Horses for Courses: 50th John Deere Classic

The very familiar TPC Deere Run will host for the 20th time so familiarity should be on the cards this week.

That and first time TOUR winners in their 20s if we follow the trends!

The John Deere Classic returns to celebrate 50 years of PGATOUR action in the Quad Cities.

The celebration for the 50th event of the John Deere Classic was put on the shelf for a year as COVID-19 precautions took precedence. The doors to the Quad Cities will be wide open this week as TPC Deere Run will host the golden anniversary. Speaking of wide open, the field of 156 will be just that as those entered this week know there are only a handful of weeks left to do the business.


RELATED: Expert Picks


DA Weibring won this event three times and is the architect behind TPC Deere Run, host of the event since 2000. The Par-71 (35-36) rolls along the Rock River and the rock will need to be rolled this week to contend. With some of the easiest fairways on TOUR to hit annually the premium will be put on iron players and hot putters.

For the third consecutive week Bentgrass greens running 11.5 feet on the Stimpmeter and averaging around 5,500 square feet will be on the menu. Errant shots will be eaten up by bunkers, closely mown areas and four inches of Bluegrass and fescue.

With 78 bunkers, mounding and three water hazards offering resistance solid

Ball Striking will be rewarded if the flat stick can keep up with the barrage of birdies needed to win. The HIGHEST winning score since 2009 is 18-under so there’s no time for bogeys or scores in the 70s again this week (or next week for that matter at 3M). Don’t be surprised to see streaks of futility broken this week!

The last five winners have finished in the top eight in Strokes-Gained: Putting plus the last four winners were T6 or better Ball-Striking. Only one of the last six winners have been inside the top 20 in Driving Distance (All Drives) so prodigious length is not REQUIRED (never hurts, right?) this week. The Par-5 holes are all gettable but five of the last six winners have also been in the top 10 in Par-3 scoring. Dating back to Zach Johnson in 2012 every victor since has been 20-something.

On the line this week is a $6.2 million prize pool with $1.116 million to the winner plus 500 FedExCup points. If the winner is not exempt into The Open Championship, he’ll join that field as well. If the winner is already in the field the best finisher inside the top five not already exempt will join the charter flight club. 2019 Dylan Frittelli leads the field of 156 and will look to join Steve Stricker (2009-2011) as the only player to successfully defend the title this century.

Recent Event Winners Stats

Year201920182017
 Dylan FrittelliMichael KimB. DeChambeau
Score263257266
To Par21-under27-under18-under
MOV281
Cut3-under4-under2-under
Age292524
    
Disantance – All Drives3738T18
Driving AccuarcyT7T2T32
GIRT103T11
Ball-Striking31T6
ProximityT21113
Putting: Birdie or Better %3516
SG: Off-the-Tee103417
SG: Approach-the-Green601127
SG: Around-the-Green24738
SG: Putting212
SG: Tee-to-Green151618
Scrambling1T1T29
Bogey Avoidance11T10
Par-3 ScoringT10T7T1
Par-4 Scoring11T30
Par-5 ScoringT8T37T6

Recent Winners

2020: No Event – COVID-19

2019 – Dylan Frittelli (-21, 263)

Played the weekend bogey-free 65-64 to win by two. … Began Sunday two back. … Trailed by four after 18 and five after 36. … Circled 22 birdies against just one bogey for the week. … First debut winner since 2005 (Sean O’Hair). … First TOUR win in 33rd start at age 29. … Third consecutive first-time winner. … Only the second international winner since 2006. … Won twice previously on the European Tour and Challenge Tour. … Entered the week with nothing better than T45 in his previous five starts including a pair of MC.

