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Zach Johnson was the champion and cashes top prize at Kapalua at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions …

The John Deere Classic

TPC Deere Run

Sylvis, Illinois

TPC Deere Run

Twitter: @jdclassic

Yards: 7,268 per the scorecard

Par: 71 (35-36)

Greens: Bentgrass; 8,000 square feet on average

Stimpmeter: 11’

Rough: Kentucky bluegrass at 3”

Bunkers: 78

Water Hazards: 3

Course Architects: D.A. Weibring and Chris Gray (1999); PGA TOUR Design (2006-2007)

Purse: $4,600,000

Winner’s Share: $828,000

FexExCup Points: 500 to the winner

Defending Champion: Zach Johnson defeated Troy Matteson on the second playoff hole to win his first John Deere Classic (JDC).

Dates: July 11-14

Notes: The JDC moved to TPC Deere Run in 2000. The winner of this week’s tournament will play The Open Championship if not already eligible.

History Lessons

There have been 27 tournaments this season. The Stars and Stripes have won 22 of them but Australian Adam Scott and Englishman Justin Rose have the two biggest trophies, the Masters and U.S. Open, respectively.

There have also been 10 first-time winners this season. There have also been just two multiple winners, Tiger Woods (four) and Matt Kuchar (WGC-Match Play; Memorial). There were only nine first-time winners in 2012.

After cranking out first-time winners in five of the first six years at TPC Deere Run, there hasn’t been such a champion since John Senden in 2006.

Past champions in the field include:

Sean O’Hair (2005)

John Senden (2006)

Jonathan Byrd (2007)

Steve Stricker (2009-2011)

Zach Johnson (2012).

The winners on TOUR have been Johnson, D (28), Henley (24), Gay (41), Woods FOUR  times (37), Mickelson (42), Snedeker (32), Merrick (30) Kuchar TWICE (34),Thompson, M (27) Brown (29), Streelman (34), Points (36), Laird (30), Scott (32), G-Mac (33), Horschel (26), Ernst (22), Bae (26), Weekley (39) English (23), Rose (32), Duke (44) Haas (31) and now Blixt (29).  The young folks (30 and younger) now have 11 victories; the 30-somethings have racked up 14 victories, and the “old folks” (40 and up) have three wins on the year.

Only 10 players in history have won the week before a major and have gone on to lift the trophy the following week. Since 2000, only Phil Mickelson (2006) and Tiger Woods (2007) have pulled off this back-to-back feat. That’s some company.

Rank and File

Just 22 of the OWGR top 100 players are entered this week; just eight from the top 50 if you are into those kinds of numbers.

Of Course

TPC Deere Run ranked the 42nd-hardest course of the 49 used on TOUR last year so it’s no surprise that this week, again, will be another birdie festival. This course has seen 59 with Paul Goydos, 60 with Steve Stricker, a pair of 61s and EIGHT 62s since becoming the host. And if you’re not making an obnoxious amount of birdies, you better not make bogeys. Zach Johnson racked up 24 birdies to four bogeys last year; Stricker made 25 birdies to three bogeys in 2011. In 2010, when he set the course record Stricker made 31 birdies in 72 holes. The HIGHEST winning score here is 16-under 268.

I’m looking for guys who rack up under-par scores and avoid bogeys. Guys who are GIR machines will have the most chances to make birdies but there is no doubt that great putters (Stricker and Johnson) can thrive here as well. The greens are over 8,000 square feet so if approach play is crooked, many feet of putts will need to be holed just to keep up. With scores this low historically, the greens will obviously be conducive to scoring. Don’t forget there are three par-five holes this week as well.

Steve Stricker in 2010 fired 26-under for the tournament record.

Paul Goydos in 2010 fired 59 in the opening round to set the course record.

Best 10, Plus One

Steve Stricker: His “Quad-peat” was stifled last year as his putter went cold and he finished T5. Recapping, in his last four starts here he’s finished T5, WIN, WIN and WIN. Shall I keep typing? If you’re concerned he’s “not playing enough”, well he’s hit the top 10 in four of seven starts including T8 his last time out at the U.S. Open. He takes the top spot because of Johnson’s lack of recent form.

