2021 John Deere Classic Betting Odds & Picks: Top 5 Course Fits at TPC Deere Run
Michael Cohen/Getty Images. Pictured: Zach Johnson during the final round of the 2013 John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run.
Many of golf’s biggest names eschew this week’s PGA TOUR stop in favor of an early departure for next weekend’s Open Championship at Royal St. George’s Golf Course. Those who stick around face a familiar test at the John Deere Classic, which is set to host for the 50th time.
Since 2000, the event has found a home at TPC Deere Run and has been the sight of many memorable breakthrough victories for future stars. Payne Stewart, David Toms, Jordan Spieth, and Bryson DeChambeau each collected their first PGA TOUR win at the John Deere Classic in the Quad Cities area.
TPC Deere Run is a very gettable design for the pros, surrendering a course record of 59 (Paul Goydos in 2010) and a tournament record of 27-under par (Michael Kim in 2018).
The course’s changes in elevation do little to keep birdies off the scorecard. TPC Deere Run’s total distance is under 7,300 yards, which enables a variety of skillsets to compete every year. Yet, despite that variety, some players’ skillsets better fit the course than others’.
Below, I highlight the top-5 players whose game should translate well at this week’s John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run.
Zach Johnson (+3500 to win, -275 to make the cut)
On the PGA TOUR schedule, there are few players and events better suited than Zach Johnson and the John Deere Classic.
The Iowa native has always impressed when playing close to home: Johnson has made the cut at every John Deere Classic since 2007. That’s 12 made cuts in a row, with seven top-five finishes during that stretch.
In five trips to the John Deere Classic between 2011 and 2015, Johnson was beaten by six total opponents, racking up five straight top-three finishes and a win at the 2012 event.
Johnson has been spottier this season but has played well enough to suggest he’ll continue his strong run in the Quad Cities. Back-to-back rounds of 69 last weekend should carry momentum into this week.
Russell Henley (+2000)
According to the analytics experts at DataGolf, Henley ranks in the top three in this week’s field in True Strokes Gained at TPC Deere Run, among those who have played at least eight rounds at the course.
In his two trips to the Quad Cities, Henley has not missed a cut and has finished in the top 30 twice — including a solo runner-up finish the last time this tournament was contested in 2019.
Best of all, Henley is playing great golf of late. He’s finished in the top twenty of the last two events he has played. Henley has leaned on the success of his ball-striking in recent weeks, gaining strokes on the field from tee-to-green in his strong performances at the U.S. Open and Travelers Championship.
Patton Kizzire (+5000)
The 35-year old TOUR regular comes into the John Deere Classic poised for an impressive finish. In two past tries at this event, Kizzire boasts two made cuts and two top-30 finishes. Data Golf places him in the top five of this week’s field in True Strokes Gained compared to expectation, in past rounds at TPC Deere Run.
Kizzire also enters the week scorching hot after rocketing up the leaderboard this past Sunday. His final-round 64 tied for the lowest round of the day — one shot shy of the low round of the week — and lifted him to a top-25 finish in Detroit.
Dylan Frittelli (+5500)
The John Deere Classic is a welcome sight for former Texas Longhorn Dylan Frittelli. The South African has made just five cuts in 15 tries this season but returns to Northern Illinois as the event’s reigning champion. He collected a two-shot victory at the last John Deere Classic in 2019.
Data Golf credits Frittelli with 3.27 True Strokes Gained on the field at TPC Deere Run. Though that is a sample size of just one event, Frittelli’s average True Strokes Gained at the course is more than double that of nearly every golfer in the field.
The reigning champion of the event paying out at better than +5000 is hard to pass up.
Steve Stricker (+4000)
The soon-to-be Ryder Cup captain feels right at home in the Midwest, his native region of the country.
In 52 rounds at the John Deere Classic, Stricker has gained 1.75 True Strokes on the field, top-three in the field this week. That statistic is heavily weighted by his three consecutive wins at TPC Deere Run in 2009, 2010, and 2011.
While Stricker’s success at this event largely came during the prime of his career, Stricker is playing strong golf this season. He has made five cuts in seven appearances on the PGA TOUR this season, including in each of his last two tournaments.
The last time Stricker teed it up, he won his third major on the PGA TOUR Champions circuit, lapping the field with a six-shot victory at the Bridgestone Senior Players Championship.
The PGA TOUR has already seen six victories by players 40-years old or older this season. There’s no reason to think the 54-year old Stricker doesn’t have a chance this week.