It feels good to get one right. Congratulations to Xander Schauffele for picking up his sixth PGA Tour victory. That was his first solo victory since the 2019 at the Sentry Tournament of Champions and also his sixth straight Top 20 finish. He nearly went wire to wire and basically took control once Rory McIlory imploded. I have to give Sahith Theegala a shout out for his runner up finish which was his career best. It was another fun week in Connecticut but it is time to head to the midwest for the John Deere Classic.
We have seen this event on the PGA Tour schedule for 50 years now. It has been sponsored by the Miller Brewing Company, Hardees, and since 1999, John Deere. TPC Deere Run has been the host course since 2000 and there are definitely players who love this tournament. You will see a lot of those names featured in my playbook.
We will not see the top players on the PGA tour this weekend in Silvis, Illinois for the John Deere Classic. Most of the top players in the world are one of three places this weekend. They are either taking the week off to rest, they are playing in the LIV Tour event in Portland or participating in the Irish Open. A lot of players like McIlory have played a lot since April and need a break to recharge the batteries before the Open Championship. The LIV Tour is playing their first tournament on U.S. soil this weekend and we will see Brooks Koepka, Abraham Ancer, Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick reed and others making their debuts. It is going to be weird to see all these top players competing but that’s the way of the golf world these days. A few European PGA Tour players are participating in the Irish Open this weekend like hometown boys Shane Lowry and Seamus Power. While all that is going on, the PGA Tour will feature top competitors Webb Simpson, Adam Hadwin, Jason Day and the like tee it up this weekend in the Quad Cities. When it comes to golf these days, you just have to take the good with the bad and move on.
TPC Deere Run is a Par 71 that stretches out 7,268 yards. You will see even the weakest players in the field tear this course up. The average winning score over the last seven years is 21 under par. That means golfers will have to shoot on average 67 each day to keep themselves on the top of the leaderboard. Scorers that can go low will be at a premium 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.
There are no significant weather concerns this weekend, that’s the positive. It will be hot with temperatures reaching into the upper 80s throughout the event. I would actually say that the humidity will be the biggest challenge for these players, trying to keep cool while playing in the middle of the day.
You’ll see a bunch of good value options in this week’s playbook because most any player can win on this track. It’ll be a shoot-out.
ONE AND DONE SELECTION: CHEZ REAVIE