John Deere Classic - @fordysgolfpicks
Rickie Fowler, the second coming
What another great winner we had last week, after the inevitable finally happened. Rickie Fowler has been playing flawless golf now for a few months and like we had with Jason Day earlier this year, his form eventually was granted that long awaited win after 4 hard years getting back to the top. Not only am I pleased for all of us that had him at the right time, but also for Rickie, who really deserves this more than anyone, fantastic for the game.
So we move into a tournament, that is a local favourite for many, and normally this is not as popular due to being a week before the open, but with additional tournament wedged in behind and not all golfers travelling across the pond yet, we can expect some value and few surprises still available.
TPC Deere Run, I’m afraid to say for those who prefer a test, is not one. I expect score to continue to be low and with the field we have this week, I won’t be surprised to see a couple of guys breaking 60 and hitting well into 20 under par.
Resort style course of course, treelined still but a short Par 71 just over 7,200 yards. This ranks as one of the easiest courses on tour but it doesn’t come without some typical bending dog legs both ways and some undulating fairways so it does require some skill off the tee and with approach into greens being the main skill set.
Greens are Bentgrass, and they almost need to be, because they are quick, as to be fair you would expect in Illinois. However, there is rain forecast and lots of it also coming before the week starts. I actually expect Deere Run to be softer than we’ve seen in many previous editions. But all in all, this is a course that profiles as one you can attack and attack you must, or you will very quickly fall behind.
John Deere Classic Winners: 2022: J.T. Poston (-21); 2021: Lucas Glover (-19); 2019: Dylan Frittelli (-21); 2018: Michael Kim (-27); 2017: Bryson DeChambeau (-18); 2016: Ryan Moore (-22); 2015: Jordan Spieth (-20); 2014: Brian Harman (-22); 2013: Jordan Spieth (-19); 2012: Zach Johnson (-20); 2011: Steve Stricker (-22); 2010: Steve Stricker (-26).
Key player credentials …
Of course, with the course profile above there is no doubt this week as with last week, I will be looking for guys that can shoot low. This means of course birdie of better % will be highly weighted in my model and likewise that correlates with strong putting and putts per round will be very important.
Deere Run is a course that offers up opportunities for bombers like Jhonattan Vegas, Patrick Rodgers, Bryson DeChambeau and in 2022 Chris Gotterup, Callum Tarren plus Cam Davis. Conversely plotters like Zach Johnson, Ryan Moore and J.T Poston have also succeeded. The key this week will ultimately be a hot putter and minimising bogeys which is always the case on resort-level scoring tests.
Along with some strong putting form, I also think its vital to back that up with some recent strong approach stats. To win round here, you need to be giving yourself 12/13 birdie chances per round, you are not going to be able to do that without good iron play and therefore Green in Regulation. Pin positions obviously here can be tucked away in corners as this is the only way they can stop players just ripping this place up, so expect the players who leave it close and regularly finding greens as the players to prop up the top of my model.
Fairways are wide so I don’t expect driving to affect who’s winning very much this week, but of course as for the length, you will gain some positives for being able to be slightly longer; you’ll be away from the bunkers and much more likely to have irons into the par 5’s.
I also like this week to have a look at the par 3’s, this will help with a weight on the approach play but those who are really good with getting close to pins, they will come to the fore with Par 3 scoring over the last 4 weeks and I’m going to include that in this model to separate the good from the best and find some great value.
To summarise, other than the contoured fairways and tough pin placements, TPC Deere run is not going to hold up, even with this field. Steady consistent placement of your golf ball, solid irons and a hot putter, and you’ll be 20 under before back 9 on Sunday, its really that simple. It’s a Speith type course, a Stricker plodder type course and as you can see from the fact they’ve won here more than once and that’s the recipe for the week, find your Jordan Speith and stick with it and you won’t be far away at all.
This Memorial Model;
SG : Approach
Par 3 performance
Putts per round
Greens in Regulation
Resort Style Form
Prox. to Hole
Top 25 players in the model:
1 Adam Hadwin 22/1
2 Denny McCarthy 14/1
3 Eric Cole 33/1
4 Russell Henley 16/1
5 Sam Ryder 100/1
6 Emiliano Grillo 33/1
7 William Gordon 70/1
8 Keith Mitchell 28/1
9 Nick Taylor 45/1
10 Lucas Glover 66/1
11 Chez Reavie 70/1
12 Chris Kirk 28/1
13 Brendon Todd 60/1
14 Kevin Yu 80/1
15 Cameron Young 16/1
16 Ryan Palmer 60/1
17 Doug Ghim 55/1
18 Seamus Power 35/1
19 Matt Kuchar 45/1
20 An Byeong-Hun 40/1
21 Nate Lashley 90/1
22 Alex Smalley 33/1
23 Cameron Champ 90/1
24 Taylor Moore 28/1
25 Aaron Baddeley 125/1
Hopefully it won’t surprise many of you, but I don’t have any surprises in my picks this week, my model I feel puts me in the best place for back to back winners again and that’s where I am going this week, good luck to you all.
I hope I have at least given you a few hinters again and feel free to interact and get involved with my picks and my card published this week. I will be on Chasing Pars podcast on Tuesday and will have updates throughout on my twitter below.
As always if you want to be part of my weekly fantasy competition, look out for my updates on my twitter and my site www.drawshankgolf.com.
Please visit @GolfTipsChecker for Andy’s weekly charts and look out for my full card across my twitter @fordysgolfpicks. Good luck to you all.
Denny McCarthy – 20/1 2pt Win
Denny as you can see props up as no2 on my model and that’s mainly because of his putting. If you are going to make 30/40 birdies this weekend, you need a hot putter and Denny has that every week he turns up. Tie that with an in form approach game, like Fowler last week this is an almost auto click, come on Denny.
Eric Cole - 25/1 1pt Ew (10 Places)
Regular reader and listeners will know my liking for Eric Cole, I just love how well he’s putting at the moment, on a streak of 14/15 starts and continues to gain strokes everywhere, his price is value if you ask me.
Emiliano Grillo - 28/1 1pt E/W (10 Places)
He’s back! And we’re back for another Grillo party, after our 80/1 winner on Emiliano a few weeks back, this is the first time I’ve felt he’s likely to win again, so why not.
Nick Taylor - 45/1 1pt E/W (10 Places)
I’m on this trend of finding value and finding the forgotten man, and Nick Taylor is that guy. After winning two weeks ago, 45/1 is outstanding and he will love this birdie fest. Another really good iron player, gained on his last 7 starts and is 2nd in the field for greens in regulation, stacks up for me, play Taylor at all costs.
Chez Reavie – 70/1 1pt E/W (10 Places)
Another Birdie fest masterclass, his birdie or better % is so high I am so shocked to see him in this bracket on the odds board. Best in this field for consecutive Greens hit and that says it all really for a guy at 70/1, lets have a Chez fest.