The TPC Deere Run is once again the host for the John Deere Classic and there's nothing much we don't know about this event. The course is a short par 71 where making pars on most holes could be considered a disappointment. Very low numbers will be needed to contend here over four days. The course suits the more strategic player with big drives not having much advantage. Fairways are generous enough and the greens receptive and large. This is target golf for most of them with the one who holes the most putts from 10-20ft who will come out as the winner on Sunday.
Zach Johnson goes down to post as tournament fav and it is easy to understand why. He has notched a win, three runner ups and two thirds in his last seven appearances here. His recent form here is decent enough also but he is far too short in the market to support. He may seem an each-way bet to nothing for many but with plenty of average players who will shoot in the mid to late teens here I see little value in taking the 7/1 on offer, despite the weakish field. Stricker lines up next in the betting at 12/1 and with three wins here will be looking to add to his tally. He is playing well also but for somebody who hasn't experienced the heat of a battle on Sunday for a fair while I feel the 12/1 is also a bit malnourished.
With such a weak field I was surprised to see John Senden, one of the more talented golfers in the field, priced up so big. He hasn't hit a lot of heights in the last year but a top 25 in Canada followed by a top 20 in the PGA show that he is in decent enough nick. Senden is as strategic as they come and should keep the ball in play most of the weak. He can hole his fair share of putts on his day so I'll be looking to his approach shots being targeted enough to the right spots. He has a win and a top five posted here at the John Deere and given the experience that is usually needed to win around here I believe he is a shade overpriced.
With two top tens posted here in the last four years Ryan Moore surely has a lively chance of going well this week. He has kept himself lightly raced over the Summer months and often begins to play his best golf at this time of year. Three made cuts in the last three majors and a top 20 finish last week at the Travelers suggest Moore is beginning to hit some kind of form. He is far from a prolific winner so stakes will be kept relatively low but his strategic long game and solid enough short game should be enough to give him half a chance. At 25/1 we are not busting the value door down but it is a worthwhile wager.
Finally I was surprised to see another Aussie priced up so big in the shape of Matt Jones. Granted his form isn't the best heading into here but given the lack of strength in this field it would not take an awful lot of improvement to start contending. Making the cut at the British and PGA can be seen as a positive as they are two venues which wouldn't necessarily suit his game. In six appearances around here he has managed to post two top five finishes and a further top ten. This is clearly one of the courses we could see him win on and given his price in a weak field he must be supported.