2021 John Deere Classic DFS Golf Preview

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A week to forget

Well, that was a week to forget as all three of our picks miss the cut at the Rocket Mortgage!

Events proceeded against us on Thursday as all of our players caught the worst of the weather and had to come back on Friday to finish their first rounds. That meant going out straight away for the second round and none of our picks could get things going.

In all truth, it was always going to be a stiff challenge to find the winner as looking back at the previous two years that the tournament has been played, you couldn’t get more contrasting winners in Nate Lashley and Bryson DeChambeau. There was next to nothing to link the players, but you live and learn.

This week we head to the TPC Deere Run for the John Deere Classic. This is a tournament we have previously excelled in, so we’re confident we can get back on track this week (no pressure!). Let’s begin, as always, by taking a look at the history of the tournament as we start to build this week’s BeerLife Sports profile.

The History of the John Deere Classic

The Quad Cities Open, a satellite tournament sanctioned by the Chicago District Golf Association, was founded in 1971 by members of the Crow Valley Country Club. Deane Beman, a traveling pro, won the $5,000 first prize by defeating Dow Finsterwald.

The Quad Cities Open became an official PGA TOUR competition in 1972, with a $20,000 first prize and a $100,000 purse, thanks to its initial popularity. Beman came back to defend his title, defeating Tom Watson by two shots to win the second of his five titles on the PGA Tour during his brief six-year career.

Despite strong fields that included Illinois native D.A. Weibring and Payne Stewart, the tournament was heavily in debt by 1980 and on the verge of being canceled for the second time. However, the tournament stayed thanks to last-ditch fundraising efforts by the Jaycees and financial backing from the Miller Brewing Company afloat until 1984, when its tenuous position on the PGA Tour seemed all but doomed.

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Because there was no title sponsor from 1971 through 1981, prizes were significantly below the average of other tournaments. The Tour demanded that the purse be increased from $200,000 to $300,000, which the organizers couldn't afford.

1996 would be a watershed occasion for the tournament, as Tiger Woods, then 20 years old, made headlines by leading the field in only his third professional event. Even though Ed Fiori would go on to win the tournament, Woods left an everlasting impression on the Quad Cities' long and illustrious golf history. After a year of negotiations, plans were unveiled in 1997 to create TPC Deere Run on the Friendship Farm property, which farm equipment manufacturer John Deere's relatives had owned since 1928. As a result, Deere & Company became the title sponsor of the John Deere Classic, establishing one of the most enduring sponsorships on the PGA Tour.

The John Deere Classic has grown into one of the PGA Tour's most successful and exciting tournaments, as well as one of its most charitable. The John Deere Classic donated $4.6 million to over 600 local charities in 2007, up from $3.9 million in 2006, making it the PGA Tour's top philanthropic donor per capita in the United States.

Let’s turn our attention to the form of the previous five winners, analyze their rounds and see if we can find some crucial links to begin our BeerLife profile.

Past Results

2019 Dylan Frittelli – 263 (-21) – Form 46/46/CUT/59
2018 Michael Kim – 257 (-27) – Form CUT/CUT/CUT/18
2017 Bryson DeChambeau – 266 (-18) – Form 14/17/26/CUT
2016 Ryan Moore – 262 (-12) – Form 17/70/46/32
2015 Jordan Spieth – 264 (-20) – Form 1/3/30/2

The Course at TPC Deere Run

Former PGA Tour player D.A. Weibring and PGA Tour Design Services' Chris Gray designed the par-71 course, which measures 7,268 yards.

They transformed a stunning piece of real estate on the sylvan bluffs above the Rock River, which was initially a 386-acre horse and cattle-breeding farm, into a tactically gorgeous parkland arrangement without disrupting much of what glacial ice had left behind.

Weibring, the three-time winner of the Quad Cities Open (forerunner of the John Deere Classic), and Gray routed the course through magnificent hardwood trees on a little more than half of the available area — around 170 acres. Only 60 acres of the 170 acres were altered during the construction phase, with more than 80% of the hardwoods remaining intact.

