This is the weekend that golf fans had been waiting for. We’ve all seen the decline in Rickie’s game over the last few years and wondered whether he’d ever get back to where he was. It was a slow and steady grind back to the winner’s circle, four years but he got there this weekend in Detroit. He outdueled one of the best young players in the game, Collin Morikawa en route to the victory. That moment of him standing over the final putt as it dropped into the hole was oh so sweet and made better seeing him hug his beautiful wife and daughter. Who doesn’t love a good redemption story? It seems like there are less and less sports stars that you can root for these days but Rickie Fowler is definitely one of them.
The PGA Tour travels from Detroit to the Quad Cities and more specifically, Silvis, Illinois for the prestigious John Deere Classic. The tournament has a rich history dating back to 1971 and is known for its warm hospitality and exceptional course conditions. The field strength had dropped over the years and the fact that it was not named a “designated event” did not help that cause. The field at the Rocket Mortgage will look major caliber in comparison to this weekend. More players are taking a much needed break to mentality and physically prepare for the upcoming Open Championship. We will only see one player inside the Top 20 of the world golf rankings, Cameron Young.
Scenic TPC Deere Run serves as the venue for this event, and is played as a Par 71 that stretches out 7,268 yards. The course showcases a beautiful blend of natural landscapes, including rolling hills, meandering streams, and wooded areas. TPC Deere Run is known for its meticulously maintained fairways and greens, providing a challenging yet fair test for professional golfers. The course features strategic bunkering, demanding approach shots, and water hazards that come into play on several holes. The signature 16th hole, a par-3 with an island green, often becomes a thrilling focal point during tournaments. TPC Deere Run offers a memorable golfing experience with its scenic beauty and strategic design.
Even the weakest PGA Tour professional will be able to tear up this course. The average winning score over the last 8 years is around 21 under par. That means golfers will have to shoot on average 66 each day to keep themselves on the top of the leaderboard. We need golfers who are not afraid to go for the birdie and not just settle for par. Birdies will be at a premium once again this weekend. When you look at the history of this course, it is all about firing at pinning and getting it nice and close. I’m looking at Strokes Gained: Approach, Greens in Regulation, Proximity, and similar stats when picking my players. Do not be afraid to play just about anyone this weekend because the field strength is so weak.
The forecasted weather for this weekend in the Quad Cities is clear of any rain but as we know that can change at any moment. We will see hot and humid temperatures reaching into the high 80s and low 90s. The wind will also be tame never reaching double digits.
ONE & DONE PICK OF THE WEEK: ADAM SCHENK