The field this week is set at 156 golfers. With only two weeks to go until the Open Championship — and with next week having a big tune-up event on the schedule over in Scotland — many of the top names have decided to skip this week's event. With Daniel Berger now out (withdrew early Monday) the highest ranking player in the OWGR is Webb Simpson, who moved up to 58th after last week.
Despite the lack of star power, there are some intriguing young names in the field. Sahith Theegala, who finished second last week after a disastrous double bogey on the final hole, will be playing, as is Maverick McNealy and Christiaan Bezuidenhout, who have both proven over the last year or so that they can handle this level of competition. This event is always one of the lowest scoring of the year, so expect lots of fantasy points this week in the top lineups as players pile on the bonuses and birdies. The regular cut rules (top 65 and ties make the weekend) apply.
TPC Deere Run, Silvis, Illinois
Par 71 –7,268 yards; Greens: Bentgrass
This is traditionally one of the easiest courses players will see all year. In 2018, it ranked as the sixth-easiest venue on the PGA TOUR, and it ranked as the 13th-easiest and yielded a 69.510 scoring average in 2019. The winning score at Deere Run almost always hits 20-under-par, or better, and it wouldn’t be shocking to see some players threaten for a 59. Last year, Lucas Glover won at 19-under-par and poor weather did interfere with play at times. Glover won by two strokes and gained 7.1 strokes on approach for the week (there’s more on Glover's stats below).
As for the setup, TPC Deere Run is a par 71 and features three par 5s, all of which play very straightforward and are holes that must be taken advantage of by those planning to compete for the win. Of the past seven winners, only one (Jordan Spieth in 2013) has finished outside the top 10 in par-5 scoring for the week.
The par 4s are also much more manageable than a typical par 71, and only a couple of them tend to play over par for the week. Two of them come in at well under 400 yards and seven fall under 450 yards, making distance off-the-tee somewhat irrelevant. Par-4 efficiency from 400-450 yards is something to key in on as players who can get in a groove with their short irons at TPC Deere Run can give themselves decent birdie looks on almost every hole. The key distances this week tend to be from 125-150 yards and 150-175 yards and it’s no shock that 2019 runner-up, Russell Henley, ranked third in proximity on the PGA TOUR from 125-150 yards in 2020 and first in 2021. Good wedge and short iron play can set players up for birdie looks on almost every hole.
The pure bentgrass greens at Deere Run are always a welcome site for the players as well, since they are generally easy to navigate and often to lead to some monster putting weeks. Michael Kim gained over 13 strokes putting on the field when he won this event in 2018, and 2019 winner Dylan Frittelli gained 7.5 strokes putting — and won despite losing strokes to the field on approach. Length off the tee can help set up more wedge opportunities, but the players’ main goal off-the-tee will be to hit the fairway so they can go flag hunting on their second shots into the well-manicured bentgrass greens.
2022 Outlook: We have seen summer thunderstorms affect this event in the past, but 2022 is setting up as a fairly mild year, forecast-wise. Thursday does have some wind as gusts are expected to reach 15-20 mph by mid-day. This could give the early starters a slight advantage, although it remains to be seen just how mild the winds will be Thursday morning. Friday has a small chance of rain in the afternoon and is really the only day where we could have potential stoppage of play. Wind is expected to be light over the final three days and weekend temperatures are expected to reach 90°F, with little-to-no bad weather expected. The course should play a little firm, but don't spend too much time worrying about mother nature this year. Good scoring conditions should be in store for 2022.
Last 5 winners
2021—Lucas Glover -19 (over Kevin Na -17)
2019—Dylan Frittelli -21 (over Russell Henley -19)
2018—Michael Kim -27 (over Francesco Molinari and three others -19)
2017—Bryson DeChambeau -18 (over Patrick Rodgers -17)
2016 – Ryan Moore -22 (over Ben Martin -20)
- Nine of the last 12 winners of this event had all played at TPC Deere Run in a previous year and made the cut at least once before their win.
