7,268 yards, par 71
Over the years some big names have dominated this event with Jordan Spieth, Steve Stricker and Zach Johnson all winning here in Illinois. TPC Deere Run is a 7,268 yard par 71 and has three par 5’s, four par 3’s and 11 par 4’s with the average winning score being roughly 18 under par.
With the three par 5’s all reachable in two and the fairly easy par 4’s, there will be a lot of birdies on offer, which explains the extremely low scoring over the years. The course sits along rolling woodlands alongside a rock river and has some small ponds and ravines. It also has rolling fairways that are quite generous off the tee so driving accuracy won’t be hugely important. Of the top 10 finishers last year, eight of them ranked inside the top 15 in GIR, six were inside the top 20 in strokes gained putting and eight were in the top 20 in scrambling. When Jordan Spieth won last year he putted superbly well all week and ranked seventh in strokes gained putting. With previous winners being Zach Johnson, Steve Stricker and Jordan Spieth it would appear that good putters seem to excel around TPC Deere Run.
The course has undergone elevation changes on several holes. The 14th is a downhill par 4 measuring just 358 yards and can be driveable in the right conditions. There is also water present on five holes, but shouldn’t pose too much of a problem for the players. This course is relatively easy but will demand good putting and accurate approach shots in order to make birdies. The key stats to look at here are par 4 scoring, strokes gained putting, GIR, previous form and current form.
It’s hard to see past Zach Johnson here especially in this particularly weakened field. His record around TPC Deere Run is ridiculously good with a win in 2012, second in 2009, third in 2011, second in 2013, second in 2014 and a third here last year. Johnson is also playing well lately with four top 20’s in his last six starts. He finished T17 in Colonial recently and followed that with a T8 at The US Open, T10 at The WGC Bridgestone and a T12 at The Open Championship in Troon.
Statswise he ranks 38th in strokes gained putting, 34th in scrambling and 24th in par 3 scoring. With a lot of key players either at The Olympics or taking the week off, Zach is a worthy favourite here and should be the man to beat.
Summerhays has been in fine form lately with seven top 25’s in 11 starts. He played well at The Valero Texas Open at the end of April finishing T13 and followed that with a T14 at The Wells Fargo, T23 at The Players, T8 at The US Open in Oakmont, T21 at The Quicken Loans, solo third at The PGA and a T11 last week at The Travelers.
He has a good record here at TPC Deere Run finishing T8 last year, T13 in 2014 and T4 in 2013. Statswise he ranks eighth in strokes gained putting and 31st in par 5 scoring. With excellent current form and a good record here Summerhays could have a good week here.
Big hitting Gary has been playing well over the last few months with eight top 30’s in 11 starts. He had a good week in New Orleans finishing T20 and followed that with a T24 at The Wells Fargo, T28 at The Players, T12 at The Byron Nelson, T4 at Memorial, T21 at The Quicken Loans, solo second at The Barracuda and a T12 at The Open in Troon.
He has only played this event twice with his best finish coming in 2010 with a T21. Statswise he ranks 15th in strokes gained tee to green, fifth in driving distance, 27th in GIR and 31st in par 4 scoring. With a weakened field Woodland could take full advantage here and be right in contention come Sunday.
I’ve been keeping one eye on Streb over the last few weeks as he seems to be coming back to some good form. He had a respectable T28 at The Wells Fargo and followed that with a T20 at Memorial, T21 at The Quicken Loans and a T7 at The PGA Championship which included a third round 63.
He has played well here in the past finishing T14 last year and didn’t shoot worse than a 70 in four rounds. He also finished T22 in 2013 which included three rounds in the 60’s. Streb tends to play well this time of year and could keep his good form going this week at TPC Deere Run.
Steve Wheatcroft 80/1
The American has had a pretty unflattering season so far but has played exceptionally well in the last four weeks. He had a great week at The Barracuda Championship finishing T5 and followed that with a T20 at The Barbasol and didn’t shoot worse than a 69 throughout the tournament. He then had another great performance at The RBC Canadian Open shooting 68,77,64,69 on his way to another T5. If it weren’t for that slight blemish in the second round in Canada it could’ve been a different story for Wheatcroft.
His best finish at TPC Deere Run came here last year when he finished T8 and didn’t shoot worse than a 70 through four rounds to finish 16 under par in total. If he keeps that momentum going into this week he could be a big contender at a decent price.
Final Selections –
Zach Johnson 2pts EW 6/1
Daniel Summerhays 1pt EW 22/1
Gary Woodland 1pt EW 28/1
Robert Streb 1pt EW 33/1
Steve Wheatcroft 1pt EW 80/1
Total Staked = 12pts
PaddyPower paying 7 places
Good luck and enjoy the golf,
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