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Power Rankings: John Deere Classic

3 Min Read

Power Rankings

Power Rankings: John Deere Classic

Denny McCarthy heads to TPC Deere Run with nine top 20s in last 15 starts

    Written by Rob Bolton @RobBoltonGolf

    For any of the 156 in the field at TPC Deere Run who need some help digging it out of the dirt, he’s come to the right place with a most appropriate title sponsor.

    The John Deere Classic is entering its second half-century in awarding an official PGA TOUR victory, so not only does it possess heavy machinery in moving earth, it also has the experience and wisdom of how to do it.

    Details of the par 71 and more below.

    Defending champion J.T. Poston, Seamus Power and Cameron Young will be among the notables reviewed in Golfbet Insider.

    The JDC broke ground in 1971, but the inaugural edition yielded an unofficial winner as the Ryder Cup served as the primary event of the same week. And because the 2020 edition was canceled due to the pandemic, the 50th official champion in tournament history was J.T. Poston a year ago.

    Poston understood the assignment. After opening with a field-low, 9-under 62, he went wire-to-wire en route to a three-stroke margin. It remains the more recent of just two wire-to-wire titles on the PGA TOUR since the Return to Golf in 2020. (The other is Joaquin Niemann at The Genesis Invitational in 2022.)

    TPC Deere Run has three par 5s, two of which are on the inward side. Poston co-led the field in par-4 scoring and finished second in par-5 scoring and, ahem, posted 21-under 263. The field averaged 69.883, so both measurements of performance smacked their intended targets.

    In advance of last year’s edition, there was curiosity for how a comprehensive restructuring of the bunkers and their locations was going to impact scoring. In a phrase, it didn’t. The field averaged 11.43 fairways hit per round to establish a record low – TPC Deere Run assumed its role as host in 2000 – but the course still slotted inside the easiest third among all 50 tracks used in 2021-22.

    Scrambling also checked in with a record low at 54.32 percent (to rank 13th among all courses), but that’s merely fact over friction. The field averaged 12.6 greens in regulation per round, so there wasn’t much cleanup required.

    Just like last year, TPC Deere Runs again tips at 7,289 yards, and there are no significant modifications on the course, although the primary rough trimmed to four inches projects to be lusher due to weather favorable for it this year. As usual, the bentgrass greens could touch 12 feet on the Stimpmeter. This sets up the quintessential combination of hitting greens and sinking putts as the formula for success in what promises to be the latest shootout on the schedule.

    Mother Nature figures to support the outcome. With a decent chance of rain on Wednesday and overnight into Thursday, TPC Deere Run could be exceptionally vulnerable in the opening round. A dry pattern will extend into Saturday when the next threat for inclement weather arrives. Throughout, daytime highs might not reach 80 degrees and winds will be manageable.

    ROB BOLTON’S SCHEDULE’s Rob Bolton recaps and previews every tournament from numerous perspectives. Look for his following contributions as scheduled.

    MONDAY: Power Rankings

    TUESDAY*: Sleepers

    WEDNESDAY: Golfbet Insider

    SUNDAY: Payouts and Points, Medical Extensions, Qualifiers, Reshuffle

    * - Rob is a member of the panel for PGATOUR.COM’s Expert Picks for PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf, which also publishes on Tuesday.

    Rob Bolton is a Golfbet columnist for the PGA TOUR. The Chicagoland native has been playing fantasy golf since 1994, so he was just waiting for the Internet to catch up with him. Follow Rob Bolton on Twitter.

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