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John Deere Classic Betting Tips: Six selections from TPC Deere Run

John Deere Classic Betting Tips: Matt Wallace features.
John Deere Classic Betting Tips: Matt Wallace features.

Fresh from his 1-2 at the BMW International Open priced 66/1 and 22/1, Jamie Worsley is back with his tips for this week's John Deere Classic on the PGA Tour. Jamie is operating at a profit of +28.65pts this year with a ROI of 10.34% with two winners and 15 places from his selections on the PGA Tour...

With just two-weeks to go until The Open Championship at St Andrews, golf’s 4th and final major of the year, the PGA Tour heads to TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Illinois for the John Deere Classic. Where there will be three highly coveted spots at St Andrews available to the top 3 players not already exempt, who manage to finish inside the top 10. 

This event had traditionally been held the week before The Open Championship, with just one Open spot up for grabs but due to the PGA Tour’s “Strategic alliance” with the DP World Tour and co-sanctioning of the Scottish Open, it has been bumped to this slot two weeks prior.

The tournament itself has been going since the early 1970’s, though only played here at TPC Deere Run since 2000.

John Deere Classic Tips

It’s typically a very low scoring affair, with a highest winning score of -18 in the last 10 years and an average of -21 over that same time period. Michael Kim set the tournament record, shooting -27 in 2018 and it was the scene of one of the tour’s famous 59s, shot by Paul Goydos in the 2010 edition.

Steve Stricker jointly holds the record for most wins in the event with three. He shares this honour with D.A Weibring, who happens to be the designer of TPC Deere Run.

More recently it has provided an excellent opportunity for first-time winners. It was where Jordan Spieth picked up the first of his many titles in 2013, as well as Bryson DeChambeau winning his first PGA Tour trophy in 2017. With Michael Kim in 2018 and Dylan Frittelli in 2019 also winning for the first time on the tour here.

The Course

TPC Deere run is a par 71, measuring 7289 yards, comprising of 11 par 4s, 4 par 3s and 3 par 5s. The course has been renovated since last year’s event, with work done on every bunker on the course, as well as the tightening of some fairways. There are fewer bunkers this year, though some have been moved into better strategic positions and may ask more questions of the players, though it is worth noting that the expectation is the course won’t play all that different.

Full details of the renovations can be found here - https://qctimes.com/sports/golf/john-deere-classic-new-look-deere-run-awaits-2022-field/article_1a6a3a2a-208c-5428-a611-a4cb1b1d0d89.html

The rolling tree-lined fairways contain many gentle doglegs and there are elevation changes throughout. They are generous and have long been some of the easiest fairways to find on tour, with bunkers and tree trouble the main dangers for errant tee-shots. It will be interesting to see if they will be as easy to find this year with the changes to the course.

Combine this with receptive bentgrass greens, which also rank as some of the easiest to find on tour and aren’t too demanding to putt on, and we soon find the reason this course offers up birdies for fun.

Having said that, there are some tricky, longer par 4s. Most notable are the 500+ yard 9th hole, 484 yard 15th and the 476 yard 18th will prove a nervy hole to navigate if in contention on Sunday, with water dominating the left-hand side of the green. Combined with many shorter, attackable par 4s, some that will be drivable at some point this week, I feel the par 4s are where the tournament will be won and lost.

In addition to this, as with many low-scoring affairs, knocking it close with quality approach play will be key to success this week. We saw this with Lucas Glover, who ranked 3rd in approach when winning last year, whilst Brian Harman in 2014 ranked 1st and Ryan Moore in 2016 ranked 2nd. With Jordan Spieth in 2015 and Michael Kim in 2018 also producing good iron performances. I would particularly focus on players who rate well with approaches from 125-150 yards this week, as that’s the distance many of the shots comes from. 

Those who don’t excel with the irons in these types of events often find it on the greens, and vice versa, the John Deere Classic is no different. Dylan Frittelli struggled with approach play in 2019, though ranked 2nd on the greens, whilst Bryson DeChambeau was solid enough in approach, ranking 27th in 2017, he ranked 2nd on the greens. Even better if you can put both of those things together, which was on show in each of those last seven year except for Frittelli and Brian Harman in 2014, who won despite a poor week with the flat stick.

Correlating Courses

Due to those previously mentioned similarities in terms of the way to attack birdie-fest type tournaments, I think you can generally look at strong form in most birdie-fests as a good guide to here. Though there are a few with course setup and form-ties that appealed more than others.

The one which stood out most is TPC Summerlin, host of the Shriners Open. An event where winning scores are often -20 or lower and a course similar in length, measuring as a 7255 yard par 71. Fairways and greens are of a comparable difficulty to find and many approach shots around here fall into that 125-150 yard category.

