Pick 'Em Preview: John Deere Classic
June 29, 2022
By Rob Bolton and Mike Glasscott , PGATOUR.COM
- June 29, 2022
All-time moments from the John Deere Classic
If you’re new to PGA TOUR Pick ‘Em Live and wondered if you need to be invested in the winner of the tournament to cash as a top-five finisher, nope!
At last week’s Travelers Championship, the only gamer in the prize money who connected with champion Xander Schauffele was the previously inaccurately named Didiwinyet. However, only 18 of that entry’s 6,294 coins were as a result of the victory because it didn’t snare Schauffele until he was at (-555).
The highest finisher with Schauffele at plus-odds was Ggrich1951 in ninth place. It had Schauffele at +2200, but was worth just under 60 percent of its total of 3,702.
The lesson is that, when a favorite wins, prizewinners likely will have hauled in their coins in the bets for Top 10s, Top 20s and round leaders. Ties in 2-balls also are valuable. As Rob has illustrated over time, there’s virtually no reason in not picking ties when available. You’d have to finish inside the top five for a winner of a 2- or 3-ball to make a difference, but first you need to be inside the top five. One hurdle before the other. Placing fifth just once is infinitely more lucrative than finishing sixth every week (unless, of course, when payouts are extended, as they were in the last two majors).
Last week’s fifth-place finisher, Girazi, rode the rail with Michael Thorbjornsen in all three weeklong bets. Sure enough, the amateur finished fourth and yielded 4,000 coins for the Top 10 and 1,200 coins for the Top 20. The aggregate 5,200 comprised all of Girazi’s coins for $250.
It that’s your kind of action, this week’s John Deere Classic is for you. As Glass and Rob demonstrate below, ownership dispersion will be vast, and rightly so. It’s wide-open. Exploit it.
In what we are told is a one-off this week, Top 10 has been replaced with Top USA in your tournament picks. This opens the door to another potential huge points haul so plan accordingly!
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Glass … Scott Brown (+12500)
The value on the board this week is interesting and perhaps even non-existent. It happens. The beauty of this game is the ability to shift, zag or zig on the fly, so let's use this to our advantage.
Brown's worst payday here is T27 from seven weekends (nine starts), so the course angle is covered. T10 last week on the Korn Ferry Tour suggests he's showing enough form. If not, we'll move on. A shootout leaves more doors open to start big and work back as needed!
Rob … Martin Laird (+6000)
Hear me out here. Because I’m not in love with any of the longshots, I believe that the winner will open shorter than +10000. Of that subset, if Laird opens strong, his odds won’t be as favorable as they are pre-tournament, obviously, so the idea is to buy high on a former PGA TOUR winner with experience at TPC Deere Run.
Shootouts demands accuracy on approach. It’s a strength he’s wielded throughout his career. His weakness is the putter, but – BUT! – as noted in my Power Rankings, it’s one of the easiest to avoid three-putting, and – AND! – he’s one of the best scramblers, so what bothers him most is given a week off.
Glass … Chesson Hadley (+8000)
Look, obviously we can slot Brown in here again at +10000, and I might yet do that, but for the sake of variety let’s look at another option. If we're gonna play with fire, let's get that fuse lit!
Hadley opened with 63 here last year and rolls in with a solo fifth last week.
Rob … Scott Brown (+10000)
Don’t know why Glass didn’t double down on Brown given that his odds are longer than Hadley’s, but it’s not the first, second or 39th time that Glass has made a decision that’s baffled me. So what?
I’m reaching here because the odds are shorter than the board for the outrights, of course. Let’s play Home Run Derby.
Glass … Austin Cook (+800)
OK, let's gamble! Panning for gold to find a number here, but I'm trying to connect a couple of dots and catch a big fish.
Cook posted 64 in Round 2 in Canada and 65 at TPC River Highlands last week so there's something brewing until there isn't. His last top 10 was P2 at TPC Summerlin. Those who have done the business there have shown fleeting success in the Quad Cities. Please keep all arms and legs inside the ride at all times!
Rob … John Huh (+210)
I’ve let Glass lead off in each bet because he’s mopped the floor with me for about a month. He’s earned the honor. However, unless he pivots at the midpoint, if necessary, he could be stuck with Cook. This bet hasn’t been open for me as late as 2:15 a.m. West Coast Time in recent weeks.
I have no problem limping to the window with Huh at this value. Top 20s are hard but he’s hung up two in his last three starts. The other resulted in a T25. That’s good enough for me from a guy in form who shreds it tee to green.
Rob … Martin Laird (+8000)
Since the finishing holes of both nines at TPC Deere Run are long, challenging par 4s, I like a guy who starts on the par-5 10th and cycles through all three par 5s in his first 11 holes. It eases him into the round and presents the opportunity to generate momentum. The flip trip is a heavier lift in the context of the flow.
It’s a coincidence that Laird is my outright. Even if he wasn’t, he’d be this pick. He opened with 63 at TPC River Highlands last week and he averaged 68.375 with all red numbers across all four rounds of the last two editions of the JDC. He goes off No. 10 at 7:40 a.m. Coincidentally, one of his playing partners is my old FRL nemesis, Patton Kizzire. This is to say that I’m expecting to revise my selection sometime midday on Thursday.
Glass … Scott Stallings (+5000)
Played his final 54 holes at the Travelers Championship 64-68-63 in red-hot form, so I'm going to pay money and take my chances that it continues. He's off on No. 10 at 7:07 a.m. (local), so if he isn't a morning person, I'll find a replacement as the day moves along.
If you prefer a guy who opened with 62 and closed with 64 last week, J.T. Poston is off at 7:27 a.m. (local).
NOTE: While Glass and Rob typically stick with their selections as detailed in Pick ‘Em Preview, they are allowed the right to make changes at any time.