Notables in the field this week:

Russell Henley (2nd) posted 28 birdies (1st) and set the tournament record for lowest final round score 61, but was two off the event record of 59 set by Paul Goydos in 2010. … Andrew Landry (3rd) shared the 54 hole lead on 16-under but finished three back after 69. … Charles Howell III (T6) closed 65-65 for his fifth consecutive pay day here. … Adam Schenk (T6) was T2 GIR. …  Vaughn Taylor (T6) circled 24 birdies. … Lucas Glover (T10) picked up his first top 10 in his 11th start. … Bill Haas (T10) joined Henley as the only two players in the top 15 to post a round in the 70s for the week. … Roger Sloan (T10) backed up his T18 debut from 2015. … Defending champion Michael Kim MC. … Jhonattan Vegas (T37) shot 62 to lead after 36 holes. … Henley entered the week on a streak of four straight MC. … Top 46 players were 10-under or better. … 38 bogey-free rounds for the week. … Scoring average 69.510. … Cut was 3-under.

2018 – Michael Kim (-27, 257)

Set the new tournament scoring record and margin of victory (8 shots). … Missed the Par-71 TOUR scoring record by one. … Led by five after 54 holes (-22). … Trailed by one after opening with 63; led by three after 36 holes. … Circled 30 birdies (1st) against just three bogeys. … First TOUR win in 84th start two days after turning 25. … Cashed for the third straight year here. … MC in five of six events entering the week.

Notables in the field this week:

Bronson Burgoon (T2) posted 62 in Round 2 for the co-low round of the week. … Debutant Sam Ryder (T2) made two doubles on the week and still posted 19-under. … Harold Varner III (6th) cashed his only top 10 in three starts. … John Huh (T7) picked up his first top 50 here in six tries. He enters this week on six straight MC… Keith Mitchell (T7) circled 24 birdies on debut. … Andres Romero (T7) posted 64 in Rounds 1 and 3. … Kevin Streelman (T7) picked up his third top 10 in his eighth start. … Defending champion Bryson DeChambeau WD after 15 holes with a shoulder injury. … Steve Stricker (2010) owns the tournament record with 31 birdies. … Preferred lies were used in Round 3. … Top 49 players were 10-under or better. … 36 bogey-free rounds. … Scoring average 69.375. … Cut 4-under. … Played as the sixth easiest course on TOUR in 2018 season.

2017 – Bryson DeChambeau (-18, 266)

Closed with 65 to win by one. … Trailed by four after 54 holes. … Birdied seven of his final 11 holes and came home in 30. … First TOUR win at age 24 in 40th start. … Highest winning total since 2008. … Trailed by two after 36 holes before posting 70 in Round 3. … 24 birdies against six bogeys. … Made 15 putts of 10 feet or greater to lead the field. … MC in his first attempt in 2015. … Entered the week trending T26-T17-T14 after MC in his seven previous starts.

Notables in the field this week:

Patrick Rodgers (2nd) led after 36 and 54 holes. … Daniel Berger (T5) signed for 63 in Round 3 to trail by two after 54 holes. … 2007 winner Jonathan Byrd (T5) picked up his only top 20 since his victory. … 2012 winner Zach Johnson (T5) ran his streak of T5 or better to seven of nine years. … 3-time victor Steve Stricker (T5) picked up his eight and last top 10. … Scott Stallings (T5) has only made four cuts in eight starts but they’re all T25 or better. … 2014 champ Brian Harman (T10) added his second top 10 in four years. … Defending champion Ryan Moore MC. … Charles Howell III (T19) co-led after 18 holes with 63. … Top 43 players were 10-under or better. … Scoring average 69.753. … Cut was 2-under. 

Key stat leaders

Top golfers in each statistic on the 2020-2021 PGA TOUR are listed only if they are scheduled to compete this week.