Zach Johnson: It feels strange typing this but Johnson only has one top 10 in 16 events in 2013 but that should NOT concern you this week. He sits on the board of directors. He considers this event his “fifth major”. He is Iowa, born and bred. In his last four times around he’s won, finished T3, T21 and T2. Home cookin’ is usually the cure for what ails. His last round in the 70s here was five years ago.

Keegan Bradley: He feasts on par fours and fives and makes plenty of birdies so he should feel at home this week in a birdie-fest. He showed glimpses of form last time out at the Travelers and should find plenty of chances to get low this week in his first visit to the Quad Cities. He’s already posted a 60 this season at HPBNC so you know it’s in there!

Scott Stallings: He has no problems racking up birdies and he looked like he was getting back into the groove last week at Greenbrier. He’s had plenty of success in tournaments where low scores are needed (Humana, Sanderson Farms) so he should be licking his chops this week. His putter was rolling it last weekend so if he’s hitting greens, look out!

Jordan Spieth: He’s racked up seven top 25s and five top 10s in 11 cuts made this season. He knows the ONLY way he gets into the FEDEXCup Playoffs by doing one thing: Winning. He logged four rounds here last year (T58) so he’ll be familiar with the surroundings and from the looks of his game, he’ll be up for the challenge. It doesn’t hurt that he destroys par fours as he finds plenty of fairways.

Louis Oosthuizen: After back-to-back WDs on TOUR, the South African bagged four rounds in the 60s at Greenbrier to turn heads again. Who doesn’t enjoy watching this guy swing a golf club? His iron play and scrambling will have to be the difference for him this week as his flat stick, 69th in strokes gained-putting last week, is a bit chilly.

Brendon de Jonge: He’s already racked up 22 starts and in his last one he finished with a very solid 66 at Greenbrier to make the weekend for the 17 time in 2013. He’s a cash-cow and his nine top 25s illustrate that. He enjoys this track as he’s 11 of his last 12 rounds under par in the last three seasons and has finished T19, T7 and T7. Fairways and greens are his strength and those solid numbers have led to 284 birdies this season, second most on TOUR. He also leads the TOUR in par-five performance. Sadly for him, he’s my OAD this week. Thanks to @unknowncomic2, this has been corrected. de Jonge can thank me later...

Charley Hoffman/Morgan Hoffmann: COUPLED ENTRY for your horse racing fans! Charley is currently eighth in birdie average and fifth in birdie-or-better conversion. He also kills par fours and fives in general. His very solid season has seen him play 10 of the last 11 weekends on his schedule. Morgan has caused my GolfChannel.com Fantasy team to bottom out as I didn’t pull the trigger on him the last three weeks. Shut up. He’s been under par in nine of his last 12 rounds and is brimming with confidence. All young kids know how to make birdies and he enjoys making them on par fours and that won’t hurt this week.

John Senden: The Aussie has fond memories around these parts as this was the scene of his only career TOUR victory in 2006. In four of his 10 starts, Senden has finished T15 or better including T12 in 2011 and T4 last year. In those two years he was a combined 30-under par. I, like you, worry about his putter, but this should be the barometer on putting this week. Senden doesn’t putt well but even he finds a way once he arrives at TPC Deere Run.

Matt Jones: The Aussie has found T6 (Memorial) and T2 (Greenbrier) as bookends in his last four starts on TOUR. He sandwiched those with MC and T64 but he showed last weekend that he looks to be in a happy place with 19 birdies and his best finish on TOUR. He finished MC the last two years at the JDC but in the two years before that he posted fifth and T5.

Form and Function

These players just missed out but should not be dismissed.

Luke Guthrie: The man from Quincy, Ill., felt at home last year as he racked up a T5 (16-under) in his second pro event. He bludgeons par fives and his eye seems to fit this course as he opened with 65 and closed with 64. Even though he MC last week, his Friday 68 should be a confidence booster entering his “home” week on TOUR.

