Power Rankings: John Deere ClassicJuly 08, 2013
By Rob Bolton, Fantasy Columnist
Among its products, the Moline, Ill.-based title sponsor of the John Deere Classic manufactures a variety of earth moving equipment. Not unlike how old-school golf swings were created, golfers and their families are invited to sit behind the controls of many to play in the dirt. It's an appropriate metaphor as the field of 156 will need to dig deep and go low to contend.
TPC Deere Run surrendered the most birdies on the PGA TOUR in both 2011 and 2012. It came up one short of sharing the season high in 2010. Of the 11 par 71s utilized last year, it played as the easiest at 69.549 and ranked inside the top seven most vulnerable in fairways hit (71.68 percent), greens in regulation (71.80 percent), par-3 scoring (3.02) and par-4 scoring (3.98). Par-5 scoring averaged 4.57, good for a share of the 11th-lowest split.
During its 13 years as host of the John Deere Classic, the 7,268-yard D.A. Weibring design nestled against the Rock River in Silvis, Ill., has served as the stage for one of the five 59s recorded in PGA TOUR history (Paul Goydos, opening round, 2010) and three consecutive victories by Steve Stricker (2009-2011). The average winning aggregate is a little lower than 16-under 265. No more than 13-under 268 has come out on top.
The rough will stand right around three inches, greens average an inviting 8,000 square feet and are groomed to measure 11-12.4 on the Stimpmeter. Those are green-light metrics to post red numbers. If the winner isn't already eligible for The Open Championship, he will earn one of the final two exemptions into the major. (The champion of the Scottish Open gets the other if not otherwise exempt.)
After considerable rain in recent weeks, Mother Nature will step aside for the tournament. Primarily sunny and dry conditions are expected throughout. High temperatures will creep into the low 80s and wins are forecast to be light.
NOTE: For similar characteristics among recent winners of the John Deere Classic, please look for "Stats Suggest" in The Stats Report on Wednesday.
Power Rankings: John Deere Classic Rank Player Comment Steve STRICKER The three-time champion has averaged 65.75 strokes over his most recent 16 rounds at TPC Deere Run, the last 15 of which have been under par. He's 7-for-7 this season with four top 10s. Off since a share of eighth place at the U.S. Open. Zach JOHNSON The defending champion has scuffled since a solo third at Colonial, but he's finished inside the top three at TPC Deere Run in three of his last four trips. Under par in his last 16 rounds on the host course; actual scoring average of 66.94. Louis OOSTHUIZEN Loves himself some John Deere equipment. Better yet, he arrives having finished T17 at Greenbrier to erase any residual doubt about his health. Ranked T6 in greens hit and first in proximity to the hole at The Old White TPC. Keegan BRADLEY First appearance at TPC Deere Run. Took two weeks off after sharing 18th place at the Travelers Championship. Six top 10s and another three top 25s this year. Ranks 17th in par breakers, T16 in par-4 scoring and T2 in par-5 scoring. Charley HOFFMAN Riding a consecutive cuts made streak of seven that includes a pair of top 10s. Ranks seventh in par breakers and 19th in adjusted scoring average. Tied for 15th at the John Deere Classic in 2009 and added a T7 in 2010. Matt JONES Fresh off a career-best finish. Tied for second at The Old White TPC where he ranked fifth in strokes gained-putting. Consistent throughout his bag and sits T25 in the all-around. Two fifth-place finishes in five appearances at TPC Deere Run. Jordan SPIETH Inexplicably missed on all 14 birdie opportunities in his final-round 73 at Greenbrier where he settled for a share of 23rd place, his seventh top 25 of the season; five are top 10s. Ranks 45th in par breakers and eighth in the all-around. Brendon DE JONGE Has a pair of T7s and a T19 in the last three editions of this tournament. Sub-70 in 12 of his last 13 rounds at TPC Deere Run. Tied for 17th at Greenbrier, his first top-35 finish in five starts. Ranks second on TOUR in total birdies. Ryan MOORE Traded three top 15s with three missed cuts over the past two months. Last competed at the Travelers Championship where he tied for seventh. He's 4-for-4 at TPC Deere Run with a T8 last year and an active streak of seven sub-70 scores. Kyle STANLEY The 2011 runner-up at TPC Deere Run returned to finish T19 last year. Under par in 11 consecutive rounds on the course. Stumbled of late, but all three of his top 10s have occurred in his last eight starts. Sits 49th in greens in regulation. Morgan HOFFMANN The rookie continues to hum along. Chased a pair of top 10s with a T23 at Greenbrier. Now has six top 25s. Has risen 58 spots to 47th in adjusted scoring since the U.S. Open, shedding an average of 0.648 strokes in the process. Scott STALLINGS Rebounded from a missed cut at the AT&T National with a T23 at Greenbrier where he ranked eighth in strokes gained-putting. For the season, he's 40th on TOUR in the stat. Tied for 22nd at the 2011 John Deere Classic. D.H. LEE Enters on the heels of top 10s at Congressional (T3) and The Old White TPC (T9) to climb to 83rd in FedExCup points. During the run, he's risen 64 spots in strokes gained-putting to T81 and into positive territory at 0.083 (a gain of 0.344). John SENDEN His victory at TPC Deere Run in 2006 remains his only PGA TOUR title. Overall, he's 7-for-10 here with another three top 15s and under par in 27 of his 32 rounds. Current consecutive cuts made streak includes a T15 at the U.S. Open. Camilo VILLEGAS He's 3-for-4 at TPC Deere Run but hasn't cracked the top 45. Gets nod here due a solid season overall with two top 10s and three more top 25s, including a T16 at the AT&T National. Currently 35th in adjusted scoring; 29th in the all-around.