The Tour comes to Illinois for the 46th John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run. Ed McMahon served as the original host of the event from 1975 to 1979.
TPC Deere Run was designed by former Tour player, DA Weibring. It was built in 2000 and plays to 7,258 yards long with a 144 slope and a 75.8 rating. However, the course does not play anywhere close to that difficult for the John Deere Classic. The ball tends to roll out pretty good making the course play shorter and it has very receptive greens and flat putting surfaces which mean a lot of approach shots are struck close and a higher percentage of putts are being made.
Generally the course is liked by the Tour players because it’s not a completely grueling dogfight and it’s rather fun to play. It plays fairly tough off the tee because some of the landing areas are pretty small. This places an emphasis on driving the ball, but once you get out to the approach, most shots are gained/lost from 135-170 yards.
The field here is unpredictable from year-to-year because the British Open is the following week and many of the Canadian players want to prepare for the Canadian Open which is the following week after the British Open. It often depends on how the top stars feel about playing the British Open and if they are lukewarm on the Open, they may be more willing to play the John Deere.
Anyway, expect low scores and lots of birdies. Generally favors mid-length drivers of the ball and makes life difficult on the longer hitters.
The final official critical hole is the par-5, 17th hole. But the 18th almost made the list of critical holes. That means the final 2 holes can provide for some real excitement even if it is a low scoring event.
PROJECTED WINNING SCORE: -21
Brian Harman +1,600
Charley Hoffman +1,800
Kyle Stanley +2,200
Steve Stricker +2,200
Ben Martin +4,000
Bryson DeChambeau +4,000
3JACK’S DARK HORSE PICKS
Chez Reavie +4,500
Ryan Palmer +6,600
Rory Sabbatini +17,500
Rick Lamb +30,000