Despite its wide fairways, the course is well-protected by natural water hazards, clever bunkering, and innovative mounding. There are no sharp doglegs, so golfers who can shape the ball will be rewarded, especially off the tee. The green complexes are framed by chipping zones, which necessitates some ingenuity.

The holes have been given names, with the par-3 16th, Mother Earth, serving as the hallmark hole. It's 153 yards long and runs alongside the Rock River, with a big bunker in front and another to the right. It's a challenging and beautiful hole, which is precisely what TPC Deere Run is known for.

The weather starts well on Thursday but soon deteriorates, and we are in for a very wet weekend. Therefore, it could be essential to make a good start this week and then try and cling to the lead.

The Field at the John Deere Classic

Brian Harman, Dylan Frittelli, and others are among the stars in the John Deere Classic lineup.

This event will have a 156-player field and will take place over four days, with this event marking a return to the program after a year off for COVID-19. The U.S. Senior Open will be skipped by Steve Stricker, who will tee it up. From 2009 to 2011, he won the Deere three times in a row. Zach Johnson, the 2012 champion, an Iowa native, and a member of the tournament's board of directors will compete at TPC Deere Run for the 19th time. At TPC Deere Run, nine previous winners will try to revive some old magic.

Key Stats

We run each player in the field through our Beerlife profile analysis to come up with our selections. This is what we are looking for this week:

A fast start – Although when you study the winning rounds of the previous five winners, there is no clear round bias, with the forecast of rain for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, players will look to make a good start on Thursday.

Round One Scoring Average

  1. Cameron Smith
  2. Jason Kokrak
  3. Cameron Tringale
  4. Patrick Reed
  5. Brian Harman

46 the key to victory – Looking at the last four winners, they have placed 46th three times leading up to the John Deere Classic. Is this a coincidence, or is there a trend forming?

46th Place Finish at the U.S. Open

  1. Rick Lamb
  2. Tom Hoge
  3. Dylan Frittelli
  4. Lee Westwood

Rain man – With so much rain forecast this weekend, it would be silly not to look at the best players in adverse weather conditions.

Top Five Rain Specialists

  1. Michael Kim
  2. Patton Kizzire
  3. Scott Langley
  4. Whee Kim
  5. Brooks Koepka

Approaching the right way – With so many wide fairways on this golf course, most players will be in a decent position off the tee to attack the pins.

Proximity to Hole

  1. Emiliano Grillo
  2. Vaughn Taylor
  3. Kyle Stanley
  4. K. J. Choi
  5. Doug Ghim

Hearing those birdies tweet – Historically, this course is about making birdies as 12 of the 18 holes average under par.

Birdie Average

  1. Collin Morikawa
  2. Viktor Hovland
  3. Sam Burns
  4. John Rahm
  5. Xander Schauffele

Draft Picks

Brian Harman and family after big win.

After looking at the above data and running the field through our Beerlife profile builder, we have selected the following picks.

Must-Have Players – These players may cost a bit more but are sure to be worth it.

Brian Harman
Odds To Win +1400
Draft Kings $10,400
FanDuel $11,700
Brian Harman is arguably the most in-form player on tour at the moment. He has two top ten places to his name over the past three weeks and has only missed one cut in his previous 15 tournaments, making him a solid prospect this week. In addition, he has one of the lowest first-round averages and, therefore, should make a quick start.

Steady Eddies – These guys should give a good account of themselves but won’t break the bank to add them to your lineup.

Kyle Stanley
Odds To Win +5000
Draft Kings $7,900
FanDuel $9,900
Kyle has been a reliable player over the past couple of months and has only failed to make the cut once in the last eight weeks. He placed eighth at the Charles Schwab Challenge recently and finished inside the top 20 here last time out, proving his short game is suited around this golf course.
Doug Ghim
Odds To Win +5000
Draft Kings $8,000
FanDuel $9,900
Ghim is one of the best short game players on your, he has proven he can get the ball close to the pin regularly, and he ranks second this season for his approach play from 200-yards. He also ranks 15th in the early scoring rankings, so he could make a blistering start this week.

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