With the Scottish Open across the pond and The Open Championship on the horizon, we have our weakest field of the year at the John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Illinois. We’re getting the preview out a couple days later this week because of some prior engagements, but that isn’t a bad thing because we’ve been able to see the betting market move around in advance of the event.
While there aren’t many big names in the field, there are still a lot of things to handicap with this tournament, including the last chance for those not qualified for The Open Championship to get to Royal St. George’s.
We’ll use the odds from MyBookie Sportsbook to try and find a few picks and a few angles for the 2021 John Deere Classic. Odds are listed below the body of the article.
Betting Odds & The Field
As mentioned, this is far and away the weakest field of the year. Daniel Berger is on hand to try and iron out some kinks before The Open Championship and he is the +900 favorite. Sungjae Im is the second favorite at +1400 and Brian Harman is the third choice at +1600.
No other players are under 22/1 at time of publish per MyBookie Sportsbook. We’re used to seeing much better players than Russell Henley, Kevin Streelman, and Cameron Davis in the 20s.
Guys like Seamus Power, Si Woo Kim, Alex Noren, and Kevin Na are in the 30s, followed by Troy Merritt, Maverick McNealy, and Patton Kizzire in the 40s.
Steve Stricker is down into the 40/1 range, as he’s skipping the U.S. Senior Open to play here because he thinks his chances are that good.
This is a course that hasn’t had much of a distance bias in the past, so it brings a lot of guys into play and this is about as wide open as a tournament can be with so few elite players.
TPC Deere Run Preview
This is a par 71 that comes in just under 7,300 yards. While that sounds long, this course really isn’t. This is an event that usually comes down to the best putters. Historically speaking, Data Golf puts the importance of Strokes Gained Putting at 36.3% for the event average. The PGA Tour average is 35.7% overall.
Dylan Frittelli was third in SG: Putting when he won this event last year, but also hit a lot of fairways and played well with the wedges. A well-rounded game is important, but putting is especially important here this week. This is an event that very few big-name players participate in year after year, as the tournament falls at a bad time on the calendar.
It has bentgrass greens and short par 5s that are going to be birdie holes for everybody in the field, regardless of their length off the tee.
Yay or Neigh?
Our horse for course section examines how guys have done here before. As far as past winners in the field, Frittelli is the reigning champ from 2019, as this event was not played last year. He is 90/1. Michael Kim owns the course record at 27-under from his 2018 win and is 500/1. Ryan Moore won in 2016 and is priced at 50/1. Brian Harman won in 2014 and is the third favorite at 16/1.
Steve Stricker has won three times here, with the most recent win in 2011. Zach Johnson won here in 2012. Johnson is actually the second-most accomplished player here with a runner-up finishes in 2014, 2013, and 2009. He has 10 top-25 finishes here and seven in the top 10. Johnson had six top-five finishes from 2011-17.
Stricker is the most accomplished with eight top-10 finishes and the three wins, but he’s also a Champions Tour player now and this is a big step up to play with the PGA Tour guys.
As far as other guys that have some good numbers here, Lucas Glover has a couple top-15 finishes, including a 10th two years ago. Charles Howell III has four top-25 finishes since 2011. Kyle Stanley has five since 2011. Scott Stallings has four. Vaughn Taylor has finished sixth here twice in the last 10 tournaments.
Recent Form Standouts
Recent form is doing some heavy lifting with this field. Berger has a couple top-10 finishes in his last four starts. Harman has four top-20 finishes in his last five events. Cameron Davis won last week, with Troy Merritt second, and Alexander Noren fourth. That was Noren’s fourth top-25 in six events and the fourth top-10 finish for Merritt in his last eight events.
Mito Pereira missed the cut last week, but had won back-to-back events on the Korn Ferry Tour prior to struggling at TPC River Highlands for the Travelers Chmpionship last week.
Hank Lebioda has back-to-back top-five finishes and has made six straight cuts. Seamus Power has four straight top-20 finishes and Beau Hossler has three straight top-25 finishes.
2021 John Deere Classic Picks
In looking up and down the board for this one, you’ll want to take some chances. Jhonattan Vegas is swinging it well right now. If he can get the putter going, he’s a good look at +6600. The ball-striking numbers have been there lately. He was third here several years ago and has made four of five cuts at TPC Deere Run.
Another player to look at this week is Beau Hossler at 60/1. Quite a few people like Hossler this week and have driven his price down, but he’s in good recent form with three straight top-25 finishes and his putter is usually his best attribute. This is a putting course, so he makes a lot of sense.
Kyle Stanley is the other pick at +5500. Stanley has made six straight cuts, has one top-10 finish in that stretch, and has played really well here in his career, including a runner-up back in 2011.
BETTING ODDS FOR THE 2021 JOHN DEERE CLASSIC
|SI WOO KIM||+3300|
|CHARLES HOWELL III||+6600|
|HAROLD VARNER III||+7000|
|ERIK VAN ROOYEN||+9000|
|RAFAEL CABRERA BELLO||+12500|
|TED POTTER JR||+22500|
|BO VAN PELT||+22500|