This article is part of our PrizePicks Golf series.
PrizePicks offers a unique twist on DFS play in the form of Over/Under picks for individual players in almost every sport imaginable. You have the opportunity to pick two, three or four players per entry, and the goal is to predict whether the individual player will end up over or under the projected total PrizePicks provides. For PGA play, you are required to pick at least one Over and one Under play. The legend for scoring in this format is as follows:
|Double Eagle or Better||13|
|Double Bogey or Worse||-1|
Unlike your usual PGA DFS platforms, PrizePicks offers PGA gameplay on a per-round basis, not for an entire tournament. So, the projected totals you see today are for the individual rounds on Thursday, and once Thursday's round commences, you will see updated numbers for Friday, and so on.
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Today we'll be focusing on the opening round of the John Deere Classic. Let's get right to it!
TPC Deere Run – Par 71, 7,268 yards
We should first mention that this week's field is going to be short on big-name talent, as many of the world's best will be taking the week off to prep for the British Open. As a result, the PrizePicks field features some targets that lack name recognition – but that's a good thing in my opinion, as injecting personal bias about a well-known player can nudge you away from their actual statistical value in a tournament.
Deere Run is a paradise of scoring opportunities, and the average final-round score usually breaks 20-under par or more. The fairways are wide and forgiving, so I'm not going to place a lot of stock in accuracy off the tee this week, but strong iron play on the approach will be key in notching a low score here. The Par 5's are also reachable by most players who can keep it in the short stuff. Unlike previous weeks, this tournament has some course history to look back on, and I believe it will play a role in how we predict the outcome n Thursday.
Weather should not play a role in the action Thursday.
As we make our Over and Under selections, I'll give you an idea of the kind of scores we need to break the over threshold on this slate. Only 2 points separate the highest and lowest scores this week (22.0-20.0), so our Unders only need to shoot a 66 or 67 to break the seal on the Over.
Ryan Moore – 21.5
For starters, Moore has won here before and has only missed the cut once at Deere Run, so that's a good enough indicator for me to consider him as a stable Over. He also averages an excellent 2-to-3-under average in the first round thus far this year and ranks an amazing 5th on Tour in SG: Approach, which is one of my favorite metrics this week. Moore hasn't wowed us in recent weeks, but he should feel right at home here.
Peter Malnati – 20.5
I get it – Malnati is not jumping out at you as a must-play for the over, but he's shown the ability to eclipse this number a lot this season, and his early-round play has helped him to make more cuts than most people on this slate. I also concede that he isn't blowing up many of our measurables, but he's had a good run over the past month.
Troy Merritt – 20.0
Merritt is coming off a decent T7 in the 3M Open, and I think he has a good shot to continue an upward trend on this easy layout. He's in the Top 50 for most of our chosen metrics, and his accuracy off the tee has helped him to a top-25 rating in Par 5 Birdie or Better percentage. The Par 5s are essential to a good score on this course, and I trust Merrit's potential to nail a few of them.
Lucas Glover – 22.5
Many will look at his final round of 62 in the 3M Open and assume I'm crazy to fade him, but Glover hasn't exactly been a beacon of consistency this season. You're never going to know which version of Glover you're going to get from week to week, and he's almost always a guy you expect to surge late in a tournament, not on a Thursday. I'm not a fan of his history on Par 5s this season, especially when he tried to go for the green (84th on Tour).
Bud Cauley – 21.0
I wavered a bit on this pick, as Cauley is registering as a 50% winner on Par 5s, but he's struggled on courses that seem to play into his skill set, and he didn't do much to inspire confidence last week at the 3M. His SG: Approach numbers aren't great (67th), and he's been downright pitiful off the tee. I said that wasn't a huge priority this week, but his numbers are bad enough to make it a worry.
Jhonattan Vegas – 21.5
I think this number is way too high for Vegas, as we haven't seen eye-popping results from him recently. He's missed two straight cuts, barely breaks the top 100 in SG: Approach, and has a mediocre Par 5 Birdie or Better percentage. All signs point to Vegas sitting under this threshold.