Slate Breakdown | The John Deere Classic
Prepare for the excitement of the John Deere Classic, where birdies are plentiful! This tournament marks the end of a three-week span characterized by rising temperatures and dropping scores. From the Travelers Championship to the John Deere Classic, scoring birdies is key while pars are not necessarily beneficial.
Moreover, the tournament occurs during a demanding period in the schedule, just a week before embarking on a two-week journey across the Atlantic. However, before that, $275,000 is on the line this week. Given the less competitive field, participants will have to dig deep to assemble the perfect lineup.
In this article, we will suggest a few potential lineup options and provide a comprehensive preview of the event.
The John Deere Classic, often referred to as the crown jewel of the Midwest swing, may not always attract the world's best or top-ranked players. Yet, it consistently draws in up-and-coming talents. Some of these golfers, such as Ludvig Aberg, may not yet have their Reignmakers cards, but there are numerous other high-quality options this week.
With only 18 tournaments remaining in the inaugural Reignmakers PGA TOUR season and just five before the Fed Ex Cup playoffs, focusing on players that provide the most utility could be beneficial in the coming weeks. This week's tournament is a "Premium" event, offering a total prize pool of $275,000. First-place prizes for each tier, from CORE to REIGNMAKER, are set at $1,000, $2,000, $10,000, $5,000, and $10,000, respectively.
Having prepared for the tournament, it's time to delve into the details about this week's host venue, TPC Deere Run.
Situated in the heart of the Quad Cities area, TPC Deere Run is a par-71 course stretching approximately 7,200 yards. It exhibits a classic parkland design characterized by tree-fringed fairways, natural rock formations, and rolling landscapes. The Rock River, running along the course, contributes to the scenery and poses a challenge on several holes, acting as a check on scoring. On average, golfers hit fairways about 60% of the time and greens around 70%, indicating that the rough is not overly punishing this week.
As mentioned earlier, there are no golfers ranked in the world's top 13 participating in this week's event. To further illustrate, the highest-ranked player is Cameron Young, who hasn't had a top-10 finish since The Masters in April. However, Russell Henley, Denny McCarthy, and Adam Hadwin have been performing well recently and are expected to be regular features in optimally built lineups.
Other notable players participating this week include Emiliano Grillo, Eric Cole, and Alex Smalley.
You can explore these golfers' profiles and more on the newly introduced Player Profile page.
Three-Ball: 3 DraftKings Reignmakers PGA TOUR Targets
Jaeger enjoyed a stellar Sunday at the Rocket Mortgage Classic last week, propelling him into the top 10. This marked his second top-10 finish of the season and his first since November. While he hasn't had a consistent performance across all four rounds, he's made eight consecutive cuts and boasts a season record of 21 out of 24. Last week's performance may be the catalyst he needs to find himself in contention to win – a feat he has yet to achieve this year.
This year has been somewhat uneven for Bezuidenhout, as he hasn't reached the top 10 in the PGA TOUR or any other tour since November. This is unusual for him, considering his consistent presence on the leaderboard in recent years, particularly on the DP World Tour. His transition to the PGA TOUR seems to have impacted his performance. However, he's made three out of four cuts and will likely be a high utility player in the upcoming weeks, as he plans to participate in at least the next three weeks, if not the remainder of the regular season. Bezuidenhout's sporadic iron play and consistent putting, which secured him a second-place finish in this tournament last year, make him a strong contender.
Kim's journey on the PGA TOUR is nothing short of remarkable. In 2018, he won this very tournament despite an average performance that season. He followed it up with a decent T35 at the Open Championship the next week, but his form declined dramatically after that. For over two years, Kim's best result was a 62nd-place finish at the CIMB Classic, with his record filled with missed cuts and withdrawals. His performance improved when he tied for 16th at the Puerto Rico Open in 2022. This confidence boost enabled him to return to the Korn Ferry Tour, regain his form, and earn back his PGA TOUR card. Now, five years later and at the peak of his game, Kim is striving for his second win at this tournament and the completion of his incredible comeback story.