Fantasy Insider: John Deere Classic
July 09, 2019
By Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM
- Kyle Stanley has recorded four Top 25s at the John Deere Classic. (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Before we dig a little deeper into the 156-man field at the John Deere Classic, a little business.
The next two weeks consist of doubleheaders. I believe that this is the first time that there have been consecutive weeks with two tournaments in each. So, the FedExCup points will be flying around before the field for the Playoffs is determined at the Wyndham Championship during the first weekend of August.
As always, every event gets a Power Rankings, but the editions for the Barbasol Championship and Barracuda Championship will publish on the Tuesdays instead of the Mondays of tournament week.
The Power Rankings for The Open Championship next week will include the entire field, so the Fantasy Insider will be abridged. The Wild Card, Draws and Fades will be on hiatus until the FI returns for the World Golf Championships-FedEx St. Jude Invitational the following week.
As every season approaches its climax, chatter regarding motivation also increases. I see it coming and some of you do, too. Sure enough, it's been evident the last couple of weeks in the discussion threads beneath preview material with my byline on it, as well as on my Twitter. I don't buy into it. Nor should you.
Every golfer is motivated by something every time he commits to any tournament, but we can't compare motivation. It's not quantifiable. Just because one guy may be closer to getting into the Playoffs or automatically qualifying for the Presidents Cup, for example, it doesn't mean that the guy who's battling for a spot just inside the top 150 of the FedExCup standings is less motivated.
It's easy to fall into a trap of citing motivation when all you're doing is comparing the values of the targets in play due to the condensed periods of time to achieved them. Assuming we can agree on that, then we'll find ourselves back where we started – analyzing and investing in guys based on the familiar variables that attract us to them in the first place.
That brings us back to the JDC, for which my Power Rankings reflect the recent surge of new talent to the stage.
We don't know how the summer of 2020 will be constructed, but if the tournaments line up like they have in the last four weeks, expectations will be elevated for the next batch of college stars to hit the ground running.
Because golf is a global sport played year-round, especially for most of the notables, there's little time for them to rest and recharge their batteries. This current stretch has afforded that window of opportunity before the final push that begins next week. In turn, it means that the rank and file has more room to capitalize.
This phenomenon whiffs strongly of how guys who play well in the Korn Ferry Tour Finals often sustain that form early in the new PGA TOUR season. There is a distinct correlation between the timings of the college-to-pro talent and the Finals-to-fall fellas. Keep it in mind if you're in a league that allows for midseason changes and/or drafts just before A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier launches us into 2019-20 on Sept. 12-15.
PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf
My roster for the John Deere Classic (in alphabetical order):
You’ll find my starters in Expert Picks.
Others to consider for each category (in alphabetical order):
Scoring: Dominic Bozzelli; Sam Burns; Talor Gooch; Denny McCarthy; Troy Merritt; Vaughn Taylor
Driving: Daniel Berger; Bronson Burgoon; Lucas Glover; Charles Howell III; Troy Merritt; Joaquin Niemann
Power Rankings Wild Card
Ryan Moore … Horse for a course. His title here in 2016 is the cherry on top of a 9-for-10 record in the John Deere Classic since 2006. He strung together top 25s from 2012 through the victory.
Bronson Burgoon … Even if he didn't co-medal in last year's B-flight – a distant eight strokes back of champion Michael Kim – he'd ping the radar this week. And every week henceforth, really. He's presented a sense of calm and grit when his back has been against the wall. It is again right now at 133rd in the FedExCup standings. Make room in DFS.
Brian Stuard … No doubt he enjoyed the hometown support at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, but he proved that he wasn't distracted en route to a share of fifth place. That's easier said than done. Led that field in par-3 scoring and Strokes Gained: putting, and co-led in Putting: Birdies-or-Better. This is his sixth trip to TPC Deere Run, where he finished T18 in 2015.
Kyle Stanley … His irons were on point in Detroit ,where he finished T21, so I'm willing to endorse him to a degree at TPC Deere Run, where he's connected for four top 25s. However, that observation should be like a broken record for him. Instead, his form has been uninspiring all season.
Nick Taylor … He's sixth on TOUR with 48 red numbers. That's both a product having survived 19 cuts to reach 81 rounds as well as confidence standing over par breakers. Currently T39 in Strokes Gained: Putting.
Daniel Berger … At 118th in the FedExCup standings, he remains on a trajectory to be one of the most owned in full-season salary games next season. Since the RBC Heritage, he's 8-for-9 with a pair of top 25s, including a T15 last week at TPC Twin Cities where he poured in five putts from outside 25 feet to lead the field. In his only previous appearance at the John Deere Classic, he placed T5 in 2017.