Ryan Moore is a winner of both events, whilst last year’s John Deere runner-up, Kevin Na is a two-time winner of the Shriners and Ben Martin has also won there while possessing a 2nd place finish at the John Deere. Adam Schenk has a strong record at both events, finishing 3rd in the Shriners last year and possessing 4th and 6th place finishes in the John Deere. Other form-ties are in abundance from the likes of Adam Hadwin, Charles Howell, Kevin Streelman and last year’s John Deere winner, Lucas Glover, who has multiple top 10s in the Shriners.

I mentioned last week that TPC courses often tie in with one another and seems I used the John Deere as a comp there, it’s only natural to flip that around this week and use TPC River Highlands, home of the Travelers Championship. Both tree-lined courses with easy to find fairways and greens. 

Jordan Spieth has won both events, whilst Brian Harman, who possesses four top 10s in the Travelers is also a past champion here. A bunch of names, Danny Lee, Kevin Streelman, Mackenzie Hughes, Patrick Rodgers and Scott Stallings possess strong finishes at both courses. Keith Mitchell, who produced his best ever finish in the Travelers last week, finishing 6th, has recorded a 7th place finish here in the John Deere.

We’ll stick with the TPC theme for the timebeing and TPC Craig Ranch, host of the Byron Nelson over the last two years and which has hosted many a Korn Ferry Tour Q-School event in the past. It has produced two incredibly low scoring tournaments, with winning scores of -24 & -25, rating very similar to the John Deere in both ease in which to find fairways and greens. 

Due to the event only being staged twice, form-ties aren’t in abundance though there are some notable ones. Jordan Spieth the most obvious as a two-time winner here and was 2nd in the Byron Nelson earlier this year. We also have Sebastian Munoz, 3rd there this year possessing a 4th in the John Deere last year, whilst three of last year’s four players who tied for 3rd in the Byron Nelson, Daniel Berger, Scott Stallings and Patton Kizzire, all possess strong form in the John Deere Classic.

Three more, two of them relatively new but we’ll start with a more familiar event, in the shape of the RSM Classic played at the Sea Island Resort. Winning scores have exceeded -20 in three of the last seven versions, with the other winning scores in the high teens. Fairways and greens are easy to find, whilst it also asks similar questions around-the-greens. Again with many approach shots falling into that 125-150 yard area.

Patrick Rodgers has finished runner-up at both venues, whilst players such as Charles Howell III, John Huh, Lucas Glover and Scott Stallings are amongst players to have strong levels of form in both tournaments.

The first of the newer introductions to the PGA Tour is the Rocket Mortgage Classic at Detroit Golf Club. Winning scores have twice exceeded -20 in the three events staged here so far and it’s just a very easy course. Fairways and greens are easy to find with little trouble aside them. Another course where approach shots from 125-150 are key.

Bryson DeChambeau is a winner of both events, whilst runner-up last year, Joaquin Niemann has played well in both visits to TPC Deere Run, finishing 10th in 2019. Hank Lebioda was 4th there and has gone well here, finishing 8th, with Adam Hadwin, Wes Roach and Rory Sabbatini providing further form-ties.

Finally Nine Bridges in South Korea, which hosted the CJ Cup from 2017-2019 could offer extra clues, as a course which plays easy (weather permitting), with fairways and greens amongst the easiest to hit on tour over the last six years.

Danny Lee was 2nd to Justin Thomas there in 2019 and has a top 5 to his name in the John Deere. Past champions of the John Deere, Spieth, Harman and Moore have top 10s there, with Scott Piercy and Chez Reavie possessing decent levels of form at both courses.

The Weather

Barring the chance of some isolated thunderstorms on Friday, the rest of the week is set to be warm and dry. The wind mild throughout most of the week, though could start off pretty tough on Thursday, with winds of 16mph+ currently predicted.

The Field

Following Daniel Berger’s withdrawal, an already weak field is weakened further. There are just eight players from inside the world’s top 100, with Webb Simpson the highest ranked at 58th.

Nevertheless these fields are often the most fun to unpick and with the lack of strength it once again looks like an excellent opportunity for someone to get that breakthrough victory.

Selections

If ever there was a week on the PGA Tour where you can afford to play a bunch of larger prices, it’s one where a not fully-firing Webb Simpson is an 11/1 favourite. He makes little appeal and this is also true of most under 40/1.

Though there is one in this range and I’m going back to the well on a player who was my largest priced selection last week but is now my shortest one this, highlighting the significant drop in field strength, Australia’s Cam Davis.

Golf odds
Cam Davis each-way (8 places)
35/1
Odds correct as of 2022-06-27 15:15 Odds subject to change.