Ball-Striking
RankPlayer
6Martin Laird
7Matthew NeSmith
10Daniel Berger
13Sungjae Im
14Henrik Norlander
21Doug Ghim
24Kevin Streelman
27Kyle Stanley
29Joseph Bramlett
35Kramer Hickok
36Aaron Wise
41Jhonattan Vegas
44Brice Garnett
47Hudson Swafford
48Adam Schenk
49Sean O’Hair
51Will Gordon
52Luke List
53Russell Henley
53Lucas Glover
53Roger Sloan
56Bronson Burgoon
57Cameron Champ
58Sepp Straka
  
Strokes-Gained: Putting
RankPlayer
3Zach Johnson
7JT Poston
8Chesson Hadley
10Kris Ventura
12Rhein Gibson
13Brian Harman
15Patton Kizzire
17Hunter Mahan
18Brice Garnett
20Denny McCarthy
24Aaron Baddeley
26Austin Cook
29Daniel Berger
32Andrew Putnam
36Alex Noren
37Hank Lebioda
39Vaugn Taylor
41Troy Merritt
42Sungjae Im
45Pat Perez
46Ryan Armour
49David Hearn
  
Par-3 Scoring Average
RankPlayer
3Daniel Berger
3Cameron Percy
9Zach Johnson
9Mark Hubbard
12Doug Ghim
12Pat Perez
12Ben Taylor
12Satoshi Kodaira
18Patton Kizzire
18Bronson Burgoon
18Scott Stallings
18Kyle Stanley
18Mark Anderson
18Alex Noren
26Russell Henley
26Troy Merritt
26Sungjae Im
26Harold Varner III
39Brice Garnet
39Hank Lebioda
39Brian Harman
39Kevin Streelman
39Andrew Putnam
39Aaron Wise

Horses for Courses

Top golfers over the last two Rocket Mortage Classics entered this week and other exceptions

Player (Starts/Cuts Made)Top 10sTop 25Most
Recent
Others/Notes
Dylan Frittelli (1/1)11Win (2019)22 birdies, 1 bogey on debut
Russell Henley (2/2)112 (2019)T27 2018; Led the field with 28 birdies 2019
Andrew Landry (3/3)123 (2019)T8 2016 debut
Nick Watney (5/9)12T6 (2019)T60, MC previous two
Charles Howell III (11/12)38T6 (2019)28-under last 2 
Vaughn Taylor (9/13)25T6 (2019)39-under last 3
Adam Schenk (1/2)11T6 (2019)Worst score in 6 rounds is 70
Lucas Glover (7/11)14T10 (2019)T25 2017 previous visit; posted 64 in each event
Roger Sloan (2/2)12T10 (2019)T18 2015; 27-under combined
Bill Haas (3/7)12T10 (2019)T72 2018; last 2 starts first since 2009
Wes Roach (1/3)11T10 (2019)MC, T59
     
Michael Kim (3/4)11Win (2018)Only top 40 
Sam Ryder (2/2)12T2 (2018)T18 2019; 32-under total
Bronson Burgoon (3/3)11T2 (2018)T47 2016, T47 2019
Harold Varner III (2/3)116 (2018)MC before; T53 after
Kevin Streelman (5/8)33T7 (2018)26 rounds 67 or better in 9 of them
John Huh (3/6)11T7 (2018)T50 next best
Keith Mitchell (1/1)11T7 (2018)66 best 68 worst
Andres Romero (6/8)13T7 (2018)Streak of 5 straight busted 2019
     
Patrick Rodgers (4/7)122 (2017)Last 12 rounds 5 are 66 or better
Daniel Berger (2/2)11T5 (2017)Half of his eight rounds are 67 or better
Steve Stricker (15/17)89T5 (2017)Win 2009, 2010 and 2011; 1 top 10 last 4
Zach Johnson (15/18)710T5 (2017)Win 2012; last top 10 2017
Jonathan Byrd (11/15)35T5 (2017)Win 2007
Scott Stallings (4/8)14T5 (2017)T16 before; T18 2019
Brian Harman (5/7)24T10 (2017)2014 winner; T26 or better in every start
     
Ryan Moore (10/11)36Win (2016)T7 2014, T8 2012
Ben Martin (3/4)112 (2016)All 3 T39 or better
Johnson Wagner (6/10)34T5 (2016)T5 2015, T7 2014; T37, T16 last 2 visits
Kevin Na (4/7)12T8 (2016)T13 2015

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