- Seven of the last 11 winners of this event have ranked 54th or better in SG: Approach for the year of their win.
Winners Stats and Course Overview
2021 Winner: Lucas Glover (19-under par); 2021 lead-in form (T41-MC-T37-T8-MC)
- As you can see, while you have to be at least adequate in the rest of your game, sinking putts is the name of the game at TPC Deere Run. The last three winners gained 7.5, 13.5 and 7.5 strokes putting in the weeks of their wins.
- Lucas Glover showcased high-end approach play in 2022 and was more than adequate off-the-tee, gaining over a stroke for the week. Deere Run isn’t overly difficult, but solid off-the-tee play sets players up to take advantage of what are generally easy-to-hit greens.
- Of the top-five finishers at Deere Run over the last three years, only one player gained less than 1.0 strokes off the tee.
- Wedge play is obviously important, too, and looking at proximity stats from 125-150 yards could help you find some good value plays from the cheaper price areas.
- Players can get by just by being good off-the-tee and with the putter, though. Dylan Frittelli actually lost strokes on approach for the week of his win and 2017 runner-up Patrick Rodgers had very similar stats.
Finding Values (DraftKings Sportsbook)
- Denny McCarthy +2200 and $9,900
- Charles Howell III +2200 and $9,300
- Maverick McNealy +2500 and $9,500
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change
HORSES FOR COURSES
- Zach Johnson ($7,200; best finishes: win-2012): Johnson’s record at this event over the years is a good career in and of itself. He’s played the John Deere Classic 12 times since 2009 and finished T5 or better on seven occasions. Johnson ranks third in SG: Total at this event over the past five seasons as well, even with just a T34 finish last year.
- Ryan Moore ($7,200; best finishes: win-2016, T2-2021): Moore won this event in 2016 and popped up out of nowhere to finish T2 here last season. He’s only missed the cut at Deere Run once in his last nine appearances and ranks first overall in SG: Total at this venue over the last five years.
- Scott Stallings ($8,900; best finishes: T5-2017): Stallings has been quite good at this event over the last five years as well, grabbing top-20 finishes in three of the last four iterations of this event. He’s 10th in SG: Total at Deere Run over the last five years and put in rounds of 64 and 63 last week at TPC River Highlands.
- Lucas Glover ($8,300; best finishes: win-2021; T10 -2019): Glover not only won this event last year, but also was in the hunt at TPC Deere Run in 2019, when he finished T10. The veteran has played this event numerous times and has not finished worse than T25 in his last three appearances.
- Scott Brown ($7,000; best finishes: T4-2021; T5-2014): Brown’s last five starts at TPC Deere Run have yielded four finishes of T25 or better, and he’s finished inside the top five at this event twice since 2014. He’s one of a hand full of veteran players who always seems to pop up with decent finishes at this event every season.
1. Sahith Theegala ($10,100; second - T53 - T5): Theegala had a win in his grasp last week, but made a mess of the 72nd hole at the Travelers to finish runner-up. He has two top-five finishes now in his last two starts, however, and looks primed for a breakthrough win soon.
2. Adam Hadwin ($10,400; T7 - T35): Hadwin posted his best ever finish in a major two weeks ago at the U.S. Open when he ended the week with a T7. He’s been making big gains around-the-green of late, but has shown blips of solid iron play too.
3. Nick Hardy ($8,700; T8 - T14): Hardy ranks fifth in SG: Total over the last 50 rounds and finished T14 at the U.S. Open just two weeks ago. The 26-year-old is playing well and has made the cut at TPC Deere Run in both of his prior appearances.
4. Denny McCarthy ($9,900; MC-T7-T5): McCarthy is just a couple of weeks removed from a T7 finish at the U.S. Open and has two top-10 finishes in his last three starts. A missed cut last week bumps him down the list, but expect a rebound this week at another easy setup.
