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DFS Dish: John Deere Classic

Weekend Movers: Fowler ends PGA Tour drought
Rickie Fowler came up clutch, birdieing the 18th and first playoff holes to win the Rocket Mortgage Classic for his first PGA Tour win since 2019.

The John Deere Classic readies for another edition at TPC Deere Run.

This event is just a few days after the Fourth of July and the fireworks will still be popping with loads and loads of birdies available at Deere Run.

When building our DFS rosters, we could take a look at top performers on short courses (wedge wizards) or courses with an easy scoring environment, but I want to have a look at a location angle.

Regional Comfort

I don’t know about you but when I think of the John Deere Classic I think of names like Steve Stricker, Zach johnson, and even Jerry Kelly. A common theme among these golfers is where they grew up.

The Midwest connection paid off for these guys, and many others, over the years at the JDC. There is a comfort factor when you play in familiar weather on familiar turf.

This angle also does a good job of grouping together a lot of correlated courses as many of the Midwest stops are played on the summer schedule with bent-poa turf that leans to the soft side. Scoring Fests.

Here are the top performers in adjusted strokes gained per round in the Midwest, over the last two years:

Russell Henley
Taylor Moore
Stephan Jaeger
J.T. Poston
Keith Mitchell
Seamus Power
Emiliano Grillo
Denny Mccarthy
Adam Hadwin
Chris Kirk
Adam Schenk
David Lipsky
Callum Tarren
Taylor Montgomery
Christiaan Bezuidenhout

We can also look at performance versus baseline to see who shows the largest increase in performance compared to their typical scores:

Stephan Jaeger
J.T. Poston
Callum Tarren
Chesson Hadley
Garrick Higgo
Emiliano Grillo
Taylor Moore
David Lipsky
Lucas Glover
Adam Schenk
Zecheng Dou
Kevin Tway
Chez Reavie
Aaron Baddeley
Michael Kim

Overlap List: names that show up on both lists include Stephan Jaeger, J.T. Poston, Emiliano Grillo, Adam Schenk, David Lipsky, and Callum Tarren.

Trending Tee-to-Green with Tarren

The Englishman gained 3.8 strokes tee-to-green at the RBC Canadian Open, upped that to 6.2 strokes at the Travelers Championship, and then gained a career-best 12.5 strokes tee-to-green last week in Detroit. He’s trending with his striking and in fact, if you look at his top performances in that category, nearly all of them have come on similar setups. These soft, summer setups suit his big-hitting ways and he proved that to be the base last year with a T6 in his John Deere Classic debut. We could be in for something similar this week.

Schenk still eyeing his breakout win

The Purdue product enters the week with top 10s in three of his last five starts. He also sports top 10s in two of his last three tries at TPC Deere Run. Two of his six best finishes on the PGA Tour have come at the John Deere Classic and he arrives with some of the best form of his career. This would be a spot that makes a lot of sense for him to pick up his first victory.