Ryan Moore: He had a nice run at Memorial (T13) and Travelers (T7) as the bun of his MC sandwich at the U.S. Open. Moore is a streaky player so I’m jumping on this week. His T8 finish here last year should bring back positive swing thoughts. His consistency, or lack thereof, finds him on this part of the list this week.

Harris English: As many greens as he hits and as well as he putts it, there shouldn’t be many weeks when gamers dismiss the 2013 FESJC champ. He makes tons of birdies and has cashed in 13 of 21 events this season. 

Kevin Streelman: He has no rounds in the 60s in his last four tournaments and hence he hasn’t seen the weekend in any of them but as well as Streelman plays here, this should be the tonic to knock him out of his funk. In his last three trips to Slyvis he’s finished T8, MC and eighth. His putter is too good to stay this cold for this long.

Nick Watney: He carded all four rounds in the 60s in his first time around TPC Deere Run here last year and that will be a minimum to contend this week. Watney rebounded well last week as he was third in GIR but the same issue always rings true: Can his putter make enough putts for him to contend? He hits too many greens and has enough class that I cannot omit him this week.

Gary Woodland: The frustration of 2013 carries on for Woodland but I like the fact that he found 64 last week at Greenbrier in the third round. Sadly, he backed that up with 77 on Sunday to finish T62. He’s found the weekend in 14 of 18 starts but only has four top 25s to show for his efforts. He’s fired 64 in two of his last three events so it’s getting closer.

Kyle Stanley: In his last two events here, his worst round is 69 and he’ll need more of the same this week to stop a streak of two MCs in his last two events. Obviously this course fits his eye (T19 in 2012, second in 2011) and his second round 68 last week should be a nice foundation to get things going this week.

Camilo Villegas: He’s made six cuts in a row but only two of those have found the top 25 but yet in 2013 his scoring average is 35th and he’s 29th in the all-around ranking. His solid birdie splits don’t dissuade me from putting him in here again this week.  In a thin field, there’s nothing wrong with flying on a guy who’s made six cuts in a row.

Pat Perez: Even though his history in this event is spotty, Perez has bagged two top 10s in his last three starts including T6 last week so he has my attention. He showed his sharpness last week as he only carded five bogeys and he’ll need another ball-striking performance like that this week.  This will be year No. 8 in a row at TPC Deere Run but his best finish in that stretch is T30.

Take It Deep

Off the radar but are worth a flier

Jerry Kelly: The “other” guy with Wisconsin ties this week at JDC, Kelly has made five cuts on the bounce and racked up four rounds under 70 here last year.

Ted Potter, Jr.: I’ll throw out last year’s result because he was coming off his first win on TOUR. This year, he’s completely under the radar and coming off his best finish of the season, T6 last week. It’s time to put a streak together.

George McNeill: He’s trending in the right direction as he’s finished T75, T44 and T17 in his last three. He’s a solid 14 of 18 this season but, like Woodland, hasn’t found many top 25s. He’s solid off the tee and into the greens and if he can avoid the big round this week, he should be lurking.

Brendon Todd: He should probably be up one section in this column but he’s been faring well down here. In his last three events in his limited starts, he’s taken advantage by posting finishes of T17, T18 and T13. I like the mindset that he brings. He’s 150th currently so he knows a couple more performances like this can put him in a nice position coming down the stretch.

Russell Knox: Another player with limited starts, Knox bagged T13 at the Travelers his last time out on TOUR with four rounds in the 60s. He’ll see a similar course this week and that will help as will his solid ball-striking.

Chad Campbell: An “oldie” but goodie, Campbell has played the last five years in this event and has exactly ZERO rounds over par. He’s also played the weekend in four events in a row on TOUR.

Scott Brown: He drove here last year after his wife gave birth to their first child and cranked out 24 birdies to finish seventh. Lightning in a bottle.

Brad Fritsch: Without Graham DeLaet in the column this week, I felt I needed “more Canadian” and Fritsch, for the second week in a row finds himself in the dark horse section. Some gamers just need players to make cuts and collect a check and Fritsch has been doing exactly that with 15 of 19 weekends this season. Come on, Big Boy!

