I would like to welcome everyone to the John Deere Classic being played in sunny Silvis, Illinois. The Tour professionals will be playing TPC Deere Run this week, providing the players with an opportune test before the British Open next week. TPC Deere Run will give the players an opportunity to work on their short games, as it is only 7258 yards in length. The course plays as a par 72 and has a course record of 61, which was shot in 2002 by J.P. Hayes.
The course ranked as the 43rd most difficult course out of the 52 played last year on the PGA Tour, so scoring will be excellent this week. Much of that scoring will come on the easy Par 5 2nd. Lets look a little closer to a hole that should provide quite a few eagles this week.
The Par 5 2nd Hole is a 561 yard downhill gem of a hole. This would most likely be played as a Par 4 if this were a major tournament, but for this week, they will let the players put up some red figures. To make a low number on it you will have to be accurate on your 2nd shot as a water hazard guards the green to the left, while trees and bunkers are to the right.
The field is comprised of almost only Americans and Australians this week, while most Europeans are taking the week off or playing in Europe. Two players in the world Top 10 are in the field this week (Steve Stricker, Jason Day), while 5 players in the Top 15 of the Fed Ex Cup will be playing.
We are going to get right down to it as we look to juice up our accounts once again before next weeks major. Also as a side note, there will be no head to head picks for this week.
STEVES SIX PACK
Jason Day 10/1 – All the way up to 7th in the World Rankings, this young star is making a big name for himself on Tour. Look for Day to continue his excellent play (T10 in 5 of his last 6) and to get ready for the British Open in fine fashion.
Charles Howell III 22/1 – following an excellent tournament last week, Charles heads to Illinois this week on a high. He has post T3’s in each of his last two starts and should be a popular pick this week. His game suits up well to make plenty of birdies, something I fully expect him to do at TPC Deere Run.
Jonathan Byrd 27/1 – Won here in 2007 and has never missed a cut in this event. Look for Jonathan to take full advantage of the Par 5’s this week and be in contention come Sunday.
John Rollins 38/1 – Has post T10’s in 2 of his last 3 starts and is going to win very soon on the Tour. His game fits TPC Deere Run perfectly and should have no trouble with Greens in Regulation (21st on Tour). He accomplishes this through excellent driving of the golf ball and the ability to hit Greens in Regulation from out of the rough. If his putter is on, watch out.
Robert Garrigus 60/1 – Played exceptionally well at the United States Open and I fully expect him to play well once again this week. Combines the smallest putter on Tour with the ability to drive the ball further than almost anyone. Is a pleasure to watch on the golf course and is extremely determined to find the winners circle.
Chris Kirk 75/1 – Kirk is just a young guy but has been playing like a season veteran as of late. Has the ability to muscle even long irons out of the rough, while being solid around the greens gives him an instant advantage. Though this course will be very new to him, I anticipate some very quick learning on Chris’ behalf.
Enjoy the Golf everyone and be sure to come back next week for our British Open winner.