Rev up the mower, start up the tractor or jump on the combine harvester. It is time to travel to the Midwest for the John Deere Classic!
Silvis, Illinois should come to life this week as the John Deere Classic is played at TPC Deere Run for the fourteenth time since its first visit here in 2000. John Deere have been the sponsor of this event since 1999.
The course measures 7268 yards and is a Par 71 with 78 bunkers and 3 water hazards and the fairways and greens are bentgrass. The scoring should be low this week as TPC Deere Run was ranked the easiest Par 71 course from the eleven played on Tour last year. It also gave up the most birdies on the Tour in 2011 and 2012.
This is evident by looking at the scores from the past four years.
In 2009 Steve Stricker finished on -20 and won by three shots from Brett Quigley, Zach Johnson and Brandt Snedeker. In 2010 Steve Stricker was at it again when he successfully defended his title with a score of -26. He beat Paul Goydos by two shots with Jeff Maggert a further two shots back on -20.
Steve Stricker was at it again in 2011 with a -22 which saw him win his third straight title. He saw off Kyle Stanley on -21 and Matt McQuillan was in a share for third on -17 with Zach Johnson.
Last year Zach Johnson finishing on -20 with Troy Matteson. He claimed the title after beating Matteson on the second play off hole. Scott Piercy was a further two shots back on -18 in third place.
This year Stricker is the over whelming favourite to claim his fourth title!
The Top 5 in betting this week are:- Steve Stricker 7/1, Zach Johnson 16/1, Louis Oosthuizen 22/1, Keegan Bradley 22/1 and Ryan Moore 33/1.
Joining them this week are Past Champions Jonathan Byrd and John Senden. Not to mention eight winners from this season including the likes of Boo Weekley, Harris English and Ken Duke.
So what does it take to win the John Deere Classic?
If you look at the past winners of this event, they have all ranked highly in hitting greens. Getting that ball on the dance floor is what it is all about.
Once you are there you need to sink it and putting could play a vital role this week as it is sure to be a birdie-fest and it may come down to the person who has the least putts. Also look for guys who rank highly in birdies and par four performance.
Time to have a look at who I have selected this week.
Brendon De Jonge 40/1
Brendon has had 22 starts this season for nine Top 25’s and three Top 10’s. He has also gone low on several occasions such as -18 Phoenix Open, -15 Puerto Rico Open and -11 Shell Houston Open.
Last year he played some great low scoring tournaments such as -18 Humana Challenge, -23 Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospital and -19 CIMB Classic.
This will be his sixth start in the John Deere. In the last three years he has finished 19th in 2012 on -12, 7th in 2011 on -15 and 7th in 2010 on -15.
Expect to see him challenging over the weekend. His stats have him ready. 20th in greens in regulation, 45th in birdie average, 26th in scoring average, 16th in ball striking and 37th in scrambling.
Luke Guthrie 66/1
This kid has the game! He will be a player to follow in the years ahead.
Last year was his first taste of the PGA Tour. He played in four tournaments and showed the world what we can expect in the future. T19th St Jude Classic, T5th John Deere Classic, T18th True South Classic and a missed cut in the Frys.com Open.
Luke also played ten events on the web.com tour last year and had seven Top Tens. Which included two victories.
Those two wins had him scoring very low! -22 in the Albertsons Boise Open and -17 WNB Golf Classic. He also finished at -20 when T3rd in the Cox Classic and -17 when T10th in the Price Cutter Charity Championship.
This year Guthrie has had 21 starts on the PGA Tour which has seen him with six Top 25’s and two Top 10’s. Those Top Tens were 3rd Honda Classic and T8th Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
Guthrie is a birdie machine. He is currently ranked 10th on the PGA Tour in Total Birdies with 245 of them!
As an Illinois native Luke should feel right at home this week. He was born in Quincy and now lives in Champaign which is a 3 hour drive from TPC Deere Run. No doubt he will also have fond memories of his 5th place last year.
Good Luck and Good Punting.