2015 John Deere Classic: Preview, Strategy, Picks
It’s the final week of PGA DFS before the PGA $3M Millionaire Maker, so we must make those GPP lineups for the John Deere Classic and get those tickets!
A quick recap of last week’s picks:
Bill Haas (MC – quadruple bogey on No. 16)
Kevin Kisner (T2)
Kevin Na (T32)
Pat Perez (T22)
Brendon Todd (T6)
Kevin Chappell (T37)
Jason Bohn (T13)
Robert Streb (T2 – putting with a sand wedge on the back nine on Sunday nonetheless)
Kevin Streelman (77)
Fade of the Tournament
Daniel Berger (MC)
Not too shabby here. Haas is the last person I would have expected to hit two shots in a row in the water en route to a quad. A bit of a fluke there. I also recommended some Danny Lee, the winner of the tournament who also fit the criteria we were looking for, so if you used some of the names not mentioned following the article, you likely had some good lineups.
I bring up last week because we are going to see a similar strategy this week at TPC Deere Run, the course for the John Deere Classic.
Furthermore, this is a week I hope to produce particularly great results. Why? All three of us at Daily Fantasy Winners have played TPC Deere Run (that’s me on No. 2 at the top of the article). We also have Danny Fowler Steinberg pictured below on No. 14.
Breaking Down TPC at Deere Run
I can break every hole down for you, but that is for the most part a waste of time from a DFS perspective. The driver and distance off the tee does not win you this tournament – approaches and putting will. Aside from the fact that the Open Championship is next week and most players like to be in Europe to adjust to the time change, there’s a reason why pretty much all the high salary players are shorter hitters.
This is one of the most scorable courses on the entire PGA Tour – the winner often around 20-under par. It’s a par 71 and tips out at 7,258 yards.
I would legitimately call almost every hole a birdie hole. The last time I played Deere Run was two years ago about two or three weeks after the John Deere (playing at about a 3-to-4 handicap at the time). For this round from the set of tees in front of the tips, the greens were very bumpy and slow (twilight tee time and a lot of public play) and the rough was still tournament thick, I shot a 75 with 35 putts. Granted the greens weren’t in tournament condition (which is a good and bad thing), I was playing the set of tees in front and it was just a casual round, but I felt like I left A LOT of shots out there. By comparing this course to a few of the others I’ve played (Kapalua Plantation, Torrey Pines North and South courses, the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, walking Pebble Beach at the U.S. Open, etc), I can definitely see why pros tear this course apart.
So, without going into each hole for details, I will give you the four holes with eagle potential:
No. 2, 561 Yards, Par 5 – This hole is reachable in two for everyone. The image at the top of the article is the hole. This is a downhill dogleg right. You can cut off some of the dog leg with the downhill and easily have a utility club or long iron in. There were 17 eagles made here last season.
No. 10, 596 Yards, Par 5 – This hole is where length can come in handy. This hole is relatively flat and straight. However, the green is small, there is a pond guarding the front and right side of the green and bunkers guarding deep and left. If you miss your second shot right, you’re wet. If you miss it left, you’ll have a very difficult bunker shot since it’s downhill toward the pond with a shallow green. There were five eagles made here last year, but usually the eagles are made on a day where the tee box is moved up to about 550 yards. Chasing five total eagles on one day isn’t that promising.
No. 14, 361 Yards, Par 4 – This is the hole that Danny is playing in the image above. It’s a slight downhill dogleg right. Bombers can drive the green, but there is a lot of trouble surrounding the green. There’s a no-mow elevated area to the right where it’s extremely difficult to find a reasonable lie. There are bunkers and then the Valley of Sin where you can have another area which is difficult to find a reasonable lie. Going long is a huge drop off to the woods where you can pretty much forget about finding your golf ball. There were five eagles here last year, but there were several double bogeys or worse. The green is very small and this isn’t your risk-reward hole with a reasonable bail out.
No. 17, 569 Yards, Par 5 – Definitely one of my favorite holes on the course. The PGA Tour website claims this is a tough driving hole, but I simply have to disagree in that it’s no tighter than the average hole on the course. The second shot on the slight dogleg left is intriguing. There is ample fairway everywhere, but the green is elevated, there’s a huge bunker a huge bunker guarding the front-right side of it, and a miss long, way right or short left leaves a daunting uphill shot (front the fairway) in a Pinehurst style approach onto the elevated and multi-tier green. Even for the players who don’t hit it a ton, you can easily run a fairway wood or utility club up the left side to the green and not have to fly it all the way there. Essentially, while it’s tricky getting up and down around the green, all players do go for this green in two. There were 21 eagles here last season.
So, as you can see, being a long hitter would help a little bit, but it doesn’t help a great amount. Additionally, we have to look at the other holes and how much it would actually help to be a longer hitter. You’re only hitting driver about 10 times because there are four par 4s where that isn’t the viable club. Plus, there are only four par 4s that play 450 yards or more.
We simply want players who find the fairway and will hit it close to give us as many birdie opportunities as possible. And of course, we also want players who are playing well as of late.
Just a reminder, not all my picks are listed here, but just a handful to give you an idea of who we are looking for. Feel free to hit up the forum and ask questions about specific players.
I apologize, I had text to go with all these picks listed below, but due to site issues, I lost a good chunk of my article and the restore did not work (I’m about to have a bigger blowup than Billy Horschel did at the U.S. Open).
All these guys have several of the following criteria going for them: playing well as of late, home course advantage, great driving accuracy, superb on approach shots from inside 175 yards, typically succeed on shorter courses or ones that don’t have a lot of trouble off the tee, and solid odds per dollar. I promise if you look these guys up, you’ll see what I’m talking about. I also promise we will have the specific details for each player next week for the $3M Millionaire Maker. We will also have a comprehensive post going on in the forum (looking forward to the MLB All-Star Game).
Zach Johnson $11,400
Kevin Kisner $10,700
Pat Perez $8,800
Shawn Stefani $8,600
Jason Bohn $8,400
Kevin Chappell $8,100
Boo Weekly $7,300
Jon Curran $7,300
Tim Clark $6,700
Todd Hamilton $5,000 – I’m fully aware he’s as cheap as there is and is 0-for-1 on making the cut this year. However, Hamilton, from Galesburg, Illinois (just south of the Quad Cities) is one of those guys with a ridiculous amount of history at TPC Deere Run. In fact, he’s played in this tournament as early as 1986 (yes 1986) when the event was called the Hardee’s Golf Classic. Believe it or not, Hamilton made the cut here last season and it was the only tournament where he made the cut. Since 2004, Hamilton has only missed the cut here twice, and he has several finished between 10th and 30th. You definitely do NOT want to use Hamilton in cash lineups, however, in a GPP with a couple high-salary players for variety, you bet.
Obviously Spieth could very well win, and he’s a near lock to make the cut. However, he is very expensive, and it’s difficult finding cheap options this week. I wish we could use Carson Schaake, the Big Ten Tournament Champion, but DraftKings doesn’t have him listed (they often miss amateurs). You can certainly use Spieth in a few GPPs, but I would limit your exposure since he will be highly used and it’s tough putting together a good lineup with him. Plus, PGA DFS does have the limited scoring ceiling.View all posts by Nick Juskewycz