A final finishing position of 56th doesn’t quite tell the story of Davis’ week at the Travelers, as he was tied 2nd after the second round and had me crossing everything for a big weekend. That didn’t materialise, largely thanks to the putter going ice cold but in truth he did little well, though the driver didn’t deteriorate quite like other areas. However there was enough in those first two rounds to tempt me back in this week on a course that should suit.

The way the putter and irons went over the weekend was a little bit of a surprise for a player who seemed to have carried over the form of his previous five starts, where he’d both putted well and showed some real high class approach play. This helping him to some strong performances over that period, namely a 3rd place finish in the RBC Heritage and 7th at Colonial. I’m hoping he can shake off last weekend’s display and regain that form this week.

The hope he can do that at this venue doesn’t come from his record here so far, where he’s made the cut on both visits but in which finishes of 53rd and 55th leave something to be desired, it comes from that first PGA Tour victory that came his way last year at the strongly correlating Detroit Golf Club, home of the Rocket Mortgage Classic. Also possessing a solid enough record at the Shriners Open, making the cut on every visit and twice finishing inside the top 30.

There’s no doubt the weekend was poor but is easily forgiven on the basis of his previous form and the form he’d shown over the first two rounds. He’s a classy young player and expect him to bounce back from that this week.

JT Poston each-way (8 places)
50/1
Odds correct as of 2022-06-27 15:20 Odds subject to change.

JT Poston put up his third top 10 in eight starts last week at the Travelers Championship, finishing an excellent 2nd to Schauffele after a superb final round of -6. He produced that result thanks to a strong performance in both putting and approach, a repeat of which would surely see him go well once again this week.

Poston’s other strong performances over the last couple of months came courtesy of finishes of 3rd in the RBC Heritage and 9th in the Wells Fargo. Though he’s been a little inconsistent in between, with more letters than numbers, there’s been quality in most areas.

Last week he was 2nd in the field in approach and 13th in putting. Quality with the putter nothing special as it’s always been an area in which he excels, though that excellent approach performance was part of an ever improving iron game this year, with him gaining strokes there in six of his last eight starts. In addition to this he ranks 46th on tour in par 4 scoring.

Hard to completely ignore his poor record here, where he’s followed finishes of 64th and 65th with two missed cuts. However it is worth noting that he’s never arrived here with anything near as strong a book of recent form as he has now and rarely with his irons firing like they are currently.

I am given confidence in his potential to perform here by some strong correlating form, with a 4th place finish at the Shriners Open and top 15s in both the Rocket Mortgage Classic and RSM Classic to boot. Even his solo PGA Tour victory at the Wyndham Championship should work, as a heavily tree-lined course that leaks birdies. He won there with a score of -22 in 2019, highlighting his ability to perform in low scoring events.

The course form is the only concern here but as mentioned there are excuses to be made. Outside of that I see little negatives in his chances with both of those important areas of his game firing and expect him to back up last week’s performance with another strong showing this week.

Martin Laird each-way (8 places)
55/1
Odds correct as of 2022-06-27 15:20 Odds subject to change.

Martin Laird has gotten over a small lull with his irons and in recent starts returned to the quality approach play he’d shown for most of the year, that sees him rank 31st on the PGA Tour. This was on show last week in a good 13th place finish at the Travelers Championship and he can improve on that this week.

That was Laird’s best performance of a year that has been a bit of a struggle to date, with his previous best result coming when 14th at the Phoenix Open back in February. Though he showed some positive signs at the Memorial Tournament three starts ago, finishing 37th and showing some form around-the-greens and in approach, something which he carried over to his next start in the Canadian Open,  but missed the cut there thanks to a poor week on the greens. 

Then came last week, where Laird ranked as the 4th best player tee-to-green, gaining strokes in every area, bar on the greens and firing three rounds in the 60s, including an opening 63. Before a closing 72 dropped him down the leaderboard a little, but still a largely encouraging week.

As mentioned, he failed to fire with the putter, which has been the case all year, though he did open with an excellent round on the greens at the Travelers and ranked 2nd in the field after round one, before falling backwards from there. Certainly not a complete lost cause.

Laird first played here in 2008, finishing 29th. It was over ten years until he returned to play at TPC Deere Run but he’s maintained a good record here, finishing 37th in 2019 and 28th last year. Putting well on two of those three starts. In addition to this he has an excellent record in the Shriners, as a two-time winner, giving me further confidence in his chances this week.

The Scot is a four-time PGA Tour winner, winning as recently 2020 with the second of those Shriners victories. If he can reproduce anything like the tee-to-green performance of last week, whilst drawing on those positive previous putting performances here, he can take advantage of a weak field to pick up title number five. 

