Golf Rankings for John Deere Classic
The John Deere Classic is held at another of the PGA's courses the TPC Deere Run. The TPC Deere Run course is a 7,268 yard, par 71 course. This is an easy track with no winner finishing with a score worse than 16 under par since the tournament started here at TPC Deere Run. There really aren't any hazards to speak of on the course so the players can take aim at the pins.
The greens are bentgrass and are quite large at 7,000 square feet on average. The John Deere Classic has been held here since 2000 so we have enough of a track record to feel good about the historical record. It's a D.A Weibring design. Weibring also renovated the TPC Las Colinas course where the Byron Nelson Classic is played. The field is also weaker than normal with only one golfer in the top 30 here, Zach Johnson, who we will get to in a bit.
Where should we focus our statistical microscope this week?
Strokes Gained: Approach (SG:APP) – I wanted to highlight a new stat this week which we haven't used previously.From the PGA: SG:APP – "Strokes gained: approach-the-green measures the tee shot on par-3s and the first shot following a tee shot on par-4s and par-5s."
Birdie or Better % < 125 yards (BOB%125) – Thanks to our friends and Fantasy Golf Metrics, we can see the historical shot dispersion. We see 21.2% of all shots will come from 125 yards and in. We want golfers who can score from that distance and this stat will give us the players to target.
Par 4 Efficiency 400-450 yards (P4E400-450) – There are 11 par 4s on the course and just four of them fall between 400 and 450 yards. However, one more par 4 is 395 yards and another is 454 yards. So, six of the 11 fall between 395 and 454 yards so we'll use this efficiency stat this week.
Par 5 Efficiency 550-600 yards (P5E550-600) – There are three par 5s on the course and they all fall between 550 and 600 yards. This will be our tiebreaker this week as most will be able to score on these holes, but we want to avoid those who have struggled from this distance.
I'm focused on 2016 stats of course, but will certainly refer back to 2015 if need.
And of course, we examine Strokes Gained: Putting (SG:P) and Strokes Gained: Tee to Green (SG:T2G) with more weight on SG:T2G again this week.
As always, check back on the weather Wednesday to see the final forecast. This week it looks like the weather won't be too much of an issue. There is a call for some scattered/isolated thunderstorms on Friday into Saturday, but it doesn't look like much yet. Temperatures will be in the high 80s to low 90s until the storms pass through leaving pleasant temps behind. There is no wind to speak of at this point.
Zach Johnson [Yahoo Class C] - World Ranking: #69
Umm….there will be no analysis here. He's the best player in the field (only one in the top 30 in OWGR) and has finished in the top three in six of his last seven trips to the John Deere including a win in 2012. He's on the board of directors for the tournament. You can fade him if you’d like as he could be heavily owned, but do you fade him in a field this thin?
Kevin Na [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #64
The second highest ranked (by OWGR) player in the field isn’t the second favorite to win and in a field like this that seems odd. Perhaps it’s due to his limited record here (three for five in cuts made with a T13 two years ago his only start since 2008. He’s played solid golf over the last few weeks making the cut in all three majors with all results in the top 25. His stats through the Travelers last week are 45th in SG:T2G, 62nd in SG:P, ninth in SG:APP, 148th in BOB%125, 30th in P4E:400-450, and 122nd in P5E:550-600.
Gary Woodland [Yahoo Class A] - World Ranking: #46
Woodland is one of the better statistical fits (second overall in the field) for the course (17th in SG:T2G, 121st in SG:P, 23rd in SG:APP, 76th in BOB%125, 69th in P4E:400-450, and second in P5E:550-600). He’s played here three times since 2009, making two cuts with a T21 in 2010 as his best finish. He’s made five of his last seven cuts with two top fives in that run.
Ryan Moore [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #45
Moore’s profile is solid (79th in SG:T2G, 32nd in SG:P, 81st in SG:APP, fifth in BOB%125, 73rd in P4E:400-450, and 62nd in P5E:550-600). He’s seven for seven in cuts made at the Deere Classic with four top 10s all in the last four years. He’s made five cuts in a row, but with just one top 20 (last week at the Travelers).
The statistical model loves Garrigus this week as he’s third in the field with his only issues around the putter (34th in SG:T2G, 143rd in SG:P, fourth in SG:APP, 81st in BOB%125, ninth in P4E:400-450, and 72nd in P5E:550-600). He’s made eight of nine cuts on Tour with four top 15 finishes including last week’s T5 at the Travelers. He’s made four of seven cuts at the John Deere with three top 25s, but nothing in the top 20.
If you want an old guy with an excellent course history, then Kelly is your man instead of Steve Stricker who I think will be more heavily owned. Kelly is nine for 10 in cuts made with the three top 10s and seven top 25s. Two of his top 10s have been in the last three years. After missing five of six cuts, the American has made two cuts in a row including a solo second last week at the Travelers. That statistical model doesn’t like Kelly this week, but the call is about form and course history.
Jon Rahm [Yahoo Class C] - World Ranking: #11
Whew….I like Rahm as much as the next guy, but to seem him listed as the third favorite in this field reeks of helium. I’m not sure I’ll pay up for the Spaniard by way of Arizona State this week. He’s played well on Tour this year with four top 25s in six Tour events. And he’s a new, shiny thing so he’ll be in a lot of lineups.
Steve Stricker [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #78
Stricker is ZJ-Lite. Stricker won this event three straight times from 2009 to 2011. He's finished in the top 11 in three of the subsequent four years with the only year outside the top 11 since 2009 being last year's T35. He continues to play infrequently this year, but he does have three top 25s in his last four starts worldwide. His statistical profile is a bit bumpy with a second place standing in SG:P, ninth in P4E:400-450 and 47th in BOB%125. The rest of the stats have Stricker outside the top 110.
Daniel Summerhays [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #89
Summerhays has made 11 of his last 12 cuts worldwide including two top 10s out of the three majors held in the last couple of months. He has four top 25s in his last six events. He missed the cut in his first two starts at the John Deere. Since then he’s finished in the top 15 the last three years (T4, T13 and T8). Summerhays also has a bit of a bumpy statistical profile (104th in SG:T2G, eighth in SG:P, 120th in SG:APP, seventh in BOB%125, 94th in P4E:400-450, and 84th in P5E:550-600).
Keegan Bradley [Yahoo Class C] - World Ranking: #120
Don’t look now, but Bradley has made four straight cuts and five of his last six with three top 25s in that run. He’s a reasonable statistical fit outside of his putter of course (28th in SG:T2G, 197th in SG:P, 27th in SG:APP, 110th in BOB%125, 90th in P4E:400-450, and 165th in P5E:550-600). He’s played here just once in 2013 and finished T61.
Robert Streb [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #188
Streb has played the JDC three times all in the last three years and has seen the weekend each time. He’s finished T22, T37, and T14. And perhaps Streb has found a bit of that 2015 magic as he’s four of his last six cuts with three top 25s including a T7 at the PGA Championship in his last time out. It’s been a struggle this year for Streb so the stats won’t be kind, but he still has a solid foundation to build on (51st in SG:T2G, 167th in SG:P, 49th in SG:APP, 186th in BOB%125, 21st in P4E:400-450, and 80th in P5E:550-600).
Senden is one of the better statistical fits (fourth in the field just ahead of Kevin Na) for the course this week as he’s 88th in SG:T2G, 27th in SG:P, 76th in SG:APP, 22nd in BOB%125, 64th in P4E:400-450, and 71st. He’s made three cuts in a row with two top 20s including a T18 at the PGA Championship. He won the John Deere back in 2006 four top 20s in 12 starts overall since 2002.