Vaughn Taylor: In the last five years he has one round here over par. He’s 35th in birdie average and needs to make a move because he’s currently No. 148 in the FEDEXCup Standings. Hey, I said these were LONG-SHOTS!

Jim Herman: Low round of Sunday last week with 65 and has made four cuts in a row. #gohermie

Pack Lightly

Just because they have well-recognized names doesn’t always mean you have to panic to fill your roster out with them…Also, it seems at least one of these guys will hit the top 10 EVERY week. I’m not scared.

Aaron Baddeley: He’s looking at his 10th MC in a row if he misses again this week.

D.A. Points: He’s made one cut from six here and his best finish is T38. He’s one for his last four on TOUR with a T54 as the best result. I HAVE FOUND YOUR WINNER.

Tag Ridings: He’s o-fer in six tries here so keep that in mind if you are riding his T9 from last week. You see what I did there? Righto.

Colt Knost: Since his T21 at HPBNC he is 0-5. In three tries at JDC, he has zero rounds in the 60s. #knost-fer

Rookie of the Week Last Week

I keep an eye on the youngin’s each week to see who is making the most noise.

Sony: Russell Henley WIN

Humana: David Lingmerth P2

Farmers: Brad Fritsch T9

WMPO: James Hahn T16

AT&T: James Hahn T3

NTO: Luke Guthrie T21

WGC-Match Play: Russell Henley 2nd round

Honda: Luke Guthrie 3rd

WGC-Cadillac: Russell Henley T28

Puerto Rico: Jordan Spieth 2nd

Tampa Bay: Jordan Spieth T7; Shawn Stefani T7; Ben Kohles T7

Arnold Palmer: Ben Kohles T14

Shell Houston Open: Robert Streb T22

Valero Texas Open: Ben Kohles T37

Masters: Russell Henley MC

RBC Heritage: Russell Henley T6

Zurich Classic: D. H. Lee T8

Wells Fargo Championship: Derek Ernst WIN

THE PLAYERS: David Lingmerth. Great back-to-back weeks for the rookies on TOUR!

HPBNC: Morgan Hoffmann T5

Colonial: Jordan Spieth, yep, him again, T7

Memorial: Russell Henley T6

FESJC: Patrick Reed Fifth

U.S. Open: David Lingmerth T17; special mentions for Hideki Matsuyama T10 and Michael Kim T17.

Travelers: Morgan Hoffmann T9

AT&T National: D.H. Lee T3; Jordan Spieth 6th; Morgan Hoffmann T8

Greenbrier: David Lingmerth and D.H. Lee both T9

One-and-Done

SEASON TOTAL: $2,999,189

NO, I HAVEN’T BROKEN 3 MILLION YET BUT THANKS FOR ASKING!

HTOC: Steve Stricker (2nd; $665,000)

Sony: Charles Howell III (T3; $324,800)

Humana: Tim Clark (MC)

Farmers: Rickie Fowler (T6; $204,350)

WMPO: Jason Dufner (MC)

AT&T Pebble: Hunter Mahan (T16; $94,250)

Northern Trust: Bill Haas (T3; $343,200)

WGC-Match Play: Charl Schwartzel (T33; $46,000)

Honda: Lee Westwood (T9; $156,000)

WGC-Cadillac Championship: Matt Kuchar (T35; $68,500)

Tampa Bay: Jim Furyk (T7; $148,892)

Bay Hill: Sergio Garcia (WD after three rounds)

Shell Houston: Jimmy Walker (T50; $14,838)

Valero: Cameron Tringale (MC)

Masters: Phil Mickelson (T54; $18,320)

RBC Heritage: Luke Donald (T3; $336,400)

Zurich Classic: Bubba Watson (T15; $102,500)

Wells Fargo: Webb Simpson (T32; $37,073)

THE PLAYERS: Nick Watney (MC)

HPBNC: Jason Day (T27; $46,565)

Colonial: Kevin Streelman (MC)

Memorial: K.J. Choi (T21; $58,202)

FESJC: Ryan Palmer (4th; $273,600)

US Open: Graeme McDowell (MC)

Travelers: John Rollins (MDF; $11,041)

