John Deere Classic 2022 Overview
The Players head to Illinois this week for a drop in quality in terms of course and field strength. In fact, 5 of the last 10 winners here have been first-time PGA Tour winners. Illinois native and former PGA pro D.A. Weibring designed TPC Deere Run, which is located along the Rock River and has hosted the PGA TOUR event since 2000.
Along the course’s natural contours, there are also little ponds and deep ravines; however, from a risk perspective, these don’t really come into play. There are no residences here at TPC Deere Run. Still, there is a beautiful landscape, a dramatic shift in elevation, hardwood trees, and lots of risk/reward hitting into smaller than typical TOUR greens. This typical resort course is picturesque to the eye but not overly challenging, especially to a player at the top of their game. The easy challenge is backed up by winning scores of 18, 21, 22 & 27 under par over the past four years, and we can expect very much the same this week. I would be shocked if the winning score wasn’t better than 20 under par.
The TPC Deere Run course cannot be attacked without planning, so it’s not all plain sailing. Players will need to make plenty of birdies, that’s for sure, if they want any chance of a top 10. The fairways are where to make birdies; players who play the majority of shots from the short grass will be at an advantage. TPC Deere Run’s main challenge is from the rough. Hitting greens from the rough is one of the course’s main defensives.
Let’s break down the key skill sets required and bring you those all important outright selections.
John Deere Classic 2022 Key Skills Set Required
- SG T2G – With a super low winning score, expect T2G performance to be critical as it is most weeks on the PGA Tour. Players will need to be gaining strokes over their competitors to have any chance of lifting the trophy come Sunday.
- Fairways Gained/Good Drives Gained – This course poses very few challenges to the world’s best players by PGA Tour standards. However, one statical area stands out: the difficulty of approach play when missing the fairways. TPC Deere Run is one of the most challenging courses on tour for approach play from the rough. Hitting fairways and plenty of them is a distinct advantage. Look for players who excel when it comes to driving the ball.
- Par 4 Scoring – Quite simply, to win this event, you must make lots of birdies, and you must dominate the Par 4’s. Players who contend here take advantage of one of the most straightforward courses on the tour regarding Par 4 scoring.
- Birdies or Better – The data tells us you need to make plenty of birdies here at TPC Deere Run, at least 6 per round or over 24 from the four days of play. A birdie every three holes is some ask, but that is the requirement to challenge. Let’s look for those aggressive golfers who look to attack the pins and have the ability to get up and down when naturally they miss a green or two.
- SG Putting – Typically, putting is a critical factor in these low-scoring events. You must be rolling your rock good over all four days to have any chance of taking home the trophy. Look for players who excel on the Bentgrass putting surfaces the players face this week.