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Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Twofer Tuesday: John Deere Classic

Twofer Tuesday leaves the Motor City and heads for Tractor Central at the John Deere Classic.

2019 defending champion Dylan Frittelli

As courses go, TPC John Deere isn't terribly difficult. A par-71 track measuring a little under 7300 yards, it has a lot of elevation changes with a lot of opportunities for low (and high) scoring. It's one of the rare courses on Tour that can boast a 59, shot by Paul Goydos back in 2010. (Winner Steve Stricker shot a 60 the same day.)

TPC John Deere does seem to fit some players better than others. Steve Stricker and Zach Johnson are the #1 and #2 money winners at this event. Among active players Steve Stricker has three wins and Jordan Spieth two. Defending champion Dylan Frittelli -- from 2019 since this event wasn't played last year -- could make it two in a row himself.

But this is also a track that favors new winners and that does make this a tricky event to pick. TPC John Deere is much like TPC Sawgrass, in that it doesn't favor one style of play over another but some players seem to understand it better than others.

  • My first pick is Daniel Berger. With 6 Top10s in 17 starts, including a win and a 3rd, he's been a worthwhile pick this season. And with two of those Top10s in his last four starts, he's not someone to overlook at a track like this.
  • And my other pick is Steve Stricker, the only back-to-back-to-back winner at this event. It was jokingly referred to as the Steve Stricker Annual Annuity Tournament for a while! The Ryder Cup Captain is the  #1 money winner at this event... and he has 7 Top10s in 11 starts on the Champions Tour this season (including a major). It's hard to believe he won't post another Top10 this week.

GC's live coverage starts Thursday at 3pm ET. A number of players in the field (15) are already qualified for THE OPEN and one more will gain an exemption at the John Deere, so this week might give you some cues on who might win next week.

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