OAD: John Deere Classic

Welcome to the Steve Stricker Invitational Presented by Zach Johnson.

TPC Deere Run plays host this week as it has since 2000.


2018 Thermometer:

Event Golfer Place $$
Safeway Open Tony Finau 2nd 669,600
CIMB Classic Paul Casey T7 218,166
CJ CUP @ 9 BRIDGES Keegan Bradley T47 23,759
WGC-HSBC Champions Hideki Matsuyama T50 51,875
Sanderson Farms Chesson Hadley T2 464,400
Shriners Patrick Cantlay WIN 1,224,000
OHL Classic Kevin Chappell MC 0
The RSM Classic Charles Howell III MC 0
Sentry TOC Kevin Kisner T17 99,333
Sony Open Brian Harman T4 256,266
CareerBuilder Challenge Jason Dufner T36 27,189
Farmers Insurance Jon Rahm T29 43,872
WMPO Alex Noren T21 80,040
-AT&T Pebble Beach Phil Mickelson T2 488,400
Genesis Open Dustin Johnson T16 111,600
Honda Classic Graeme McDowell MC 0
WGC-Mexico Tommy Fleetwood T14 126,500
Valspar Championship Ryan Moore MC 0
Arnold Palmer Tyrell Hatton T69 18,067
WGC-Match Play Patrick Reed T9 163,000
Corales Puntacana Patrick Rodgers T22 27,850
Houston Open Luke List T24 54,162
Masters Jordan Spieth 3rd 748,000
RBC Heritage Cameron Smith T32 35,510
Valero Texas Open Billy Horschel T11 136,400
Zurich Classic Bud Cauley MC 0
Wells Fargo Championship Bryson DeChambeau 4th 369,600


THE PLAYERS Francesco Molinari MC 0
AT&T Byron Nelson Jimmy Walker T6 257,950
Fort Worth Invitational Adam Scott T52 16,472
Memorial Tiger Woods T23 76,985
FESJC Henrik Stenson T26 50,820
US Open Justin Rose T10 270,151
FESJC Xander Schauffele MC 0
Quicken Loans National Kyle Stanley T32 36,841
A Military Tribute Bubba Watson T13 121,632
Total Events: 35


Top 10s: 11 MC: 7 $6,322,440

Last week:

Bubba Watson was in a great position entering Sunday (T6) and couldn’t take advantage. It’s the second year in a row that he’s posted 72 in the final round so I wonder if this track just wears on him. Luckily he made an eagle and birdie in his final six holes or the damage would have been worse.

Russell Henley’s obviousness continued as his final round 63, the best of the day, moved him up 38 places to 10th. #Play72 folks.

Joaquin Niemann is going to grab attention every week he plays until the Playoffs. He MUST WIN an event to be eligible for the FEC this season.

Webb Simpson was the biggest disappointment especially after opening with 61. I guess we could throw Lahiri in there as he also posted 61 in Round 2 before fading at the weekend.

Robert Streb’s streak of podiums ended at two but his 64 in the final round made for T11, his best of the season.

I regret nothing but I didn’t gain any ground either.

My Choice: Bubba Watson – T13

Picks for Leaders: Russell Henley – 10th, Tony Finau – T21, Webb Simpson – T47

Picks for Chasers: Jamie Lovemark – T26, Danny Lee – MC, Joaquin Niemann – T5

Picks for Dreamers: Robert Streb – T11, Anirban Lahiri – T39, C.T. Pan – T39, Ryan Blaum – MC, Ryan Armour – T21.

Picks for Noses: Kevin Kisner – 55th

Six Beers In: David Hearn – T30, Jimmy Walker – MC

#NappyFactor: Austin Cook – T5, Wesley Bryan – T26

Drop-Dead Pick: Russell Henley – 10th


This week:

It’s not difficult this week: Steve Stricker or Zach Johnson.

They have the most birdies.

They have the most rounds under par.

Both are in form.

So you have two choices:

Follow the herd or venture outside the box and hope to catch lightning in a bottle in an event where the top 40 players will be double-digits under-par.

If you’re angling young this week, remember the last first-time participant to win was Sean O’Hair in 2005.

If you’re angling for first-time winners, three of the last five have checked that box but check those pedigrees!!


My Choice: Zach Johnson

Picks for Leaders: Steve Stricker, Ryan Moore, Francesco Molinari

Picks for Chasers: Joaquin Niemann, Austin Cook, Patrick Rodgers

Picks for Dreamers: Wesley Bryan, Kevin Tway, Aaron Wise

Picks for Noses: Bryson DeChambeau

Six Beers In: Andrew Landry, J.T. Poston

#NappyFactor: Austin Cook, Wesley Bryan

Drop-Dead Pick: Zach Johnson


My Life

I left the “obvious” choice of Henley last week and paid.

I’m not trying that again, not on this track.

The Steve Stricker Open brought to you by Zach Johnson is an easy one for gamers. You just have to get it right.

Davis Love III won at Greensboro at 51 so don’t dismiss Stricker at the same age. Check his record in 2018 if you need more convincing.

I gave Patrick Rodgers a deep look before realizing I already had burned him.

Yeah, I’m smart.

I go into plenty of detail in The Confidence Factor, so please read that!

Here’s my tentative plan:

Barbasol Championship: TBD (brand-new venue)

The Open Championship: Sergio Garcia, Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler

RBC Canadian Open: Matt Kuchar, John Vegas, Brandt Snedeker

Barracuda Championship: Martin Laird, TBD – old pro/vet

WGC-Bridgestone Invitational: McIlroy, Schwartzel, Koepka

PGA Championship: First-time venue Bellerive Country Club will suggest a top 10 OWGR player. Jason Day, Koepka and Thomas are obvious choices.

Wyndham Championship: Kevin Na, Ollie Schniederjans

NORTHERN TRUST OPEN: Matt Kuchar will be the only winner in the field at Ridgewood Country Club (2010). He was also T5 in 2014.

Dell Technologies TPC Boston: Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson, Chris Kirk

BMW Championship: Aronomink is the host and Rose (2010) and Nick Watney (2011) are the only two winners on TOUR here (Donald Ross course).

The TOUR Championship: There has never been a repeat champion or anyone who has won multiple FedExCup titles so whoever is left! A rookie won for the first time last year (Schauffele) so it’s not impossible!

Good luck!

History Channeled:

2015-16 Season total: $5,978,929; 47 events

  • Wins: 2 (Matsuyama, Hoffman)
  • Seconds: 0
  • Thirds: 1
  • Top 10s: 9
  • Top 25s: 18
  • MC: 8 (Mickelson, FIO; Oosthuizen, SHO; Chappell, Colonial; Casey, Memorial; Woodland, FESJC; Hearn, RBC Canadian; McGirt, Wyndham; Justin Thomas, DBC)

2016-17 Season total: $6,533,509 45 events

  • Wins: 1
  • Seconds: 1
  • Thirds: 1
  • Top 10s: 12
  • Top 25s: 20
  • MCs (10): Grayson Murray (Safeway Open); Patton Kizzire (SFC); Jamie Lovemark (CB Challenge); Jimmy Walker (FIO); Charl Schwartzel (Genesis); Russell Knox (Honda); Henrik Stenson (API); Thomas Pieters (Zurich); Kevin Kisner (WFC).


Thanks for reading!


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