There is a bit of an “always the bridesmaid, never the bride” type feel to this week’s PGA Tour stop at the annual John Deere Classic. Held each year in Silvis, IL at the beautiful TPC Deere Run overlooking the Rock River, This is a contest that offers quite the shootout for the players amongst the rolling hills and undulations, as the winning scores here for the past decade have averaged close to -22.
This par 71, 7,258- yard Parkland course was designed in 2000 by D.A. Weibring and has hosted this tournament ever since. Unfortunately, given the annual timing of this being the event right before the British Open- it usually tends to be sparsely populated by some of the bigger names in golf. In fact, the biggest names out on the course this week are Zach Johnson, Charles Howell III and Jason Duffner, and highlighted by the magnificent rookie trio of Viktor Hovland, Colin Morikawa and last week’s winner Matthew Wolffe.
It is a beautiful layout that will look great on TV screens and should be an exciting weekend as players vie to fill the last spots in next weeks British Open. And given the the point and shoot nature of the golf course and the low winning scores, the weekend should provide high drama. In a typical year at Deere Run, 13 of the holes play at an average of under par, and so really we are once again looking at a birdie-fest putting contest.
There is still plenty of to play for though for the players that tee it up this week, as a major championships spot is on the line as well as the typical allotment of Fed Wx Cup points and PGA Tour status.
Must-Have #1: Jason Dufner
With the weakened field this week, it is no surprise to see someone who has shown touches of class in the past featured here. A former major champion and five-time winner on the PGA Tour, we know Duf Daddy has the goods to get it done.
Dufner has never played the John Deere Classic, but TPC Deere Run seems to be the type course that he usually thrives at. In fact when looking at statistics that we think are important in this week, Dufner grades out as the number one overall player in the model by Fantasy National. Over the last 24 rounds he ranks 1st in the field in Good Drives, 1st in Fairways Gained, 7th in Strokes Gained: Ball Striking, 11th in Bogey Avoidance, 16th in SG: Approach, and 26th in Birdie or Better %.
He has been playing reasonably well over the past few months, carding a formline of 66-MC-35-7-40-MC-4 in his last seven starts. In a weaker field, we expect Dufner to have a good chance to let his talent shine and make a run this weekend.
Must-Have #2: Cameron Tringale
Tringale was also featured last week in our Must- Have section, but he keeps producing great results and the fantasy sites still refuse to raise his price, so he finds himself in the circle once again this week.
This middle part of 2019 has been a career resurgence of the sorts for this former Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket. Dating back to the Valero Texas Open he has produced finishes of 42-5-71-11-23-17.
Although he has had a mixed bag at TPC Deere Run (MC last year, T50 in 2017), his game is in a much, much better place to tackle the challenge this week.
In fact when looking at the relevant stats, Tringale ranks 3rd in the field in Bogey Avoidance, 5th in BoB %, 6th in Good Drives, 8th in SG: Approach, and 13th in Ball Striking. With his game gaining confidence every week, we feel that he is a great play at his price point and look for him to continue his good run of form.
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