The John Deere Classic is being hosted this weekend at TPC Deer Run on the the border of Illinois and Iowa, right along the Mississippi River. In the final event before all of the players head to St. Andrews for the Open Championship, the top players will be fine-tuning their games, hoping to be hitting on all cylinders heading into the next major. With the $3M Millionaire Maker showing up again, you should be doing the exact same thing. Here are a few players to consider this weekend at every price range as you make your final decisions. Good luck.
Jordan Spieth ($13,700) – It’s not just a “what have you done for me lately” situation – he has history here too. He won here in 2013, and he’s been playing pretty okay lately too.
Zach Johnson ($11,300) – It’s really very simple: in the last six times he has played this course for this tournament, he finished inside the top three FIVE times, including a victory in 2012. And it’s not as if he’s been slumping lately, with four appearances in the top 20 in his last five events.
Kevin Kisner ($10,700) – He’s finished second three times this year, and doesn’t have a win. One of those second place finishes was last weekend – the two previous times he finished outside of the top 25 the following week. But this week is going to be different – with this field, on this course, he will be able to make plenty of shots to keep himself in contention. Along with those three seconds (all playoff losses), he has three other top tens this season, and in his last eight events, he has ended up outside the top 12 only twice (and hasn’t missed a single cut).
Robert Streb ($9,000) – Another of the three losers in last weekend’s four-man playoff, Streb has managed top-20 efforts in four of five, and in those four, he’s averaged 17.5 birdies. The fifth was the U.S. Open, where he made the cut, and eight birdies – which is to say, he’s played well every time out recently.
George McNeill ($8,600) – In his last ten events, the only time he missed the cut was at Chambers Bay. He been inside the top 30 eight times in that stretch, and inside the top 20 five times. Other than the hiccup at the Open, he’s has sixteen straight rounds under par.
Tony Finau ($8,500) – You know he wants that first win, but I have been recommending him consistently for weeks, and I haven’t been disappointed – seven straight top-25’s and his lowest fantasy point total in that stretch was 68 at the U.S. Open.
Jason Bohn ($8,400) – He shot a 61 on Friday last weekend, and no matter what course you’re on, a 61 is evidence that your game is tight. He’ll be looking for his fifth top-ten of the season.
Jerry Kelly ($8,400) – A local boy from Wisconsin, he finished inside the top five here in 2013 and 2014. This course is exactly what he needs to get back on track after a couple of missed cuts and return to the form that saw him earn five straight top-30 efforts in April and May, with a low of 73 fantasy points over that stretch.
Kevin Chappell ($8,100) – He’s made six straight cuts. He hasn’t finished inside the top-15 a single time this season, after ending up in the top-25 nine times in 2014. He made 22-of-28 cuts last year as well, demonstrating the consistency to make for a useful fantasy option. He makes plenty of birdies, and usually finds them balanced off by more than his fair share of bogeys, but that makes him a better fantasy golfer than real golfer, an analysis usually reserved for different (fantasy) sports.
Jim Herman ($7,500) – He’s been making cuts all season, for the most part, but lately he’s seen his results moving in the wrong direction. His final spot in the standing has been slipping over the past few weeks, a trend that ended with his first MC in a while last weekend at Greenbrier. TPC Deer Run is just the place to turn that around, and Herman’s short game should give him plenty of chances to score.
Tim Clark ($6,700) – He was playing great before an elbow injury derailed him back in January, and he returned to action two weekends ago at the Travelers. It was reported at the time that he chose the course because it was short – a good way to ease back into action. This course certainly fits that bill as well. He missed the cut two weeks ago, but if he can return to form quickly, he can still easily earn himself a spot inside the top 125 as the FedEx Cup playoffs approach.
Will Wilcox ($6,400) – He missed the cut with seven birdies and six bogeys last weekend – but this is a player who routinely cards only seven or eight bogeys in a four-round outing when he’s playing well. With a forgiving course this weekend, he should be able to avoid the real disastrous holes, and he makes enough birdies to get past the cutline and play into the weekend, often all you’re really hoping for with a player this cheap. But he also has two top-25 performances as recently as the beginning of June, so you could actually be stumbling onto some upside here.