Ryan O'Sullivan

Sully's Snapshot

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John Deere Classic: Preview

Monday, July 10, 2017


The John Deere Classic returns to the familiar layout of TPC Deere Run with Ryan Moore as the defending champion. Here is a preview to get you off and running with your research.

 

TPC Deere Run is a par-71 layout of 7,268 yards. It has the expected split of three par 5s, 11 par 4s and four par 3s. The par 5s are generally reachable by most in the field. While we have seen extremely low scores in the event, including a 59 by Paul Goydos in 2010, this course has a few difficult holes that can trip up those not bringing their A-game.

 

For those that have followed this event over the last decade, you will recall that Zach Johnson and Steve Stricker have owned the top of the leaderboard at the John Deere Classic. They share four wins and more top-three finishes than most players have in a career. They share similar strengths, in that both are excellent wedge players. That signifies that those that hit it close with the short irons will have their opportunities. Perhaps it is no surprise that Ryan Moore picked up the win here last year.

 

This is not a particularly deep field, as most of the elite are making their way across the pond for the Open Championship. That gives all gamers paying attention a great chance to have a big week.

 

With that as the backdrop, these are the horses I’ll ride at TPC Deere Run.

 

1.  Brian Harman – A past champion here (2014), Harman is playing the best golf of his life. He’s accurate, hits his irons close and can get hot with the putter. That combination is perfect for the John Deere Classic.

 

2.  Daniel Berger – It’s a little surprising that he’s making his debut here this week. He’s locked in for the Open Championship, so that’s not the reason for the addition to the schedule. Berger is among the class of the field, so we’ll trust that his great form (P2 in the Travelers Championship) will have him on point this week.

 

3.  Zach Johnson – I’ve always been a sucker for course history, and ZJ’s six top-three finishes including a win are like a shiny toy to me. I get that he’s pretty much stunk it up this year by his standards. The biggest question for all gamers this week is how he will reconcile excellent course history with poor form.

 

4.  Kyle Stanley – Remember that time when he blew a huge lead and lost in a playoff, only to win his first PGA TOUR event the very next week? That history means that it would not necessarily be wise to expect a hangover this week following his victory two weeks ago. Throw in a runner-up finish at TPC Deere Run in 2011 and four top 25s, and we have the perfect blend of current form and course history.

 

5.  Charley Hoffman – A mixed bag here over the years, but owns a couple of top 15s back in 2009 and 2010. Not unlike Harman, Hoffman is playing the golf of his life this year and it’s likely we will see his best finish in this event.

 


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Ryan O’Sullivan joined Rotoworld in 2012. The Clemson grad blogs as The Golf Aficionado and can be found on Twitter @ryangolfblogger.
Email :Ryan O'Sullivan



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