn ice cold out of nowhere. He’s too talented to fade but his volatility can excite me just as much as it scares me. He backed up his win at Colonial with T-6 at Memorial but then T-58 and MC. He’s sixth in Strokes Gained: Total so he should be in the mix.

Jamie Lovemark: If I had any guts I’d stick him in the top two! The last time he MC on his own ball was at Honda so he’s been in a groove for essentially four months. I don’t see the train leaving the tracks this week as he’s never MC in four tries. His length will eat this place up and an extra par five shouldn’t hurt. I loved the way he rallied and fought until the end last week to finish T-3 after an opening double bogey.

Bryson DeChambeau: The last three weeks have proven that there’s something brewing under the Tam-O-shanter. He’s peeled off three consecutive top 30’s after a barren period that left even his staunchest supporters murmuring to themselves. His stats won’t blow you away but in a field such as this, I’ll gladly lean on a guy who’s improved his position three events in a row all inside T-27.

Kevin Na: The signs of life that appeared at Erin Hills (opened with 68) meandered into Travelers (opened with 66) but hit a road block (opening round 75) at TPC Potomac. The way Na finished at Avenel Farm 69-68-67 grabbed my interest the most. His closing 67 including coming home in 30 on a course that wasn’t anything near easy on the week. Na is 28-under-par here in his last two visits good for T-13 and T-8.

David Hearn: I should just make one listing for all of the Canadians on TPC courses with Bentgrass. I should move Hearn up the list as he’s rattled off T-8, T-10 and T-14 in three of his last four events, all on TPC courses. Tack on his tough playoff loss here to Spieth in 2013 and there’s no way he loses this week. None.

Kevin Streelman: Currently rolling with six checks cashed in a row and the last five are all inside the top 30. Not many can get birdies rolling as quickly as he can but he’s been all-or-nothing on this track with a pair of top 10’s in his first three tries and T-44, MC and MC in his last three.

Daniel Summerhays: After making 1,000 birdies here in 54 holes in 2013, he fired 72 in the final round to finish T-4. Before last year’s MC he was 48-under from the three prior editions. His stats don’t wow you but he was in the final group at Memorial (T-10) and TPC Potomac (T-17) so a bit of revenge here wouldn’t be surprising.

Robert Streb: Cashing paychecks in his last five events including solo second last week will make him stand out. He was one bad swing from winning last week so I’m going to lean on that form again this week. He’s 60th in scoring but when you parse down this field that number stands out as not too many others land in front of him this week.

Steve Stricker: His T-7 at Colonial, another place where he’s cashed plenty and T-16 at the U.S. Open make me optimistic. He leads the Tour in fairways and is 30th in Strokes Gained: Total. He’s also been in fine form on the Champions circuit with four top 10’s from five events with his worst finish T-13.

Zach Johnson: He’s a prime example of why you cannot play fantasy golf in a vacuum or with one angle each week. Everyone that plays fantasy golf knows that Johnson has absolutely raked at this event and hasn’t had a round over par since 2008. Last year was the first year in six years he finished outside the top three. In 2017 he has one top 10 and two top 25’s on Tour.

Ryan Moore: The report from his camp is that his shoulder is progressing and this week was the planned return to defend his title. He’s teed it up here the last five years and his worst round is 70 twice. He’s 76-under-par during that stretch. The good news is this is the softest of landing spots. The bad news is one round here at par or worse usually sets you back seven to eight shots for the day. Don’t be rusty!

 

Back Nine

Just missed and should make excellent support staff for deeper games/tickets.

Chez Reavie: He’ll play from the middle of the fairway all week (4th, fairways) and will have multiple looks at birdies (52nd GIR). That’s the reason he’s played seven of his last eight weekends. He doesn’t blast it off the tee but that didn’t bother him with T-16 at Erin Hills after posting T-4 in Memphis.

Bud Cauley: His MC after a second round 79 at QLN should scare a few off but not me. He hits it too well tee-to-green (32nd) and is 12th in approach. You can count the poor rounds on one hand since April 1 and he was T-8 here last year.

