The John Deere Classic is often referred to as a birdie-fest, and it’s easy to see why when you consider that the last 5 renewals have been won with 72-hole totals of -20/-22/-19/-20/-22.
The Tournament is played at the TPC Deere Run, Silvis, Illinois and the Par 71, 7,268 yard course doesn’t particularly suit any type of player, though none of the recent winners of Jordan Spieth, Brian Harman, Zach Johnson and Steve Stricker are known for their power. And that’s the reason I’m leaving sure-fire future winner John Rahm out of this week’s staking plan, instead relying on 5 individual with plenty of course form.
The first two on this week’s staking plan are standing dishes here at the John Deere, and both Zach Johnson and Steve Stricker do have obvious chances. Johnson won here in 2012, and has also been runner-up in 2014, 2013 and 2009, and was also third last year. Meanwhile Stricker won this event in 2009, 2010 and 2011 and, though his form has tailed-off slightly since 5/10/11/35, he’s been playing some of his best golf for years recently.
Third place in this week’s portfolio goes to another near veteran in Jerry Kelly who finished in the frame in both 2013 and 2014, whilst 17th last year again showed his liking for the course. He also finished second last week – and looks primed for another bold show at the Deere Run.
There’s also room for a couple of longshots in this week’s betting strategy in the shape of Scott Brown and Johnson Wagner. Brown has shot a 61 here in recent years, and form figures of 7/22/5/MC suggest he’s no forlorn hope here. He also looked like he might be aiming to get his eye in last week, in preparation for this, by posting a top-25. That’s better form than Johnson Wagner could manage, and MC/43/MC aren’t exactly inspiring form figures, but he wasn’t exactly in great form coming into this event in the last two years when he finished 7th and 5th.
Zach Johnson 1.5 Points Each-Way @ 15/2 (Betfred, Betbright) ¼ odds 5 places
Stever Stricker 1.5 Points Each-Way @ 12/1 (Various Bookies) ¼ odds 5 places
Jerry Kelly 1 Point Each-Way @ 45/1 (Betbright) ¼ odds 5 places
Scott Brown 1 Point Each-Way @ 80/1 (Various Bookies) ¼ odds 5 places
Johnson Wagner 1 Point Each-Way @ 125/1 (Various Bookies) ¼ odds 5 places