2021 John Deere Classic Betting Preview & Picks: Which Stats Matter at TPC Deere Run?

2021 John Deere Classic Betting Preview & Picks: Which Stats Matter at TPC Deere Run? article feature image
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Ezra Shaw/Getty Images. Pictured: Russell Henley.

As many look ahead to the 2021 Open Championship, the PGA TOUR makes one final stop at TPC Deere Run to play the John Deere Classic. The event was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

TPC Deere Run is a 7,268-yard par 71 located in Silvis, Illinois. The course historically fails to present a major challenge to golfers with easy-to-hit fairways and bentgrass greens. Most players will have short approach shots into the greens, and the event often turns into a bit of a putting contest.

The John Deere Classic will play host to 156 golfers, and as expected, the field is considerably weaker than we have gotten used to this season.

With the Open Championship quickly approaching, many of the world’s top players are either playing in the Scottish Open or taking a week off to prepare.

A few of the notable golfers who will make the trip to the Midwest include Daniel Berger, Sungjae Im, Brian Harman, Kevin Streelman, Si Woo Kim, Kevin Na, and Russell Henley.

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Past Winners at The John Deere Classic

  • 2019: Dylan Frittelli (-21)
  • 2018: Michael Kim (-27)
  • 2017: Bryson DeChambeau (-18)
  • 2016: Ryan Moore (-22)
  • 2015: Jordan Spieth (-20)

5 Key Stats For TPC Deere Run

Let’s take a look at five key metrics for TPC Deere Run to determine which golfers boast top marks in each category over their last 24 rounds.

1. Strokes Gained: Approach

Strokes Gained: Approach is historically the most predictive statistic at TPC Deere Run.

It’s a relatively short course and has extremely wide fairways. Lack of distance off of the tee will not be a major hindrance to golfers, as the majority of approach shots will allow for a short iron or wedge onto the green.

SG: Approach Over Past 24 Rounds

  1. Daniel Berger (+26.0) (+900)
  2. Russell Henley (+21.1) (+1800)
  3. Kyle Stanley (+19.7) (+5000)
  4. Kevin Streelman (+16.9) (+2200)
  5. Matthew NeSmith (+16.8) (+10000)

2. Birdie or Better: Gained

Scores can get extremely low at TPC Deere Run as the course will offer plenty of birdie opportunities. Twelve of the 18 holes on the course historically average under par.

Birdie or Better: Gained Over Past 24 Rounds

  1. Troy Merritt (+19.5) (+4000) 
  2. Patton Kizzire (+18.0) (+4000)
  3. Maverick McNealy (+14.7) (+4000)
  4. Daniel Berger (+14.7) (+900)
  5. Pat Perez (+13.9) (+7000)

3. Par 4: 400-450

With five par 4s on the course in this range, it will be crucial for golfers to play these holes well.

Par 4:400-450 Past 24 Rounds:

  1. Kramer Hickok (+15.5) (+7000)
  2. Hank Lebioda (+14.2) (+6000)
  3. Zach Johnson (+12.5) (+4500)
  4. Harold Varner III (+10.2) (+5500)
  5. Vincent Whaley (+10.0) (+10000)

4. Proximity 125-150

Approach shots measuring between 125 and 150 yards are very common at TPC Deere Run. This event is likely to turn into a wedge-fest, so whoever is dialed in with their wedges will give themselves a chance to win.

Proximity 125-150 Over Past 24 Rounds

  1. Nick Taylor (+13.4) (+13000)
  2. Kyle Stanley (+10.0) (+5000)
  3. K.J. Choi (+9.6) (+30000)
  4. Russell Henley (+9.4) (+900)
  5. Ben Martin (+9.2) (+15000)
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5. Strokes Gained: Putting (Bentgrass)

With green in regulation percentages definitively higher at TPC Deere Run than the average TOUR stop, the winner will likely be determined by who can catch the hottest putter.

SG: Putting (Bentgrass) over Past 24 rounds

  1. Zach Johnson (+23.2) (+4500)
  2. Kristoffer Ventura (+22.3) (+25000)
  3. Andres Romero (+20.0) (+20000)
  4. Charles Howell III (+18.7) (+6500)
  5. Johnson Wagner (+18.7) (+25000)

The John Deere Classic Model Rankings

Below, I’ve compiled overall model rankings using a combination of the six key statistical categories previously discussed — SG: App (27%), Birdie or Better (22%), SG: Putting Bent (19.5%) Par 4: 400-450 (15.8%), and Prox: 125-150 (15.8%).

  1. Patton Kizzire (+4000)
  2. Kevin Streelman (+2200)
  3. Daniel Berger (+900)
  4. Doc Redman (+5000)
  5. Brian Harman (+1400)
  6. Hank Lebioda (+6000)
  7. Scott Stallings (+7000)
  8. Seamus Power (+3500)
  9. Troy Merritt (+4000)
  10. Satoshi Kodaira (+13000)
2020 wyndham championship preview-picks-best bets
Darren Carroll/PGA of America via Getty Images. Pictured: Doc Redman.

2021 John Deere Classic Best Bets

Russell Henley (+2000, Bet365)

Russell Henley comes into the 2021 John Deere Classic playing some great golf.

Finding value in such a weak field can be difficult, but I truly believe this price is a relative value considering the quality of golfers surrounding him on the odds board.

Henley’s recent form is undeniable, as he comes into the John Deere Classic off of back-to-back top 20 finishes and ranks second in the field on approach in his past 24 rounds. The weakest part of Henley’s game is off of the tee, and that should not be much of a factor at TPC Deere Run, a short course with extremely generous fairways.

The recipe for winning at this event is approach play and catching a hot putter, which are the two areas in which the 32-year-old can excel.

The course history is also very compelling, as Henley finished in second place the last time this event took place (2019). We saw him get into contention at the U.S. Open, but winning that was always a stretch for the Georgia native.

TPC Deere Run is a spot where Henley can conceivably notch his fourth PGA TOUR win.

Zach Johnson (+4500, DraftKings)

ZJ’s course history at TPC Deere Run simply cannot be ignored.

With four top-fives in his past seven trips to the course and a win back in 2012, he contends more often than he doesn’t at the John Deere Classic.

Normally, I would dismiss his course history considering he hasn’t won since the 2015 Open Championship, but this season, we have seen some older golfers win after a long layoff.

Additionally, the Cedar Rapids, Iowa, native gained 4.5 strokes on approach in his most recent start at the Travelers and finished 25th despite losing an uncharacteristic 1.5 strokes with the flat stick.

Johnson is an easy golfer to overlook in 2021, but he can absolutely contend at this course.

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Beau Hossler (+6600, Bet365)

There are very few courses on TOUR that Beau Hossler can truly contend at, but TPC Deere Run is one of the few where he could have a shot.

When examining past winners of the John Deere Classic, the most glaring consistency is putting. To win at TPC Deere Run, you have to be a great putter, or at minimum, be capable of getting scorching hot on the greens.

Hossler fits that description. The 26-year-old is one of the best putters on TOUR, and not too long ago was thought of as an intriguing up-and-comer.

Bentgrass greens are Hossler’s specialty, and it’s reasonable to expect him to gain plenty of strokes on the field this week.

Additionally, the rest of Hossler’s game is surprisingly starting to come around. He has gained strokes tee-to-green in three consecutive events, which is the first time he has done that since September 2020. In those three recent events, Hossler finished 19th, 10th, and 25th, respectively.

I am looking for the University of Texas product to build off of those performances in a weaker field at the John Deere Classic.

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