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Sleeper Picks: John Deere Classic

4 Min Read

Sleeper Picks

Sleeper Picks: John Deere Classic

    Written by Rob Bolton @RobBoltonGolf

    Sam Stevens (+110 = Top 40) … Happy birthday, rookie! Indeed, the Oklahoma State University product turns 27 on the Fourth of July. It’s a timely event in that he hasn’t set off any fireworks much less sparkled in a little over three months. Yet, since that T3-2nd burst through Corales and TPC San Antonio, he hasn’t settled, either. In his most recent nine starts, he’s cashed eight times, albeit just twice for a top 40 and not in his last five. It’s the classic learning curve in action. His ball-striking plays everywhere, so it’s just a matter of connecting with the putter as he gathers intel and develops muscle memory. That he continues to make cuts proves his ability and confidence, so lean into the potential. Light the candle!

    Davis Thompson (+140 = Top 40) … Like his fellow rookie above, Thompson also has a runner-up finish this season. It happened at The American Express in January, but he hadn’t sustained inspiring form what with zero top 50s among six paydays in 13 stroke-play competitions until last week’s T24 in Detroit. He shed one stroke in every round until closing with a 5-under 67. While this prop is an automatic for a talent of his caliber, if I was allowed to bet on golf, I’d always reserve a fraction of a unit for him as an outright (for which he’s +10000 at BetMGM for the Deere). When I’m compiling the detail for Payouts and Points weekly, such as the latest in the series for the Rocket Mortgage Classic, there always are a few guys who present outlandish odds that defy their pedigree. Consider that he was +20000 to win the RMC at BetMGM. Anytime a former top-ranked amateur who scales to the PGA TOUR with just one season of grooming on the Korn Ferry Tour and still can generate such a healthy kickback, he needs to be included on your card. Keep the faith.

    Joseph Bramlett (-110 = Top 40) … The through line of my analyses for the 35-year-old this season has acknowledged that he’s healthy. It’s been a welcome change after his first four seasons on the PGA TOUR without qualifying for the Playoffs. Currently 80th in points, he still has to more work ahead to crack the top 70 in the revised format, but an 0-for-3 at TPC Deere Run is irrelevant in the context of failure because of the turnaround. It’s still invaluable experience, the kind of which that aligns with other sites on which he’s scattered three top 10s and another four top 20s this season.

    Andrew Novak (+160 = Top 40) … Gotta hand it to the PGA TOUR sophomore. He’s 100th in the FedExCup while navigating the season on conditional status. Lo and behold, the second spin has yielded personal bests in top 10s (two), top 25s (five) and cuts made (13). And before you cite the smallest of sample sizes to compare, be careful not to forget that he’s generating the better of the alternatives. Consistently strong effort en route to a T30 in his debut last year, but default into this prop and its value.

    Tommy Kuhl (+400 = Top 40) … When shiny, new toys drop into our laps at this time of year, it’s like Christmas in July. His former teammate at the University of Illinois, Adrien Dumont de Chassart, has received the lion’s share of the attention recently – that’s what happens with a blistering start on the Korn Ferry Tour – but Kuhl also was a Fred Haskins Award finalist. So, too, were the likes of PGA TOUR University valedictorian Ludvig Åberg, British Amateur champion Christo Lamprecht and Gordon Sargent, who is only four points from the target to achieve his card via PGA TOUR University Accelerated. (Åberg and Sargent also are in the field at TPC Deere Run.) Kuhl competed in the Palmer Cup a month ago, turned pro, and then played three in a row on PGA TOUR Canada. He went T15-T27-MC in transition. The native of Morton, Illinois, no doubt will have support from the locals in the Quad Cities, but his talent demands your investment.

    Odds were sourced on Tuesday, July 4, 2023. For live odds, visit BetMGM.

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    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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