2017 John Deere Classic Picks, Including the Driver-Off-The-Deck BOLD Play of the Week #isitThursdayyet

One of the great things that makes watching sports so enjoyable is the true admiration we all have towards the athletes and their respective talents.  Throwing a 100 mph fastball, running a wide receiver route across the middle of the field and getting smoked by an opposing linebacker and slam-dunking from practically anywhere inside the free throw line are just a few of the many things that come to mind in terms of sheer awe I have when watching sports. 

In the case of golf and the PGA Tour, this week’s John Deere Classic is one of my annual reminders that the “These Guys Are Good” motto is so perfectly spot on.  Having been lucky enough to play the host course- TPC Deere Run- I can tell you that the average winning score of 21-under-par the past six years is just flat out ridiculously impressive.  Oh yeah, as is the fact that Paul freaking Goydos shot 59 here several years ago in the first round and didn’t even win the tournament!

At 7,268 yards, TPC Deere Run isn’t overly beefy yardage-wise, and overall the fairways are rather generous.  But with fescue grasses, trees and/or hazards on both sides of each hole, along with some highly undulating greens and deep bunkers, the course certainly is penal to those hitting it offline.   When playing the course a few years back, I recall our group continually exclaiming, “they shoot how many under here?!”  Not only is the winning score mighty impressive, but annually it takes around 4-under or sometimes lower just to make the weekend.  These guys definitely are good.

My picks last week at The Greenbrier Classic came through ok, as my Lockzilla (Phil Mickelson) and Semi-Flier (James Hahn) picks both finished t-20th.  I whiffed on my BOLD pick (Luke Donald), but nailed the flavor-of-the-week David Lingmerth being a BUST as he totally flamed out after the first round, finishing a whopping 15 shots back at +1 in a t-64th.

Now, let’s hop into some picks for this week:

LOCKZILLA (Last week: Phil t-20th)

Zach Johnson
Zach Johnson
– I don’t care what form he’s in, I don’t care what time of year this tourney is played (last year the JDC was in August due to the Olympics), I’m ALWAYS picking me some ZJ on this track.  6 top 3s in his past 8 appearances here, including a win in 2012.  #nuffsaid  Don’t overthink it this week.

SEMI-FLIER (Last week: Hahn t-20th)

Kevin Na
Kevin Na
– There are 4 Kevins in the field this week (Kisner, Streelman, Na, Tway), and I’ll go with the slowpoke of them all (although sidenote- I do like Streelman, too).  Na rallied back to a t-22nd finish at the Quicken Loans National in his last start a couple weeks ago, despite a 75 in the first round and is trending nicely coming into this week.  Add in that he finished t-8th here last year and t-13th in ’14 and I really like for another top 15 finish with podium upside.

HOSEL-ROCKET BUST (Last week: Lingmerth t-64th)

Danny Lee
Danny Lee
– Been on a tear lately, including a t-9th last week at the Greenbrier and a t-3rd two weeks prior at the Travelers Championship.  But, Lee has played 8 of the last 9 weeks and 11 of the past 13 and has to be gassed, and with the Open Championship coming up next week along with some recent putter struggles, I’m calling for a big letdown from the Kiwi.

DRIVER-OFF-THE-DECK BOLD PLAY OF THE WEEK (Last week: Donald MC)

Michael Kim
Michael Kim
– Trending in the right direction with a t-35th and t-29th the past two weeks, he’s a steady player missing only one cut since the Valero Texas Open in April.  Don’t fall for the misnomer that his upside is limited, as he has six top 25s this season, including a t-3rd in the fall at the Safeway Open.  Finished t-47th here last year in his first appearance.  Might not contend, but makes for a great value play.

#isitThursdayyet

Joel Harrington
@joel4deepgolf

 

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