Examining the DFS Field for the John Deere Classic
Yardage: 7,257 – Par 71
Purse : $ 5.8M
Field: 156 Players
*Past John Deere Champions
Another week, another shellacking of the field by the winner. Two weeks ago it was Moinari winning by eight. This time it was Kevin Na lapping the field at the Greenbrier, clearing runner-up Kelly Kraft by five shots. After opening with a one-under 69, Na finished the last three days 63-65-64. Forget the fact that it was a weak field, that’s some incredible golf. The last two tournament fields may have been weak, even so I don’t think anyone would’ve beaten Molinari or Na.
If you want to play Daily Fantasy Golf this week with the big names like Justin Rose, Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler, Patrick Reed, and Hideki Matsuyama, just to name a few, then check out the Scottish Open. If you want to play a Daily Fantasy Golf contest where your top priced players are Francesco Molinari, Bryson DeChambeau, and Zach Johnson, well then come on down!
With most of the top-ranked players in Scotland or taking the week off before ‘The Open’, the John Deere Classic is perhaps the weakest field of the year. After Molinari, DeChambeau, and Zach Johnson, the final two 10K+ players are a 19-year old (Joaquin Niemann), and the consistent but limited Ryan Moore. The 9K range is made up of players who are usually on the fringe 7K, in Steve Stricker, Kyle Stanley, Chesson Hadley, Austin Cook, Wesley Bryan, and David Lingmerth. That’s right. David Lingmerth is worth $9,000. This tournament is a hardly a PGA event and more like a qualifier for fringe players to keep their PGA Tour card. With only two Top 25 names in the field, the players who are low on the money list can realistically eye a Top 10 finish to vault up in the standings.
The John Deere Classic is the final tuneup before ‘The Open’ next week. While the Scottish Open looks like a major that’s missing a few stars, on the PGA Tour the players who’ve stayed stateside will be in Silvis Illinois, home of TPC Deere Run. The John Deere is the annual birdie-fest with the winner usually shooting in the 20-under or better range. The most obvious play this week is to get birdie makers. You need someone who can rack up the birdies, so birdie or better % will be the number one thing necessary to contend this week. Making a lot of birdies requires a hot putter to keep up with the field, so strokes gained: putting is another stat to consider. Looking at years past, shorter hitters had plenty of success in the past at this tournament, if you look at those past winners, none of those names are known to be the biggest of hitters. Instead of checking out who hits it furthest, I’d focus more on the strokes gained metrics like strokes gained: approach and strokes gained: tee-to-green play a big part once again. With birdies coming left and right, players must be sticking shots close or at least in manageable places to give themselves birdie tries this week.
David Lingmerth Featured Image: (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)