Open Championship Odds
Matt Wallace each-way (8 places)
110/1
Odds correct as of 2022-06-27 15:20 Odds subject to change.

Now for three selections at three-figures, starting with England’s Matt Wallace. After recently finding form when returning home to Europe, Wallace has carried it over to the states, making two cuts on the bounce for the first time this year on the tour. With his ball-striking in fine shape and the putter working well, he can go well this week.

I mentioned when putting him up in the Dutch Open, where he finished 5th, that though Wallace had been missing cuts in the U.S, there had been plenty of positive signs in his game, particularly with the irons but also around-the-greens. 

He showed this in that finish in the Netherlands, then again with a quality approach performance in an 18th place finish in the Porsche European Open and has started to find some form on the greens. Not just gaining strokes with the putter in both starts on this side of the Atlantic but has continued to do so in both his 35th place finish in the Canadian Open and his 46th place finish last week at the Travelers.

Though the approach play went missing in Canada, he rediscovered it last week and signed off with a superb ball-striking performance, shooting four-under on Sunday thanks to ranking 2nd in approach and 14th off-the-tee. I’m hoping he can carry that momentum over to this week.

Wallace hasn’t played here before but has some decent bits of form, finishing 12th in the Rocket Mortgage Classic and 14th in the Shriners Open. Also showing his ability to go low in two of his four DP World Tour victories, shooting -21 in the Portugal Open in 2017 and shot -19 in the Made in Denmark in 2018.

He hasn’t quite been able to carry that winning form over stateside just yet but if able to keep up the recent upturn in form shown with the putter and hit the ball as well as we know he can, he can go close here.

Hayden Buckley each-way (8 places)
110/1
Odds correct as of 2022-06-27 15:20 Odds subject to change.

Hayden Buckley’s first year on tour has been one of inconsistency but also one of promise. He was excellent when finishing 14th at the US Open two weeks ago, following with a solid 47th in the Travelers last week and can use that strong driving game of his to give himself plenty of birdie chances this week.

The main strength of Buckley’s game comes off-the-tee, ranking an impressive 14th on the PGA Tour. After a strong start to the season in other areas at the end of last year/beginning of this, the rest of his game went missing but there have been some positive signs on those two most recent starts.

Buckley’s superb finish at the US Open was down to a strong showing tee-to-green for the week, ranking 10th. He wasn’t quite as strong last week, with the driver once again the star of his game, though the putter also fired and even though overall approach stats weren’t that impressive, he did counter two poor rounds with two quality rounds, including Sunday’s final round, where he ranked 13th. Showing all areas are there, if not always at the same time.

He hasn’t teed it up here but in his strong start to the season on the PGA Tour last year, he picked up an 8th place finish at the Shriners Open. I’m also buoyed by his ability in approach between 125-150 yards, where he ranks 26th on tour, if he drives it like he usually does he should give himself plenty of chances from that range this week

Buckley was a talented amateur and has won at every level as a pro so far. Winning on the Canadian Tour in 2019 and backed that up with a win on the Korn Ferry Tour last year. He can follow in the footsteps of some of the other notable first-time winners here over recent years by becoming a PGA Tour winner this week.

Nate Lashley each-way (8 places)
110/1
Odds correct as of 2022-06-27 15:20 Odds subject to change.

I’m going to finish with Nate Lashley, who’s got some good form to his name of late. Combined with some strong correlating form and impressive rankings in relevant stats, I think he can go well this week.

I say Lashley has some good form of late but he’s actually been playing pretty well since March. He kicked off that month with a 7th place finish in the Puerto Rico Open and has since gone on to hit the top 25 on six further occasions in his next ten starts.

Most recently Lashley was 25th in last week’s Travelers Championship, a finish generally engineered by quality in approach and on the greens. Barring a couple of missed cuts on the bounce prior to last week, where his irons were off the boil, this has largely been the story of Lashley’s year in approach and though the putter is a little more in and out, he has gained strokes on the greens in four of his last six starts. 

In addition to this Lashley ranks 5th in par 4 scoring, 24th in birdie average and is 28th in approach from 125-150 yards. Adding up to a player very much the type of which we’re looking at this week. 

The belief he can go well here is enhanced by a solid 26th on his first and only visit to the John Deere Classic. Further to this he’s another past winner of the Rocket Mortgage Classic, indeed he won the inaugural event in 2019 with a scintillating 6-shot victory, shooting a winning score of -25. 

Lashley has been bubbling for much of the last three months. With some compelling stats and correlating form he looks in a good place to put up his best performance of the year this week.

Golf betting tips
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