This article is part of our FanDuel PGA series.
John Deere Classic
Course: TPC Deere Run (7,268 yards, par 71)
Winner: $1,116,000 and 500 FedExCup points
After the 2020 edition of the John Deere Classic was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are officially back at TPC Deere Run. This week's tournament has traditionally been the final PGA Tour event before the Open Championship overseas. There are 15 players in Quad Cities this week that are eligible for the Open Championship, with one more spot available to the highest top-5 finisher who isn't already exempt. TPC Deere Run has permitted players to fire at plenty of pins, which has resulted in some dramatic finishes in one of the biggest birdie-race events of the year. Other than Michael Kim's shocking eight-stroke victory in 2018 at a record 27-under-par, 14 of the last 15 John Deere Classics were decided by two strokes or fewer. The last two playoffs in Silvis, IL were both won by Jordan Spieth in 2013 and 2015. His triumph – at just 19 years of age – back in 2013 included a hole-out from a bunker to get into a playoff, and he ultimately became the first teenager to win a PGA Tour event since 1931.
Dylan Frittelli will be defending his title from 2019 and will seek to become the first back-to-back winner of the John Deere Classic since Steve Stricker won three in a row from 2009-11. Speaking of Stricker, he will be skipping the U.S. Senior Open to try to add another Deere to his trophy case. Daniel Berger is the highest-ranked player in the OWGR teeing it up in Quad Cities this week at No. 16. Sungjae Im, Kevin Na, Brian Harman, and Si Woo Kim are the only other players in the top-50 in the OWGR teeing it up at the John Deere Classic, as many top ranked players are electing to play the Scottish Open to prepare for next week's Open Championship. Cam Davis will look to win for the second week in a row after breaking through at the Rocket Mortgage Classic in a playoff. The talented Aussie would be the first from his country to win the John Deere since John Senden back in 2006. Temperatures for the event should top out in the mid-80's with the greatest chance for precipitation coming on the weekend. Wind should not kick up to more than 15 mph at any point, not that it matters too much anyways TPC Deere Run that features holes that are very sheltered by large trees almost all the way around.
2020 - None
2019 – Dylan Frittelli (-21)
2018 – Michael Kim (-27)
2017 – Bryson DeChambeau (-18)
2016 – Ryan Moore (-22)
2015 – Jordan Spieth (-20)
2014 – Brian Harman (-22)
2013 – Jordan Spieth (-19)
2012 – Zach Johnson (-20)
2011 – Steve Stricker (-22)
2010 – Steve Stricker (-26)
Key Stats to Victory
- SG: Putting
- SG: Approach
- GIR Percentage
- Driving Accuracy
It's a very similar set of skill sets required this week as it was last week in Detroit. The course will be there for the taking and maximizing birdie chances will be the name of the game. The last three champions of the John Deere Classic have all ranked inside the top-four in SG: Putting for the week. When Frittelli prevailed in 2019, he missed only two putts inside of 10 feet all week. The bentgrass greens are the perfect surface to be able to fill it up on, which is going to be required to have a chance to win. Much like the last three weeks, the primary rough will be trimmed to four inches. The tall trees lining most of these fairways will make accuracy more of importance than distance. If you just look at the list of champions over the last 15 years, most of them fit the mold as average but accurate driver with a good wedge game and a strong putting ability. There's going to be tons of fantasy points racked up this week, as the winning score hasn't been any less than 18-under-par since 2008.
FanDuel Value Picks
Daniel Berger ($11,900)
From a talent and form perspective, Berger is the clear favorite this week. He is rested following a T7 at the U.S. Open, which is one of six top-20's in his last eight starts. Berger is such a complete player, ranking 35th in SG: Off-the-Tee, 14th in SG: Approach, 29th in SG: Putting, and 25th in SG: Tee-to-Green. He is also eighth in GIR percentage, 25th in total driving, and ninth in birdie average. Berger has finished T5-T33 in two previous starts at TPC Deere Run.
Brian Harman ($11,700)
Harman just continues to roll. His T5 two weeks ago at the Travelers Championship was his eighth top-20 in his last nine starts. He fits the profile as an accurate hitter with one of the best putting strokes on Tour. Harman is 25th in SG: Around-the-Green, 13th in SG: Putting, sixth in scrambling, fourth in putts per round, and 19th in one-putt percentage. The former Georgia Bulldog has a win here back in 2014 among four other top-26 finishes.
Kevin Streelman ($11,300)
Streelman is coming off a shocking missed cut at one of his best course on Tour in TPC River Highlands two weeks ago. Prior to that he had posted five straight finishes of T26-or-better. The Duke product has been pretty good at TPC Deere Run as well, with three career top-eight finishes, including his last time here. Streelman ranks 33rd in SG: Approach, 34th in SG: Tee-to-Green, 25th in GIR percentage, 35th in proximity to the hole, and 28th in scoring average this season.
Seamus Power ($10,800)
After a trying start to the season, Power is making the most of this summer run when he has been able to get into tournaments. He has finished T9-T19-T19-T8 in his last four starts at the PGA Tour. That final finish of T8 last week in Detroit included making just one bogey and ranking 10th in SG: Approach and sixth in SG: Putting. Power is 3-for-3 in his career at the John Deere Classic and has notched a pair of top-25s.
Longer Shots with Value
Hank Lebioda ($9,700)
For his play over the last couple months, Lebioda might present the most value in the field this week. He has made his last six cuts with four top-20s, including back-to-back top-five's the last two weeks. Lebioda is up to 48th in SG: Approach, 37th in SG: Putting, 24th in GIR percentage, 10th in proximity to the hole, and third in scrambling this season. He was also fourth in SG: Putting last week in Detroit.
Beau Hossler ($9,200)
Hossler flashed potential very early on, but the Texas product has struggled to live up to the billing. After a tough start to the season, he is now playing some of his best golf with finishes of T19-T10-T25 over his last three starts. During that stretch, it has really been his ball-striking that has been the key to unlocking his strong play. Hossler has always had a putting stroke that is above average. He finished T26 in his only attempt at the JDC back in 2019.
Steve Stricker ($9,000)
Why not the all-time earnings leader in tournament history? The 54-year-old is coming off a dominant performance at the Bridgestone Senior Players. That marked his second win and ninth top-seven finish in 11 starts on the PGA Tour Champions this season. This week will be his 10th start on the PGA Tour this season and he has three top-20 finishes. Stricker is 13-for-14 with three wins and eight top-11 finishes in his career at TPC Deere Run.
Mito Pereira ($8,800)
The Chilean is by far the most interesting prospect under $9,000 in salary this week. Pereira ranks second on the Korn Ferry Tour in points behind three wins and nine top-10's. He is playing his best golf over the last few months with back-to-back wins in his last two KFT starts in early June, which are apart of five top-10s in his last six starts overall. Pereira has power, precision, and is an improving putter.
Strategy Tips This Week
Based on a Standard $60K Salary Cap
Much like last week in Detroit, the field is top heavy. The key to success will be nailing your top two or three priciest players, as there are a number of good options near the top that are in good form or have had good showings in the past at TPC Deere Run. When trying to fill out the bottom of your roster, look for players who have performed very well on the greens over the last handful of weeks. With this being one of the easiest courses on Tour, it is one of the few weeks I'd actually prefer a player known for putting rather than ball striking.