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2022 John Deere Classic Preview

2022 John Deere Classic Preview by Damien Kayat

Damien Kayat previews the 2022 John Deere Classic and outlines his Value Bets and Man to Beat for the tournament at TPC Deere Run. (Photo Copyright Steve Haag Sports)

This should prove to be an interesting week for the PGA Tour, with the newly minted LIV Golf experiment preparing to tee off on American soil for the first time.

It’s going to be rather surreal to see the likes of Koepka and DJ teeing it up in America in what is essentially a Saudi venture. But that’s a debate for another day.

Xander Schauffle managed to win a low-scoring birdie-fest at TPC River Highlands. Schauffele is a player who doesn’t win enough and that should do him the world with the Open Championship fast approaching.

I was slightly devastated for Sahith Theegala following his 72nd hole implosion. I’m pretty stoked for selecting him last week and there’s no reason why he can’t compete again this week.

The 2022 John Deere Classic be another low-scoring affair that will come at a slightly different time in this year’s calendar.

This event has traditionally been held a week prior to the Open Championship. But this year’s Scottish Open – to be hosted next week – is now a co-sanctioned event with the DP World Tour. US PGA Tour professionals get the chance to hone their links skills in East Scotland for a week without sacrificing precious FedEx Cup points (which I think is an exciting, progressive initiative).

TPC Deere run is a par 71 that stretches to around 7,200 yards. What you do off the tee is largely irrelevant around this course.

The key to success here is accurate iron play and a dialed-in short-game (Jordan Spieth’s success here shouldn’t surprise anyone). Zach Johnson is almost the prototypical course specialist, winning this title once and finishing runner-up three times. This is actually a course that can throw up some unusual winners (Dylan Frittelli and Michael Kim come to mind).

This week’s field has certainly been affected by external forces. The LIV Golf drama will obviously prevent many regular names from competing this week. But the decision to make next week’s Scottish Open a co-sanctioned event does leave this event slightly in the mud.

Just look at the market leader this week: Webb Simpson. His tie for 13th at last week’s Travelers was his best result of the year.

There will be many such out-of-form players desperate to find some traction this week (the likes of Jason Day and Charles Howell III come to mind).

But there is also the little matter of Open Championship exemptions. The top three finishers this week – who aren’t already exempt – will book their places at this year’s Open Championship.

Past Winners

2021: Lucas Glover (-19)
2020: cancelled due to pandemic
2019: Dylan Frittelli (-21)
2018: Michael Kim (-27)
2017: Bryson DeChambeau (-18)

Betting Favourites – 2022 John Deere Classic

Webb Simpson – 12/1
Adam Hadwin – 16/1
Sahith Theegala – 22/1
Denny McCarthy – 25/1
Jason Day – 28/1

Value Bets – 2022 John Deere Classic

Scott Stallings
To Win – 28/1

This one is just a solid combination of course history and current form. Plus the fact that he can be found at an excellent price.

Stallings is a John Deere regular (with a best finish of T5 in 2017).

Scott is currently enjoying a very solid, though not quite headline-grabbing, season.

He has four top 10s amongst eight top 25 finishes. This included a T8 at last week’s Travellers, showcasing his ability to play well on susceptible golf courses.

Steve Stricker
To Win – 50/1

I think this is going to be a popular pick further down the betting market.

Talk about horses for courses. Stricker has played this event 18 times, winning back-to-back-to-back titles between 2009 and 2011. He has posted eight top 10’s and only missed two cuts during that incredible spell.

Steve is also fresh off a brilliant showing at the US Senior Open, where he almost chased down Padraig Harrington with a brilliant 65 in his final round.

Crucially, that event came at a course not much shorter than this one. Sure, the 55-year-old would be breaking Sam Snead’s record as the oldest PGA Tour champion (Snead was 52 when he won the 1962 Greater Greensboro Open). But if that record was ever under threat, it would surely have to be this week.

The Man to Beat – 2022 John Deere Classic

Jason Day
To Win – 28/1

This is a bit of a ‘Hail Mary’ pass. But let’s not forget there was a time not too long ago that Jason Day was the pound-for-pound best player in the world.

The former World No.1 endured a horror back injury and a succession of personal tragedies. But I really believe it’s just a matter of time until he finds his best form.

He has made four of his last five cuts, finishing in a tie for 15th at the highly competitive Wells Fargo Championships.

Day has the ability to decimate this field if he suddenly clicks.

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2022 John Deere Classic Preview by Damien Kayat

2022 John Deere Classic Preview by Damien Kayat

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