The John Deere Classic takes place in Silvis, IL this weekend. Take a look at our picks:
TPC Deere Run is a par 71, 7250-yard course that leads to a LOT of scoring. This course has 3 par 5’s, two of which are very gettable and will provide eagle opportunities. This golf course seems to just benefit golfers who can do it all. The winner here can be better than -20 and if that is the case, they will have to putt well. Putting isn’t the most predictable thing in golf, but I think “good” putters and guys who know the course well are solid options. If a golfer typically struggles to putt, they can make it up with their ball striking here, as the close putts are typically nothing crazy here and sticking it to 7 feet will be rewarded. As all-encompassing stats here, I like looking at birdie or better percentage to find golfers that can really go low if things go their way.
***There are golfers here that will be playing in The Open Championship next week and it is possible they ship it in early if things don’t go their way. Most of these guys don’t want to play here right around the cut if they have to travel to Scotland next week. The counter to that is that if they showed up, they probably think they have a good shot to win and will go for it. This is more of a risk/reward consideration in GPP’s, but overall I am not weighing it a ton this week.
Bryson DeChambeau is my favorite golfer this week on a track that fits him very well. DeChambeau is great at par-5 scoring and he also has the ability to get hot with every single part of his game. DeChambeau can win this week with his iron game, his par-5 scoring, or his putter and that’s the upside I want. DeChambeau is a very technical player and he is very intricate in studying the game. The fact that he won here last year tells me that he knows and likes the course. I believe we will see DeChambeau be one of those guys that has certain places he just always plays well because of his ability to study the golf course. Bryson is my favorite player on any site and in any format this week.
Joaquin Niemann is a stud and he keeps pumping out T20’s every time he makes the cut. It seems as though this kid always has a nuclear round or two in his bag. This track should really show off Niemann’s all-around game and his driver. This week, driving distance isn’t a must, but Niemann’s driver will put him in a lot of great spots on a course that gives up a lot of birdies. I think Niemann will have a round around -7 or better and I have to have interest if that’s the case.
Brian Gay has performed consistently lately and is in a range that I don’t love much. Gay is a solid iron player that could get hot with the putter that would keep him around the leaderboard. Gay is more of a safety play this week, but he does have the ability to go out and put up a GPP winning outing as well. Safety+upside is the name of the game so Gay will be in a good amount of my lineups.
Narrative street time. Sung Kang has been all over the place this year, but after coming off of a third-place performance, I don’t mind Kang for the upside he provides when he is striking the ball like he can. Here’s the kicker; Kang was accused of cheating by a playing partner at the Quicken Loans 2 weeks ago. This quickly became the centerpiece of golf Twitter shortly after and it will be interesting to see how Kang reacts. Personally, if I was accused of (or caught) cheating, I would really want to show up next week and show that I don’t need to cheat to win. I think it’s very possible Kang is playing with a little extra motivation this week, which I always like at a smaller tournament like this.
I like both Si Woo Kim and Keith Mitchell in tournaments because of their ability to go low. Now, Si Woo has been known to do this thing once or twice a year where he just goes off, and Keith Mitchell has been known to go off of the first round and then drift back to the pack. I think Both of these guys have it in them to dominate a round or two this week, similar to Niemann, but this week I think that will be half of the battle. This course typically isn’t going to take many shots back, so if you can jump out front, you have to be caught. I think these guys could be at the top of the leaderboard with others playing catch-up, which is great for GPP’s.
Joel Dahmen has been really good the last 2 weeks and I think that can continue again this week. Dahmen doesn’t give back a ton of shots over a week and this course will reward solid players with more birdies than about everywhere else on tour. I think Dahmen should put together 4 solid rounds and be flirting with the leaderboard throughout the weekend. He is viable in all formats.
Norman Xiong is talented. I wrote about him in-depth last week and my feelings haven’t changed at all. Xiong should thrive on this gettable golf course and he is SOOOOOOO much more talented than the other guys in his range. I will use Xiong in the majority of any format I play