Michael Kim … This won't come as a surprise to anyone paying attention. The defending champion is just 4-for-24 this season. Only one of his paydays occurred in an event with a cut and he's missed 18 in a row since tying for last in his debut at Kapalua to open 2019.
Joel Dahmen … Echoing a message that I shared a few weeks ago, he's reinvented his game to tame the toughest courses in 2019, and that's outstanding given the doors he's unlocked as a result of last season's success. However, as he laces up the spikes to attempt to go one better than last year's T2, it's been two months since his last top-40 finish.
Sam Ryder … For a guy who rates so well analytically, he's a non-factor too often. In that context, he's a good example of why we can't lay all of our eggs in one basket. The upside is there, but the results are pedestrian. Could have written the same thing last year before he caught lightning in a bottle to finish T2 at the JDC, but it's never wise to expect that lightning to strike twice in the same spot.
Pat Perez … Save a fortnight in May when he went T8-T12, he's finished no better than T50 in all of 2019. Of course, he's also grinded through an injured left calf. Currently 110th in the FedExCup and fully exempt for next season, there's no urgency to play, so we can trust his health, but since 2011 at the JDC, he's just 1-for-5 with a T55, and that was in his last appearance in 2015.
Jhonattan Vegas … Earlier this year, he'd have been in the Power Rankings based on form alone, but that form has gone by the wayside in the last two months. It happens and it'll happen again. I'll grant that the veteran should find his game at TPC Deere Run because he's a sharpshooter and this is his fifth appearance (albeit his first in four years). Contrarian.
Ryan Palmer … Just 4-for-10 at TPC Deere Run overall and 1-for-4 (with a T77/MDF last year) since 2010.
Returning to Competition
Nicholas Lindheim … Withdrew before his second round of the 3M Open, where he opened with a 7-over 78. An explanation wasn't released. Despite fully exempt status as a Korn Ferry Tour Finals grad, the 34-year-old has logged only 29 rounds this season, not enough to qualify to be ranked in the stats. He's 195th in the FedExCup despite a 3-for-13 slate. A T12 at the AT&T Byron Nelson is the only cut made in his last eight starts.
Derek Fathauer … Walked off TPC Twin Cities during the opening round with a sore neck. It extended his skid to 0-for-6 since late April. It's been a lost season for the 33-year-old on conditional status. He's made only three cuts and sits 216th in the FedExCup.
Graham DeLaet … Committed to the Korn Ferry Tour's TPC Colorado Championship at Heron Lakes, where he's making his first rehab start. It represents his long-awaited return to competition following multiple treatments and surgery for chronic discomfort in his back. The 37-year-old hasn't competed in sanctioned competition since the fall of 2017. He's equipped with 24 starts on a Major Medical Extension on the PGA TOUR, which essentially amounts to a full season. Monitor his progress, obviously, as he'd make for a potentially impactful penny stock for full-season salary gamers in 2019-20.
Corey Conners, Jason Kokrak and Kevin Streelman … Each is resting in advance of The Open Championship.
Morgan Hoffmann … Just 4-for-11 on the season and 221st in the FedExCup. Still has seven starts remaining on his Major Medical Extension. At this stage, those starts present as more valuable in 2019-20, so it'd be understandable if he's rationing.
Power Rankings Recap – 3M Open
Power Ranking Golfer Result
1 Jason Day T66
2 Hideki Matsuyama T7
3 Brooks Koepka 65th
4 Rory Sabbatini MC
5 Patrick Reed T23
6 Joaquin Niemann T23
7 Bryson DeChambeau T2
8 Keegan Bradley T46
9 Sungjae Im T15
10 Mackenzie Hughes T66
11 Kevin Na WD
12 Scott Piercy T15
13 Doc Redman MC
14 Charles Howell III T23
15 Cameron Tringale T42
Wild Card Tony Finau T23
Sleepers Recap – 3M Open
Wyndham Clark T5
Tom Hoge T23
Denny McCarthy T23
Collin Morikawa T2
Tyrone Van Aswegen T53
Birthdays among active golfers on the PGA TOUR
July 9 … none
July 10 … none
July 11 … Chris Thompson (43); Sean O'Hair (37)
July 12 … Robert Allenby (48); Derek Lamely (39); Alex Noren (37)
July 13 … Brandon Harkins (33); Tyler Duncan (30)
July 14 … Michael Kim (26)
July 15 … Dicky Pride (50); Kyle Jones (26)