John Deere commercials used to be everywhere. A staple of advertising in the 1990s, John Deere capitalized on their peak popularity by acquiring the sponsorship rights to this tournament back in 1999.
Originally named the Quad Cities Open in 1971, the tournament has gone back and forth between a variation of the Quad Cities name and various sponsors — including Hardees — since its inception.
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The tournament has been played at Deere Run since 2000. Deere Run is a course located in Silvis, Illinois. Designed by D.A. Weibring, the course is moderately ranged (7,258 yards) and traditionally low-scoring. Michael Kim holds the course record for a tournament with a -27 back in 2018. The majority of reviews say the course features very thick rough and undulating greens.
Last week, we got some late news about Bryson dropping his caddie just before the article was published. Anytime that happens or a player withdraws prior to start, we scrub that from the board.
For the week, it was a great success, as we netted a +400 profit for the week. Hank Lebioda finished 4th, cashing us at +400 (T-20). Joaquin Niemann +400 (T-5) was our other big score, as he narrowly lost in the playoff but still put on a strong showing (not recording a bogey in any round).
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) July 7, 2021
For the season, we still sit at -4.58 units, but considering we were on a net drought of five straight weeks, it was a big week for us to break out of our slump.
This week, we are going the remote route again, straying away from the big guns (for the most part) but focusing on players in good form on similar courses.
- Strokes Gained: Total
- Prior success at Deere Run
- Success at similar venues (low scoring venues)
- Recent form
Good luck this week as we present our top picks for the 2021 John Deere Classic with betting lines provided by the DraftKings Online Sportsbook.
Off the Tee – Two Players to finish in the top 40
Maverick McNealy -110
Maverick McNealy was our first big hit of the season. We picked him to finish T-5 in our second article and he finished 2nd that week at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-AM. Months later, McNealy has rounded back into form, finishing Top-30 in each of his last three tournaments.
Prior to that streak, McNealy had only made consecutive cuts twice all season. Following a 44th place finish in his only John Deere Classic at age 21, Maverick has not competed in the event since. This year, Maverick will be looking to continue upon his nice finishes. I like this bet from a coin flip standpoint.
Maverick McNealy has been volatile for much of the season, but his recent consistency should play to his advantage this week in Illinois at Deere Run. McNealy is 41st in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee. He doesn’t jump off the page this week, but the field is relatively weak, so we could be in for another solid performance from young Maverick.
Steve Stricker -125
If Steve Stricker would’ve had a more successful overall career, they might have renamed this tournament in his honor. Stricker is a University of Illinois alum and has won here three times, though the most recent was in 2011.
He also has seven top-10 finishes in fourteen starts. Only twice in the last 11 years has Stricker finished worse than 40th in this tournament (43rd and 52nd). Though his last appearance was just outside the Top-40, Steve has been playing some solid golf as of late, finishing 4th at the Waste Management Open and 13th at the Honda Classic.
Stricker has only been cut once in his last six tournaments, so the well-rested 54-year-old should be ready to go on Thursday. Stricker is really picking his spots this season — playing just 9 events to this point. But he’s been finishing well on the low score courses (13th at the Honda and 4th at Waste Management). It may be in the tea leaves this week for Steve.
Middle of the fairway – Three players to finish in the top 30 & 20
Kyle Stanley T-30 +150
How can we have Steve Stricker on the card and not Kyle Stanley? A decade ago, Stanley lost by a single stroke to Stricker for the John Deere Classic trophy. Stanley has finished inside the top-30 in five of ten attempts at Deere Run. He’s also on fire lately, making the cut in each of his last seven tournaments.
Stanley is 28th in Strokes Gained: Approach and 46th in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green. Both the historical results and the advanced numbers align for Stanley this week, so we should feel good about him this week.
Richy Werenski T-20 +335
Richy Werenski makes easy work of easy courses. This season, he finished 3rd at Zurich, 25th at the Rocket Mortgage, 22nd at Waste Management, 21st at the American Express, and 24th at the Sentry TOC.
Richy has finished top-25 in two of three attempts at Deere Run, shooting no worse than -9 in all three. I like Werenski on these types of courses and last week was re-affirming.
Edge of the green – Two players to finish in the top 10
Alexander Noren +275
Noren nearly pulled out the first PGA win of his career last week, narrowly missing the playoff after missing a short put on 18. He’s got two Top-15 finishes in his last three tournaments. This week will be his first time playing at Deere Run, but he’s shown to be favorable on similar courses.
Noren is 37th in Strokes Gained: Around the Green and 36th in Strokes Gained: Putting. I love the way he finished off last week (not missing the last putt part, but everything else). Expect Noren to turn some heads in his first trip to Deere Run.
Daniel Berger +100
Daniel Berger is the favorite this week. Each week, we typically go with one of the top-3 favorites and it usually bites us in the butt. What’s different this week is the field.
Right now, there are only a handful of players in the top-50 playing at Deere Run this week. Berger also finished 5th here a few years ago and 33rd here in 2019. He’s only played this event twice, but his form is seemingly returning, as Berger has finished in the top-20 in three of his last four tournaments, and has had three weeks to prep.
The odds may not be great, but the advanced numbers favor Berger more than anyone else in the field. Berger is 14th in Strokes Gained: Approach and 14th in Strokes Gained: Total. Berger is also 8th in GIRP, 9th in Birdie Average, and 14th in Scoring Average.
Eagle opportunity – One player to finish in the top five
Sungjae Im +300
It’s been too long since we’ve used Sungjae. However, it has been warranted as he’s missed four cuts in the past nine tournaments. The good news is, he’s rounding into a more consistent form lately, finishing 35th at Palmetto, the US Open, and 8th at the Rocket Mortgage Classic (his last three tournaments).
With the Rocket Mortgage course. Sungjae finished 26th in his only JDC attempt in 2019, but the advanced numbers are there. He’s 28th in Birdie Average and 13th in Driving Accuracy. He’s also 14th in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee and 32nd in Strokes Gained: Total.
It’s a high bar this week but might be worth it, considering the strength of the field.