If we can agree that sports presents the best kind of reality television, then we also can agree that the last two weeks of PGA TOUR action in particular never would have been scripted, anyway.
From Nate Lashley's emotionally charged, wire-to-wire breakthrough title at the Rocket Mortgage Classic to Matthew Wolff's electric eagle to seal his own coronation on the last hole of the 3M Open, your devotion as a fan has been paid off in the feels. Not too shabby of a start for both inaugural events, either.
In last year's John Deere Classic, Michael Kim authored his own experience that you wouldn't have believed if you didn't see it. He's back to defend his lone TOUR title this week. Scroll past the projected contenders for how he played TPC Deere Run like a video game on its easiest mode and other nuggets.
Among other notables, Tuesday's Fantasy Insider will include defending champion Michael Kim, 2016 winner Ryan Moore and last year's co-runners-up Joel Dahmen, Bronson Burgoon and Sam Ryder.
TPC Deere Run is a par 71 capable of stretching to 7,268 yards. Since debuting a host of the John Deere Classic in 2000, it hadn't played as low as its scoring average of 69.375 a year ago. It also was the easiest of all par 71s during the 2017-18 season.
Kim not only capitalized en route to his maiden title, he established tournament records for scoring (27-under 257) and margin of victory (eight strokes).
With generous fairways and large, bentgrass greens no faster than 12 feet on the Stimpmeter, TPC Deere Run always hosts a shootout. Hitting greens and sinking putts is the ticket.
Once again last year, it was among the most gettable in all categories that identify contenders. Last year's field averaged 9.91 (of 14) fairways hit, 12.84 greens in regulation and 4.07 par breakers after hitting GIR.
Kim ranked T2 in driving accuracy (46 of 56), third in GIR (15 per round), first in proximity to the hole, first in strokes gained: putting, first in putting: birdies-or-better (30 of 60) and first in par-4 scoring. Almost unfairly, he also co-led the field in scrambling (10-for-12).
Mother Nature is doing her part to ensure another low-scoring affair just outside the Quad Cities. After a pleasant start with moderate winds complementing a high temperature in the low 80s, increasingly warmer air will take over en route to daytime highs around 90 degrees on the weekend. Winds will calm for the remainder. Rain is not expected.
The last exemption into The Open Championship is reserved for the highest finisher, not otherwise exempt, inside the top five at the JDC. Along with 12 others in the field (as of midday Monday), he'll be able to hop on Sunday night's charter flight to Northern Ireland.
NOTE: Three-time JDC champion and the tournament's all-time earnings leader, Steve Stricker, is not playing the event for the first time since 2008. The 52-year-old has opted to make his debut at the Bridgestone SENIOR PLAYERS Championship this week.
ROB BOLTON'S SCHEDULE
PGATOUR.COM’s Fantasy Insider Rob Bolton recaps and previews every tournament from numerous angles. Look for his following contributions as scheduled.
TUESDAY*: Sleepers, Fantasy Insider
WEDNESDAY: One & Done, Champions One & Done
* - Rob is a member of the panel for PGATOUR.COM’s Expert Picks for PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf, which also publishes on Tuesdays.