Birdies galore expected on the PGA Tour this week.
There’s just a week to go until the Open Championship and that means the PGA tour heads to Illinois for the John Deere Classic. A feature on the tour since 1972, the event made headlines in 2005 and 2006 because of the sponsor’s exemptions given to teenager Michelle Wie.
The tournament now also offers a charter flight to the UK to attract players heading to the Open Championship.
Low scores the order of the day at TPC Deere Run
The John Deere Classic is a great tournament if you’re a fan of watching the best players make loads of birdies and eagles. In 2013 the tournament yielded 1,966 par breakers (including 36 eagles) which was a six-year high on the PGA tour.
In recent years it has taken a score of around 20 under par to win the tournament, with Steve Stricker winning with a massive 26 under par total in 2010. Aggressive players capable of making lots of birdies should go well this weekend.
Strong American contingent lead the betting
With the Open just a week away it’s not the strongest field that has ever assembled for a PGA tour event. Indeed, leading American golf expert Bob Harig believes that players taking part in the Open should never play in this event. He says that golfers who play both events “are missing acclimation time. And practice time on a unique golf course, a style that few play regularly.”
Saying that, the final exemption into next week’s Open Championship is reserved for the top finisher not otherwise exempt inside the top five so there is plenty to play for.
Youngster Jordan Spieth became the first teenage winner of a PGA tour event since 1931 when he won this tournament in 2013 and the 20 year old is the 8/1 favourite this year. On his way to the title he led field in par-3 scoring (bogey-free 7-under) and ranked T3 in par breakers with 25.
If you take into account his recent form – a top 20 finish in last four starts after T4 at the Players Championship and T2 at the Masters – then Spieth is a worthy favourite.
If you’re looking for a high quality player with an excellent record on this course then you should consider 12/1 shot Zach Johnson.
Johnson won this event in 2012 with a score of 20 under par and the previous champion can also boast two second place and a third place finish at this event. His actual scoring average in his last 20 rounds at TPC Deere Run is a sensational 66.8 and so he the 38 year old should go well again here.
Steve Stricker won this event three years in a row between 2009 and 2011 and is the tournament’s all-time leading money earner. While he may not have won a Tour event this season he has made 32 consecutive cuts and is a class act on this course.
He has a couple of top 15 finishes to his name since May and you can expect to see the 47 year old near the top of the leaderboard on Sunday. Stricker is 11/1 to win.
Some outsiders for the John Deere to follow at long odds
Ignoring his missed cut at last week’s Greenbrier Classic it has been a decent few months for Ben Martin. The 26 year old has already secured three third-place finishes this season and he had made seven consecutive cuts before a disappointing 73 cost him at The Old White.
Martin finished 9 under par at his previous visit to this event in 2011 and could offer good each-way value at 45/1.
Jason Bohn is twice a PGA tour winner and after a dismal run earlier this year when he missed five cuts in six weeks his form is on the up in recent weeks.
The 40 year old arrives in Illinois on the back of a good performance at the Greenbrier where one more birdie would have seen him in the top 5 and a great each-way payout for backers. He ranked seventh in strokes gained putting at that event and has four top 25 finishes at the John Deere to his name.
Bohn shot 13 under par at this event last year and could go well again at long odds of 95/1.
Check out all our pre-tournament golf betting odds on the 2014 John Deere Classic over at our main site at https://www.betbright.com/golf/51633018/56404148/121063092