07/06/2015

The John Deere Classic is a community centered event. Played in the Quad Cities of Iowa at the TPC Deere Run, this event receives more love and support from loyal fans, sponsors and volunteers every summer than most events on Tour.

The “Midwestern-theme” will be on play all week, with announcers talking about the Midwestern style of life and the people here being “just so nice.” Nice shots of the river, the fields and “simple-life” patrons will be in abundance.

A Midwesterner myself, I love seeing it. Except for when the announcers get a bit patronizing. I admit, that may happen.

But for one, over-shadowed week, the Midwest is on full display, and that feels good.

Driving Series

John Deere Classic Meat and Potatoes

  • Michelle Wie was a sponsor’s exemption in 2005 & 2006 at this event, looking to make the cut in a men’s professional golf event. She missed both.
  • Sitting the week before The Open Championship, this event has been often discussed as an event with conflict. The John Deere Classic provides a direct charter flight for players competing in both, thankfully to entice somewhat of a field.
  • Steve Stricker is the event record holder, shooting -26 in 2010. Yeah, check the stats.
  • Ex-PGA Tour commissioner Deane Beman is a two-time winner of the event in 1971 & 1972
  • D.A. Weibring (the current course designer) and Steve Stricker are the all-time wins leaders here, each winning this event 3 times. For a while, this was the Steve Striker Open.
  • The John Deere Classic leads the PGA Tour in Miller Lite/fresh corn husk/bratwurst consumption. Okay, I made that up, but this event is a full-fledged Midwest bash.
  • Here’s a photo of my team and I at the 2011 NAIA National Championships played at the TPC Deere Run. Shout-out to my teammates/coaches.

Screenshot 2015-07-05 18.18.10

Course

Read all about the course here.

Full Field

Click here for a link to the entire 2015 John Deere Classic field.

Last 5 Champs

    • 2014: Brian Harman (Recap here)
    • 2013: Jordan Spieth (Recap here)
    • 2012: Zach Johnson (Recap here)
    • 2011: Steve Stricker (3)
    • 2010: Steve Stricker (2)

putting series

Last Week’s Greenbrier Picks

Brendon Todd (contender): T6

Graham DeLaet (contender): T37

Will Wilcox (sleeper): MC (after an opening round 68)

Webb Simpson (winner): MC 🙁

This Week’s John Deere Picks

Three From the Fairway (Contenders)

Patrick Rodgers

patrick rodgers

This was a place where Jordan Spieth had his first major breakout and we all saw Justin Thomas’ (well, those of us that were watching) tremendous opening 63 holes at the Greenbrier. The young studs are in full force.

With some good play in the past few weeks (4 straight cuts made), Rodgers is poised for his first dosage of hyped up contention.

He threw a 66 out there at the Memorial, a 63 at the Travelers, and contention at the Greenbrier before a final round 74. Motivation will spring his highest finish of the year.

Plus he was a T15 at this event in 2013.

Thankfully not this Rodgers. If Patrick. in contention and this commercial “randomly” aires, I’m shutting it off. I don’t care if Tiger Woods has made 5 straight birdies after mysteriously entering the event on Wednesday afternoon.

Jordan Spieth

AT&T National - Round Two

What can I say? I have to put him. It doesn’t matter. He’s going to play well. The only way he doesn’t go top-25 again (at least) is if he realizes that he doesn’t need to fulfill this event’s pledge to play, purposely misses the cut and looks ahead TO A SHOT AT HISTORY AT THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP THE THIRD LEG OF THE GRAND SLAM!!!

Okay, I’m sorry. Moving on.

Scott Langley

langley-t1_640

He’s on a tear, people, take note!

A sleeper at the Travelers Championship a few weeks ago, the “shades dude” played an opening round 65 and had me licking my chops. He didn’t finish out as strong and shimmied his way down the leaderboard into a T25.

But then, last week, how about an opening round 62? Same deal though, executing the Scott-Langley-shimmy and moving into a T13, despite a final round 65.

If he betters his score by 3 strokes again…we could have a…. 59 watch in the opening round??

Maybe not, but I like Scott’s hot play a lot this week. This Illinois graduate will be around late. Take note…T25…T13…then a win?

Others: Steve Stricker, Daniel Summerhays, David Hearn

One From the Rough (Sleeper)

Chez Reavie

chez reavie

There’s a sleeper for you…William Chesney Reavie, aka Chez.

I thought I had never written in-depth about Chez Reavie, but upon some research, I picked him as a sleeper at the 2013 FedEx St. Jude. He finished T27. Not bad…but I’ll try to do better with this week’s pick, so here’s why:

His last three weeks have been Chez Reavie stellar with a T12 at the St. Jude (I was one year off!), a T25 at the Travelers and a T22 at the Greenbrier. That’s some really nice play. He keeps the ball in the fairway at a Fred Funk pace (over 70% on the year). He’s also solid in Prox to the hole, 9th on the Tour.

Chez Reavie stellar.

He was a T15 at this event in 2013, but that’s not the impressive part. How about this second round 61 he posted? That’s a real nice score. He also fired a 62 in 2011.

Sidenote: I’ve always thought Reavie was a Canadian and the only true memory I have of him was his 2008 victory at the Canadian Open. His fight back through injuries has proven difficult from the time of his win to now. His play lately has been encouraging.

He’s your sleeper.

BONUS SLEEPER: Martin Flores

With a final round 63 in 2013, Flores locked a T4 at the JDC. Aside from a 3rd round 74 last week at the Greenbrier, he played his other 3 rounds in 67-69-67. His game is coming around for another nice start in the Quad Cities.

The Man with the Trophy

Kevin Kisner

kevin kisner

When is the last time that a player has whiffed twice in a playoff of a PGA Tour event then went on to win the next week? How about never? Kevin Kisner is going to get the ball rolling in that direction with his first win of his PGA Tour career at the John Deere Classic. (PS I can’t find video of his double whiffs, but trust me those who didn’t see it…)

But let’s talk about why he’ll win this week. Start with a look at the run he’s been on though:

Screenshot 2015-07-06 00.36.38

He finished off this event last year with a final round 64 that lead to a T20. Good vibes, baby. He’ll ride those to a victory, this first of his career.

This beer-lovin’, simple-speaking southerner will find some Midwestern friends to slam some celebratory brews on Sunday evening. Guy loves to throw back cold ones.

— Troy Klongerbo

Here I am, hitting a tee shot on the par-3 3rd hole.

Here I am, hitting a tee shot on the par-3 3rd hole.

An approach shot into the 9th green...by me.

An approach shot into the 9th green…by me.

My Successes This Year

I’m having a really nice season picking the winners on the PGA Tour. I wish my fantasy golf standings represented it, but I’ve hit 4 times. I don’t like telling you from a bragging stance, but I want to show you how lucky even you can get.