John Deere Classic 2021 Picks: Kizzire to win in the wide-open field
Our PGA Tour man JN Campbell passes on his betting strategies as part of his preview for this weeks John Deere Classic...
Course: TPC Deere Run
Location: Silvis, Illinois
Date: July 8—11
Par: 71, Yardage 7,268
Purse: $6.2M / Winner: $1.1M
Fairways/Rough: Bentgrass, Kentucky Bluegrass
Defending Champion: Dylan Frittelli (2019)
The 2020 edition of the John Deere was cancelled because of COVID-19. Now, it is back in action after that hiatus. Last time around we saw South African Dylan Frittelli hoist the stag-designed trophy, points and all. Though the 2021 field does not include many “big names,” there is still much on the line. When it comes to the purse, and the final berth in the Open Championship at Royal St. George’s—last in, those are impressive prizes that should illicit some solid competition.
Historically, this Tournament (previously called the Quad Cities) has brought together a good field of participants, despite the aforementioned lack of “celebrities” in ’21. The course itself is tree-lined and undulating in its landscape. Former PGA Professional D.A. Weibring envisioned a setting that had nooks and crannies, where precise shot-making would be at a premium. The TPC winds near the Rock River, and unlike other PGA sites, it does not have residences dotting it. That is an interesting wrinkle, and creates a measure of inclusivity between entrant and the ground.
Strategists who can string some low rounds, might have the chance to join a pantheon of champions. Those names are a who’s who in golf lore … Vijay Singh, Sean O’Hair, Steve Stricker 3x, Jordan Spieth 2x, Zach Johnson, and Bryson DeChambeau. Long ball hitters will not necessarily have an advantage as bends and rolling hills do not promote that style. This is an old school type of TPC, and the focus will be on iron work and touch around the greens. Birdies will come for sure, and we should see some scores in the -15 to -20 range, when all is said and done.
Last week, at the Rocket Mortgage in Michigan, we watched as our plays evaporated when Gary Woodland missed the cut, Hideki Matsuyama withdrew, and young Garrick Higgo finished tied-41st. With the Deere on the doorstep, we have the chance to move in a new direction, and right the betting ship, so to speak. I have dipped into the stat archive, run some numbers, and I am looking at some folks that offer some major value. Let’s see what we can do with some of these angles …
Prop bets, aplenty …
Daniel Berger vs. Brian Harman, low score comp … (Berger, +1100 vs. Harman, +1600)
In the weekly head-to-head match-up, we do not have some names like DJ, Koepka, or Spieth to insert into this wager, but that doesn’t mean we cannot come up with something creative. When it comes to the “top” players entered, Daniel Berger and Brian Harman’s names come up immediately. Berger may have missed the cut at The Masters, but his 2021 has shaped up nicely as he recorded a win at Pebble Beach, and T-7th at the U.S. Open. He has a Top Ten birdie avg, and his approach shots can be well-timed when he most needs it.
As for Harman, he is a lefty who won the Deere a few years back, and continues to play well in 2021. He finished T-5th most recently at the Travelers, and though he did not make that marathon playoff, he was at -10 at one point late in the final round. I like his creativity, and his FedEx Cup Ranking of 35th is not too shabby when you consider who is in front of him. If I had to pick a winner between this pair, I am slightly leaning towards Berger because of his record this year, and a course like this, sets up well for his game. It is Berger … by a sqeaker.
Doc Redman as a Top 20 Finisher … (Redman +5500)
Looking for some major value when it comes to not only making the Weekend in Illinois, but cracking the Top 20, I want a player who is flying below the radar. Doc Redman fits the bill in so many ways. Yes, he did miss the cut last week in the Rocket Mortgage, but that plays into my hands since bettors will think he is running cold. That is not the case. He just needs to make some adjustments, like any pro should, after missed opportunity.
Redman has a number of solid performances this year, namely a T-2nd ending at the Palmetto Championship at Congaree. That was a tough course, since it was the first-time pros competed in that tournament as a PGA Tour event. The Clemson University Tiger felt right at home, and now if he can bottle some of that shot-making he exhibited then, it should go a long way to giving him a chance to make an impression this week. His price on the boards will certainly be grand, and I want to take advantage of those juicy numbers.
Patton Kizzire … (Patton Kizzire +5000)
The Auburn University product is trying to get his golfing affairs in order after he recently, rather unceremoniously, missed 3 cuts in 3 weeks—The Memorial, The Palmetto, and The Travelers … not good. However, last week at the Rocket Mortgage in Detroit, he put together some quality rounds, and finished T-25th. That was a nice turnout after so much misery.
The best news from Michigan was he shot a 64 in the final round on Sunday, and that helped him move rapidly up the leaderboard, finishing with a -11. When you see someone getting “hot” late on Sunday, that is an angle I like to play because it means a player is going to use that confidence moving forward into the next tourney. Kizzire has major ability, but his lack of discipline from tee-to-green (103rd) is sorely lacking. That has to change this week, if he wants to compete in this wide-open field. His birdie-making avg. (20th) is thoroughly tolerable, and so is his putting (15th)—though some might disagree. Maybe this is the one instance where we want to spurn the Shakespearean saying, “What’s past is prologue?” Of course, the “Bard” from Stratford-upon-Avon never hit the links!
Enjoy all the action from Silvis, Illinois! It is time for the John Deere Classic!