Chad Campbell: This will be his 10th try and he’s never missed in his previous nine chances. Of his nine weekends, six are double-digits-under-par including his last three trips. He only has one top 10 during that stretch but he also has seven finishes of T-36 or better.

Wesley Bryan: After winning at RBC Heritage his best finish on his own ball is T-46 at QLN. He’s in here this week because he’s actually played here before and finished T-8 last year. This will be one of the few places he actually has a point of reference this season and the memory of opening 66-64 shouldn’t hurt his confidence. Neither should posting all four rounds in red figures.

Matt Jones: He’s made the cut four times in seven tries. He’s 60-under-par in those four events. He’ quietly ticking along in 2017 with nine weekends from 11 starts but hasn’t cracked the top 10. Yet.

Curtis Luck: The kid has sniffed around backing up his T-5 at QLN with T-20 last week at Greenbrier. He’s not going to be intimidated by this track or field.

Nick Watney: Dude has rattled off seven weekends in a row so I’m not sure why No. 8 would be an issue on this course with this field. If he makes a few putts, look out!

Nick Taylor: Of his last 10 events, nine have cashed and three of those have gone for top 10’s. Canadians on Bentgrass…

 

Range Jockeys

Long shots, no-names with names, trending, event jockeys and everyone else with a few warts.

Sebastian Munoz: If he makes 400 feet of putts in three rounds this week he’ll be in the final group again.

Morgan Hoffmann: It’s about time he broke out! Oh shit, he MC again. And again. Wait, back in the top 25 so he’s definitely going to turn it up now! MC. MC. T-15 and T-3 and MC and MC in his four tries here. He has eight rounds in the red and three are 62, 63 and 64. That’s my tiebreaker!

Scott Brown: When he makes the cut he’s 60-under-par with nothing worse than T-22 from four tries. That’s like finding two prizes in the bottom of the box this week!

Patrick Rodgers: As an Indiana guy, I’m biased here but this dude won 11 times at Stanford. That’s really hard to do. He’s ripped off four of five cuts and shouldn’t have any problems in the ownership department. This will be his sixth attempt here, the most of any track on Tour in his resume. You know who else won 11 times at Stanford? Maverick McNealy, who’s also in the field this week. Oh, and Tiger Woods.

Seamus Power: His only top 25 in 2017 was at CB Challenge, another event with easy tracks. He’s quietly made 10 of 14 cuts including six of his last seven.

J.J. Spaun: After a pair of WD’s he returned to QLN to knock the rust off with MC. Last week he was T-29 at Greenbrier and closed with 67. Oh, and he went to San Diego State too just like last week’s winner!

Anybody who went to Illinois minus D.A. Points: Dylan Meyer should make the cut.

Johnson Wagner: T-7 followed by T-5 followed by T-5 last year. Who won’t be on him? Not me!

Kelly Kraft: T-5 last week and T-5 last year will have him a popular choice again this week. Too much why instead of why not.

Ryan Brehm: He’s avoided early check out in five of his last six and 15 of 20 on the season but nothing better than T-18. Back-to-back weeks on easy courses might change that.

Luke List: Lovely outsider this week as another par five and his ability to shorten the course should help.

Geoff Ogilvy: Showed up here last year for the first time in 12 years and finished T-12. He enters this year on a run of five in a row.

Wyndham Clark: MC badly in his first event as a pro was followed up by T-51 in his second. The easier track should see him bounce forward again.

 

Fades:

Not this week

Camilo Villegas: His best finish here in eight tries is T-45.

D.A. Points: He’s MC in 10 of 11. He’ll be the sommelier for the week!

Sean O’Hair: He won the first time he played here. He’s never been better than T-39 since.

 

Next:

Wednesday I’ll present my gaming angles for the week so keep your eyes peeled at @MikeGlasscott and mikeglasscott.com for more information.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out through Twitter or email me mikeglasscott@gmail.com.

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