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john deere classic

DraftKings Picks for The John Deere Classic 2021

Another week on tour, another extended playoff needed. It took 77 holes but Cameron Davis bested Troy Merritt and Joaquin Niemann in extras to claim his first PGA Tour title at the 2021 Rocket Mortgage Classic. We have one more stop before golf’s final major of the year. This week the PGA Tour heads to Silvis, Illinois for the John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run. Let’s get you set to see some green screens on DraftKings this weekend.

What's up golf addicts! AC here, checking in week to week to provide a quick preview of the upcoming PGA Tour event. I’ll give you the lowdown on the course, the players, some key stats, and our favorite DraftKings picks for the week. 

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Detroit Golf Club delivered the drama on Sunday with birdies coming in bunches and Davis securing his first win on tour through 71 starts. Congrats to all the backers out there who followed DB’s love of the young Aussie which blossomed as soon as he saw him in the field. Though there were a couple flops, the pod and weekly preview spit out some fire picks and fades last week so let’s do it again.

Who’s ready for another birdie-fest? All but one of the most recent JDC events have ended with the winning score over 20-under par and with the Scottish Open happening across the pond and the 2021 Open Championship set for Royal St. Georges next week, the field for this year’s JDC is chalk full of Korn Ferry Tour and young, hungry studs looking to make a quick milly and secure a job for the next couple seasons. There is also one final spot available in the Open for the eventual champ granted they are not already qualified.

The JDC was not played in 2020 due to the CoVid-19 pandemic so 2019 champ, Dylan Fritelli, returns as the official defending champion. Michael Kim (2018), Bryson DeChambeau (2017), Ryan Moore (2016), Jordan Spieth (2015), and Brian Harman (2014) fill out the most recent winners. Though this is the 50th anniversary of the John Deere Classic, TPC Deere Run has hosted since 2000.

Daniel Berger headlines the field this week topping the DraftKings salaries at $11.1k. Sungjae Im and Si Woo Kim who both made a splash this week in the news by withdrawing from the Open Championship to prepare for the Olympic tournament where a medal will allow them to avoid two years of mandatory South Korean military service, are both in the field. Steve Stricker, who won this event three years in a row starting in 2009, is in field joined by the likes of Harman, last week’s champ Cam Davis and runner up Troy Merritt, Russell Henley, Kevin Streelman, and Zach Johnson who leads the field in Strokes Gained (SG):Total at TPC Deere Run.

TPC Deere Run Course Breakdown

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TPC Deere Run was created in 2000 by three-time JDC (formerly Quad Cities Classic) event champion and Illinois native, D.A. Weibring. The 7,200 yard par 71 features easily hittable fairways, thick-ass rough, and speedy greens. Bentgrass can be found tee to green including the putting surfaces with 4” Kentucky bluegrass/fescue in the rough. Water is in play on three holes with 78 bunkers guarding the greens and landing areas. 

Scrolling through the Course Breakdown page on Fantasy National, SG: Approach leads the way in average scoring per round for players finishing in the top 20 with SG: Putting not far behind. Driving accuracy is above average at Deere Run along with greens in regulation (GIR)% and scrambling while driving distance is around Tour average. With just three par 5s, par 5 scoring is once again key with five 400-450 par 4s in the mix as well. All aboard the birdie train this week. Load some opps gained and birdie or better % in your models.

Weather looks interesting for the week. Thursday and Friday seem smooth with some rain moving in over the weekend followed by some potential gusty winds for the final round on Sunday.

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The Picks & Fades

Each week I will give you my plays and a fade from each DraftKings salary range.

$9k+:

DB: Play - Russell Henley | Fade - Kevin Na

Pat: Play - Si Woo Kim | Fade - Cam Davis

AC: Play - Sungjae Im, Alex Noren, Seamus Power | Fade - Aaron Wise

I like not having to worry about Sungjae going to England next week and preparing himself for the Olympics. His T8 last week was promising as well and the green numbers across the board, especially on approach and putting are a step in the right direction. I was on Noren heavy last week and although he is playing in The Open next week I just can’t resist. Noren has thrived in birdiefests as of late and the taste of going deep last week should still be lingering. I don’t believe I have ever rostered Seamus Power and it will likely come down to ownership but the form is great and he is third in SG:Total over the last six events. Though the ball striking numbers are there, the putting is as far from good as possible. His numbers when the scoring average is easy are far from ideal as well. 

$8k:

DB: Play - Mav McNealy | Fade - Ryan Moore

Pat: Play - Jhonny Vegas | Fade - Patton Kizzire

AC: Play - Patton Kizzire, Troy Merritt | Fade - Sebastian Munoz

After three made cuts, Kizzire returned to form last week in Detroit. The putter got hot and although the off the tee wasn’t great, approach was. Merritt is riding six straight made cuts with three top sevens including the playoff lost last week. Let’s fire it up again! Munoz has been all sorts of bad lately. He ranks worse than 97th in putting, par 5 scoring, birdies or better, opps gained, etc, etc, etc.

$7k:

DB: Play - Kyle Stanley | Fade - Sepp Straka

Pat: Play - Beau Hossler | Fade - Dylan Fritelli

AC: Play - Pat Perez, Mito Perriera, Henrik Norlander | Fade - Keith Mitchell

This is likely the worst 7k range I have seen in a long time. Usually I can build two lineups of just 7k guys and me pretty content but this week it is just… bad. I was able to pull a few names out that I like though. Starting with the other Pat. Perez has two top 14s in his last three starts and leads the field in par 5 scoring and is top 5 in birdies, dk scoring and putting. Although Mito missed the cut last week in his first start, he did manage seven birdies and missed by two strokes. A couple less bogeys and he plays on the weekend. I’ll go back to him again. Norlander’s ball striking is shaping up nicely and he’s made three straight cuts. He also had a T27 here in his only start.

$6k: 

DB: Play - Roger Sloan, Adam Schenk, Camillo Villegas

Pat: Play - Roger Sloan, Adam Schenk, Cameron Percy

AC: Play - Roger Sloan, Robert Streb, Wes Roach

Gotta follow the boys with my Canadian brother, Sloan. Hoping he can build off the T21 last week in a weaker field. Streb isn’t going to pop in the ball striking but a T38 and a T19 in his last two starts is nice to see and the putting, birdies, and dk scoring are all inside the top 40. Roach hasn’t had a start since he blasted off in Round 1 of the Palmetto ultimately finishing in 44th but he scored a top 10 in 2019 at the JDC and most of his stats are middle of the pack or better.

THE INS & OUTS

OUT: Charlie Beljan, Erik van Rooyen, Brandt Snedeker

IN: Arjun Atwal, JJ Henry, Richard S Johnson

Monday Qualifiers:

63 (-8)

Luke Gannon (1 eagle, 7 birdies, 1 bogey)

65 (-6)

Eric Cole (7 birdies, 1 bogey)

Rodrigo Lee (7 birdies, 1 bogey)

Alex Smalley (7 birdies, 1 bogey)

  • Field is set at 156. T65 and ties make the cut