The field for the John Deere Classic is wide open as most of golf's biggest names take the week before the British Open off.
John Deere Classic Golf Odds And Predictions
This week’s John Deere Classic on the PGA Tour is the last chance for one lucky player not already qualified to do so for next week’s British Open.
John Deere Classic Background
The John Deere Classic annually struggles to get a strong field because it’s the week before the British Open. Many top players choose not to play a tournament before a major. That’s perhaps more so for most golfers on this side of the pond ahead of the British Open as they like to head overseas and get used to links-style golf and the time difference, etc.
In addition, the Scottish Open on the European Tour the same week often draws a solid group of U.S. players as a warm-up event to the British Open. Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson and Patrick Reed are all playing in Scotland this week. In all honesty, the 2018 Scottish Open field is probably stronger this week even though that tournament saw both Henrik Stenson and Tommy Fleetwood withdraw.
While there are a few spots available to qualify for the British Open in the Scottish Open, there’s just one spot in the John Deere Classic – to the highest top-five finisher who hasn’t already qualified. This tournament has been played since 1972. TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Illinois, is an easy track, a par 71 measuring 7,268 yards. One of the few 59s on the PGA Tour was shot here by Paul Goydos in 2010. The 72-hole tournament record was 26-under 258 by Steve Stricker. That was in 2010 as well and was the second of his three straight wins here. This is the last tournament on Tour where a player won it three in a row.
John Deere Classic Odds
Last year, Bryson DeChambeau overcame a four-stroke deficit on Sunday and shot 6-under 65 to win his first career PGA Tour event at the John Deere Classic to earn a spot in the 2017 British Open. Patrick Rodgers was the third-round leader but shot 70 on Sunday. DeChambeau is the +1000 Sports Interaction favourite. He won a few weeks ago at the prestigious Memorial Tournament in Ohio.
Francesco Molinari is also +1000. He won two weeks ago at the Quicken Loans National for his first official PGA Tour title – he wasn’t even originally planning to play that but wanted to improve his FedEx Cup standing. Molinari generally stays on the European Tour. It’s the Italian’s debut in this tournament.
Zach Johnson, who is from this area of the country (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) and a tournament board member, is +1200 with rookie Joaquin Niemann at +1600 and Ryan Moore +1800. Johnson won here in 2012 and has four other top-five finishes since then, including two runners-up. Niemann, from Chile, has shown why he was the top-ranked amateur in the world at one point with four Top 10s this year. Moore was the 2016 John Deere champion.
Canadian Golfer Odds
Dave Barr is the only Canadian to win this tournament, coming in 1981. That was in a five-man playoff that also featured another Canadian in Dan Halldorson. David Hearn lost in a playoff five years ago. He’s +11000 this week with Corey Conners +12500, Mackenzie Hughes +15000, Ben Silverman +22500 and Nick Taylor +25000. Hearn hasn’t contended at this tournament since that runner-up and missed the cut last year. He was 30th last week in West Virginia, as was Conners, who makes his tournament debut.
John Deere Classic Predictions
Go Johnson and Molinari for Top 10s, but the winner is Wesley Bryan. He was third here last year and eighth the year before. He also played solid last week with a T26.