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Sunday, July 5, 2015

John Deere Classic - Preview

The next stop on the birdiefest segment of the PGA TOUR is the John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Illinois, and here is a preview to get you off and running.

Recent history has seen Steve Stricker and Zach Johnson dominate this event, with Jordan Spieth also popping the cork on his first win here two years ago. That's some pretty high class for an event that often gets the shaft due to the Open Championship following a week later.

TPC Deere Run is a par-71 layout that featured three par 5s, four par 3s and 11 par 4s. It is not one of the longer courses on TOUR, stretching out to a moderate 7,268 yards. The combination of three par 5s and the lack of length play a part in the deep numbers at this venue.

Here is a list of winners and runners-up since 2005:

  • 2005: Winner - Sean O'Hair (16-under 268) over Robert Damron and Hank Kuehne (269)
  • 2006: Winner - John Senden (265) over J.P. Hayes (266)
  • 2007: Winner - Jonathan Byrd (266) over Tim Clark (267)
  • 2008: Winner - Kenny Perry (268) over Brad Adamonis and Jay Williamson in a playoff
  • 2009: Winner - Steve Stricker (264) over Zach Johnson, Brett Quigley and Brandt Snedeker (267)
  • 2010: Winner - Steve Stricker (258) over Paul Goydos (260)
  • 2011: Winner - Steve Stricker (262) over Kyle Stanley (263)
  • 2012: Winner - Zach Johnson (264) over Troy Matteson in a playoff
  • 2013: Winner - Jordan Spieth (265) over David Hearn and Zach Johnson in a playoff
  • 2014: Winner - Brian Harman (262) over Zach Johnson (263)

So what does that list of notable tell us about the tournament and about the course?
  • Zach Johnson and Steve Stricker are two of the best wedge players on the PGA TOUR. It's not a stretch to draw the conclusion that giving oneself scoring opportunities with the wedges is important. It's probably worth a look at some proximity stats inside 150 yards...maybe 125.
  • There are a number of guys on here who would fit the category of strong ball-strikers and average (at best) putters, who clearly figured out how to have a good putting week to go with solid ball-striking. Finding a guy with good Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green splits would be a good move.
  • As hinted above, the class of the field seems to rise to the top.

As usual, we will also consider the usual research angles of current form and course history when compiling our data. We will return later in the week with this week's power ranking.

Until then, happy research!


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