Spieth Aiming For John Deere Title Defense
John Deere Classic
The John Deere Classic dates back to 1971, and was originally known as the Quad Cities Open.
The prize money is reasonable by PGA standards, but attracting the best players can be a challenge as the tournament concludes just four days before the start of the British Open, which gives US golfers who play this event little time to acclimatise in Britain. No European has ever won the John Deere.
Since 2000, this event has been held at TPC at Deere Run, Illinois. It’s a tree-lined par 71 course, with wide fairways, generous greens and not too many hazards. This is one of the easier courses on the PGA Tour, a fact which, combined with the absence of many of the big names, means that the tournament may not take too much winning.
In The Bunker
The antepost betting market is dominated by three previous winners of this event, most notably triple-champion Steve Stricker. His victories came in consecutive years from 2009 to 2011, but while that record makes him a contender, his form this season should temper your enthusiasm.
He hasn’t been playing badly, but he hasn’t exactly been tearing it up either. Last week’s final round 74 in the Greenbrier Classic was particularly disappointing and at 10/1 he doesn’t make much appeal.
Joining Stricker at the top of the market is Jordan Speith, and at the same price, the youngster makes more appeal than his veteran compatriot. This tournament provided his breakthrough win last year when he became the first teenager since 1911 to pick up a PGA Tour title.
He has continued to build on that success and has been in solid form all year, managing nine top twenty finishes in his last eleven outings.
This event has a history of multiple winners and Speith can defend his title at odds of 10/1.
Ryan Moore seems to be getting the hang of this tournament as his last two visits produced a 22nd in 2013 and a top ten finish in 2012. Of equal importance is his recent form. After finishing way down the field at the US Open, he put in his best performance of the year at the Travelers Championship last time out, carding a superb opening round of 63. He’s hitting form at the right time and is worth a look at 20/1.
And at the same price, Harris English should be on your shortlist. Like Moore, he produced his best showing of the year at River Highlands, securing his first top ten finish since February. He’s only played this tournament once before and managed a solid top-twenty finish. In a relatively weak field where those at the top of the betting are likely to dominate, he offers value at odds of 20/1.