After a year hiatus thanks to Covid-19, the John Deere Classic is back at TPC Deere Run outside of Chicago, Illinois. Your reigning champion is still Dylan Frittelli from 2019 where he held off a surging Russel Henley. Other previous winners include Michael Kim (18′), Bryson DeChambeau (17′), Ryan Moore (16′), and Jordan Spieth who became the first teenaged PGA tour winner in 2015. However, the tournament should be named after Steve Stricker, who has won the event 3 times and is in the field again this week.
The 2021 John Deere is anyone’s for the taking with many of the world’s best preparing for The British Open next weekend. Although the field is weaker, we still anticipate a birdie fest with TPC John Deere being one of the easiest courses on tour. So expect a winning score to be in the -20’s. The course is a par 71 with 3 very scoreable par 5’s. From the tee’s the players will see wide, easy-easy-to-hit, tree-lined fairways narrowing to bentgrass greens. The key to victory will be well-executed approach shots from 100 to 150 yards out. For that reason, our key statistics for this week are approach shots from 125-150 yards, par 5 scoring, and bentgrass putting. Let’s dive into this week’s plays.
Kevin Streelman – $9,700
Seamus Power – $9,000
Seamus Power has been one of the hottest players on tour for the last month, and frankly, is due for a win. Since February, he has not missed a cut and currently has four straight top-20 finishes with top-10s at the Byron Nelson and The Rocket last weekend. He is currently 23rd in the field in strokes gained tee to green over his last 30 rounds. However, his iron and wedge game is scolding hot, gaining 3.6 strokes on approach and 2.3 strokes around the green over his last 5 events. With these easy-to-hit fairways combined with his better-than-tour average putting on bentgrass, he should have plenty of birdie opportunities. This will be his 4th trip to TPC Deere Run, he’s been 61st, 16th, and 25th respectively in his past attempts. When we see a hot hand, we like to ride that wave, Seamus Power is it for this week.
Hank Lebioda – $8,400
Beau Hossler – $7,800
Pat Perez – $7,700
Pat Perez bounced back from his MC at the Travelers after self-reporting playing with someone else’s ball and finished 14th at the Rocket Mortgage last weekend. Take out the travelers and he has been on quite a run dating back to the Valspar in May. Over his last 10 rounds, he is gaining 1.1 strokes on approach shots and 2.1 strokes putting. Once again, this is the recipe we’re looking for this weekend. He ranks out #3 in our model thanks to being 7th in the field in par 5 scoring and 25th in bentgrass putting. He is 2/4 in cuts made at the John Deere, finishing 37th in 2019. Covid was good to Pat though, who had been struggling with a back issue for much of the 2019 season. This tour veteran is healthy and ready to make a run at his 4th PGA victory.
Patrick Rodgers – $7,400
Patrick Rodgers has put together a nice June with multiple straight cuts made. This run culminated with a 41st finish at the Rocket last weekend. He has been one of the best putters on tour, but recently he has lost 7.6 strokes at the Travelers and 2.1 strokes at the Rocket. We’re very pleased he was able to finish so well considering how poorly he was putting. However, the struggle shouldn’t continue, his best putting surface is bentgrass and he has previous success at TPC Deere Run. This will be his 8th appearance at the event, he was 2nd in 2017. Rodgers is a nice value at the backend of your John Deere Classic DraftKings lineups.