AT&T National: Billy Horschel (T61; $14,040)

The Greenbrier Classic: Graham DeLaet (T30; $36,618)

John Deere Classic: Jordan Spieth

GolfChannel.com Fantasy Challenge

AT&T National

(I play as “Glass” for ALL fantasy games) I better start swimming or I’ll continue to sink like a stone…

Mike Glasscott (Rank: 3,465; $14,669,306)

Group 1: Steve Stricker

Group 2: Jordan Spieth

Group 3: Matt Jones

Group 4: Russell Knox

Ryan O’Sullivan (Rank: 5,781; $13,756,988)

Group 1: Steve Stricker

Group 2: Brendon de Jonge

Group 3: Matt Jones

Group 4: Jim Herman


Ned Brown (Rank: 1,903; $15,512,872) “Pure Spin”

Group 1: Steve Stricker

Group 2: Ryan Moore

Group 3: D.H. Lee

Group 4: Jim Herman

Rob Bolton (Rank: 11,725; $12,073,468)

Group 1: Steve Stricker

Group 2: Jordan Spieth

Group 3: Matt Jones

Group 4: Tim Petrovic

Scottish Open

Glass:

Group 1: Ernie Els

Group 2: Stephen Gallacher

Group 3: Soren Kjeldsen

Group 4: Johan Edfors

Ryan:

Group 1: Francesco Molinari

Group 2: Alexander Noren

Group 3: Alejandro Canizares

Group 4: Ignacio Garrido

Ned:

Group 1: Ernie Els

Group 2: Nicolas Colsaerts

Group 3: Soren Kjeldsen

Group 4: Alistair Forsyth

Rob:

Group 1: Francesco Molinari

Group 2: Thomas Bjorn

Group 3: Soren Kjeldsen

Group 4: Thomas Pieters

Ned said, “…

Group A

Brendon de Jonge-- He looked good last week at the Greenbrier Classic, where he tied for 17th place, and he has a nice history at the John Deere of a pair of top 10s (T7 in '11 and '10) in five career starts.

Jonas Blixt- He won last week and it looks like he is going to play the John Deere to take advantage of the charter flight to the British Open.

SUPER SUBS

Brian Davis, Gary Woodland, Kyle Stanley

Group B

Steve Stricker-- Most fantasy gamers in one-and-done formats have waited for this week to use Stricker. The reason for this is he won here three consecutive times before breaking that streak last year with a T5 result.

Zach Johnson- He considers this his home tournament, and after notching a T2 in '09 and a T3 in '11, he finally broke through last year with a championship.

Louis Oosthuizen-- He loves John Deere equipment and looked to be over his hip injury last week at the Greenbrier where he tied for 17th place.

Keegan Bradley-- I see this spot as a real toss-up between Charley Hoffman and Keegan Bradley. Normally I would pick Hoffman due to his experience on the course, but Bradley left a good impression in his T18 at the Travelers and I wouldn't be surprised if he gets on a little hot streak in here.

SUPER SUBS

Charley Hoffman, John Senden, Scott Stallings, Trot Matteson

Group C

Jordon Spieth-- His T23 finish last week doesn't show, that like the week before, he was in the hunt for the title in the final round. He has only played at the John Deere once before so he is all about trying to go with the current hot hand.

Ryan Moore-- He has played well recently with a T13 at The Memorial and T7 last time out at The Travelers. He has made all four of his cuts at the John Deere, with his best finish being a T8 last year.

SUPER SUBS

Harris English, Matt Jones, John Huh, Morgan Hoffmann

“Pure Spin”

Points last week: 168

Points this year: 4,379

Overall Ranking: (408; 99th percentile)

Coming Wednesday

And the analysis doesn't end here. Rotoworld's Rob Bolton and I will be co-hosting a one-hour live chat WEDNESDAY at NOON ET. We will be breaking down the field at The John Deere Classic and answering your questions. Simply return to the golf home page to join in on the chatter. Don’t forget to follow Rob (http://twitter.com/RobBoltonGolf) and Glass (http://twitter.com/GlassWGCL) on Twitter.

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