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Collin Morikawa
Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports
Playing the Tips

NBC Predictor: John Deere Classic

by Josh Culp
Updated On: July 10, 2019, 12:05 pm ET

Golf Channel (NBC Sports Predictor App)

The Golf Channel has an exciting fantasy golf game for 2019.

The format is simple as you pick six head-to-head matchups. Then you pick a winner and winning score. 

The winner/winners split this week's top prize of $1,500. Anyone that earns 60 points for the week is also given an entry to the FootJoy $100,000 Championship which is a multi-week elimination-style contest that will take place later in the season. 

We will provide our picks for the format below and then provide some notes about why we chose our matchup picks or why we like a certain golfer to win. 

Josh Culp 

Top Weekly Score: 85 pts

Charles Howell III over Matthew Wolff
Zach Johnson over Kyle Stanley
Viktor Hovland over Collin Morikawa
Joaquin Niemann over Ryan Moore
Sungjae Im over Brian Harman
Lucas Glover over Michael Kim

Sungjae Im (-21)


Josh's Notes: 

The first match is steady CH3 versus the youngster, Wolff, who arrives off his maiden win. I will bank on a bit of a hangover here and go with the savvy vet. 

Match #2 is the course horse, Zach Johson, versus steady-striking Stanley. ZJ doesn't have a lot of good finishes this season but TPC Deere Run is like a home course for him so I expect him to play his way back into the top 25. 

After that we have a battle of youth. This one is a tossup for me but I will side with the ball-striking of Hovland. He's gained 4.7 or more strokes off-the-tee in three of his last four starts and 5.5 or more strokes on approach in two of those. 

When looking at Niemann versus Moore we see that Moore is a past champ here but Niemann arrives with three straight top 25s. 

Brian Harman versus Sungjae Im: Harman has rounded back into form after a lengthy slump but Im is also streaking with four straight top 25s. Im is my winner this week and I went with 21-under since seven of the last eight JDC winners have landed in the 18-to-22-under range. 

Lastly we have last week's winner (Kim) versus Glover. Kim has the edge in course history he's really slumping lately. Glover has some of the best long-term metrics in the field. I will side with Glover here. 


Mo Yoshimoto 

Top Weekly Score: 90 pts

Charles Howell III over Matthew Wolff
Kyle Stanley over Zach Johnson
Collin Morikawa over Viktor Hovland
Joaquin Niemann over Ryan Moore
Brian Harman over Sungjae Im
Lucas Glover over Michael Kim

Collin Morikawa (-21)


Mo's Notes: 

I hit DeChambeau on the number in this space last week (-20). Unfortunately, Matthew Wolff happened.

I'm going with last week's co-runner-up, Collin Morikawa, who secured Special Temporary Membership with the T2 (as a 54-hole co-leader), his career-best finish in six events (four pro).

The 22-year-old has cashed in each of his four starts among the paid ranks, kicking off the run with a T14 at the Canadian Open in his pro debut, and has posted sub-70s in eight of his last nine rounds.

Particularly impressive was his performance in R4 last week out of the final pairing with Wolff. He was 2-over thru three holes and definitely wobbling, but rebounded to play his final 15 in blemish-free 7-under, nearly forcing a playoff on the 72nd hole.

Morikawa is a UC-Berkeley product, just like last year's breakthrough John Deere winner Michael Kim, and his caddie was on the bag for Ryan Moore's win here in 2016, so that should assist him in his tourney debut.

He heads out in Round 1 at 8:30 am local time with Doc Redman and Viktor Hovland. Five of the last six Deere winners were EARLY/late, including the last three consecutive.

Josh Culp

Josh Culp joined NBC Sports Edge in 2014. The DFS enthusiast from Iowa State can be found on Twitter @futureoffantasy.