5. John Huh ($7,800; T13 - T25): Huh has been quietly consistent of late, landing top-25 finishes in each of his last three starts. He’s gained over 3.0 strokes ball-striking in each of those three starts and finally saw his putter get hot last week, resulting in a T13 finish at the Travelers.
DRAFTKINGS DFS STRATEGY
Cash Games: Don’t wander from Webb
Webb Simpson ($10,600) is now the highest ranked and highest priced player on DraftKings this week after Daniel Berger withdrew. He’s gained over 2.0 strokes on approach in his last three non-major championship starts, and looks 100% healthy for the first time in 2022. He grabbed a T13 last week and could easily improve on that this week with the lack of elite names in the field. John Huh ($7,800) is another name worth mentioning, as he’s now landed three straight top-25 finishes and ranks out extremely well in short iron proximity. Huh has played very well of late from tee-to-green and looks undervalued compared to this field at under $8,000 in price. Other potential values for this format include Adam Svensson ($7,700), Zach Johnson ($7,200), and Chris Gotterup ($7,300).
Tournaments: Check in with Chez
One player who fits this course quite well and has started to show some signs of life lately is veteran Chez Reavie ($7,900). Despite some terrible play to begin the year, Reavie has now landed top-20 finishes in three of his last five starts and landed a T8 last week, with four rounds of 69 or better. Reavie has gained over a stroke on approach now in four of his last five starts and has made the cut at TPC Deere Run in five of his last six appearances. There’s really good upside this week with Reavie considering the quality of this field. A couple of other players to consider for similar reasons in this format include Scott Stallings ($8,900) and Patrick Rodgers ($8,800 - see below). Both can be inconsistent, but have putted extremely well of late and both have great course history at TPC Deere Run. Stallings has flashed some serious upside with his approach play that could lead to some low rounds on this easier setup. Other potential GPP punts this week include Bill Haas ($6,700), Doc Redman ($6,700) and Kelly Kraft ($6,800).
MY PICK: Patrick Rodgers ($8,800)
If there was ever a time for Patrick Rodgers to finally breakthrough for his first PGA TOUR win, this week would be it. He’s coming off his best ever finish at the U.S. Open (T31) where he spent much of the first two days hovering near, or around the lead. The course eventually caught up to Rodgers, but his play over the first two days at the Country Club was indicative of the major strides that he’s made in 2022. Rodgers has always been an elite putter, but coming into the U.S. Open he had gained strokes on approach in seven of his previous eight starts.
That kind of consistency has been hard to come by for the American, who is still plenty long off-the-tee, and has gained over 1.0 strokes in that department in seven straight starts. Rodgers’ strength in that area has allowed him to compete at TPC Deere Run in the past and he even held the lead here in 2017 with three holes to go before a poor finish forced him into a runner-up position. Look for his off-the-tee game to give him a ton of chances at birdies and eagles on the easier holes, and for his improving tee-to-green game to get him in the mix late this week.
MY SLEEPER: Lee Hodges ($6,900)
Hodges has been all over the place in 2022, landing two top-10 finishes on the PGA TOUR, while also enduring some longer stretches of poor play. The 26-year-old enters having missed the cut in four of his last eight starts, but has made the cut in three straight events now. Hodges has showcased more high-end ball-striking of late which should allow him to compete in weaker fields (like the one we’re getting this week) on a regular basis.
Hodges’ short-to-mid iron approaches have also been the strongest part of his game this season, as he enters this week ranked 11th in proximity from 125-150 yards. He took advantage of the shorter TPC River Highlands last week, landing a T25 finish there, and should be able to potentially improve on that finish this week at an even easier setup with no top 50 players in the field. While most players on DraftKings this week will have DFS sticker shock due to inflated price-tags, Hodges sets up as a decent value at under $7,000 given his recent form (three straight made cuts) and how well his game appears to set up for this course.
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