The John Deere Classic | Thursday 09 July - Sunday 12 July | TPC Deere Run
Although we won’t go into the details of Rory McIlroy’s ankle injury, it has to be said that it has affected punters more than one would imagine. Simply put, it’s turned the market on its head this week and put Jordan Spieth in the unenviable position of 3/1 favourite whilst moving the next best in the betting, Zach Johnson, to a very healthy 9/1. Unlike the Scottish Open, which is hosted by a relatively unknown course, we know a lot about TPC Deere Run and can say with certainty that playing here won’t be a walk in the park. The par 71, 7,250 yard course plays long and is fairly tight, making it a true test of a player’s skill. In order to fare well on this layout you need the all around game to make sure you can tackle the distance to the green as well as be able to avoid the trees and thick rough. Once on the green things don’t get much easier and it won’t be easy to drain those long putts that set golfers ahead of the field. Overall this promises to be a tight contest and although Spieth could be hard to beat, he is by no means invincible. With that in mind I’m looking past the favourite and searching for some real value, let’s see if we can find it.
To Win Outright
Jordan Spieth 3/1
Zach Johnson 9/1
Kevin Kisner 16/1
Ryan Moore 25/1
Steve Stricker 30/1
Robert Streb (33/1 a win, 73/10 a place)
With a host of the bigger names on the PGA Tour opting to head to Scotland for the Scottish Open, the door has been opened for lesser known players to win some tournaments and of those, Streb is the one who catches my eye. He’s already got one win under his belt this season and almost made that two last week. Although he’s played here a few times he hasn’t really made an impression but don’t let that fool you, he’s a better player now than he was a year ago. With that in mind I’m backing Streb each way, you should too.
Steve Stricker (30/1 a win, 66/10 a place)
There will be a lot of golf punters and tipsters out there hoping Stricker wins this week and if course form was the only measure of a player’s chance of winning a tournament, he’d be the bet of the century. Unfortunately we do also need to consider other factors like how he’s played so far this season (not very well), so this is more of a hope and pray kind of tip than anything. Having said that he’s shown flashes of brilliance throughout the year and TPC Deere Run is one of those courses that rewards experience. I’m throwing my hat in the ring and backing Stricker to outperform an average field.
Zach Johnson (9/1 a win, 2/1 a place)
Given his current and his course form, Zach Johnson deserves his place in the betting as second favourite. He arrives at TPC at Deere Run with a win and two seconds under his belt and if that wasn’t enough he’s had an outstanding run of form over the past few weeks. Sure, he hasn’t won two Majors already this year but he does offer a lot more value than the favourite. For that reason I’m backing Johnson each way this week.
Brian Harman (33/1 a win, 73/10 a place)
Every now and then it seems like the market is completely wrong and this week that seems to be the case with Brian Harman. He arrives at TPC Deere Run as the defending champion on the back of a third-place finish at the Travelers and for some odd reason he’s priced up at an incredible 33/1. Sure, when the favourite is priced up at 3/1 there’s going to be a lot of value floating around but at this price Harman offers way too much to be ignored. Are a few missed cuts here and there cause for alarm? Maybe…but this is a risk I’m willing to take.