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|Charles Howell III||+2800
Nick Hardy is the outright pick at +3000 with Caesars Sportsbook
Bill Haas can grab a top 20 at +550 with DraftKings
Charles Howell III to beat Denny McCarthy at -130 with DraftKings
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This tournament celebrated 50 years of existence last year but the new half-century doesn’t kick off in a great way for it.
It has traditionally been the PGA Tour’s pre-Open Championship warm-up, with players who thrive here having a fine record when they arrived on the other side of the Atlantic on the flight chartered by the tournament itself.
But now that next week’s Scottish Open has been promoted to co-sanctioned status, this week’s action takes place a week earlier and the stars have taken the opportunity to have a week off.
Other stars, of course, have taken the inducements on offer from LIV Golf, and Bryson DeChambeau, a recent winner of the John Deere Classic, is among them.
They tee it up this week in Portland and will steal many of the headlines this tournament might have been expected to create.
The raw details are a little worrying: not one world-ranked top 50 player is in the field which is clearly not a great look for the sponsors or the charities which are supported by the event.
The flipside is that there is a huge chance for youngsters and journeymen this week.
One of the latter, Lucas Glover, claimed the trophy last year and he’s back to defend his title.
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A par-71 that plays at 7,289-yards TPC Deere Run is not a course that takes the short-hitters out of the equation.
There are three par-5s and only two of the par-4s are over 455-yards. Perhaps that explains why it has favored good ball-strikers, especially those who are smart from the tee, and also why the last three winners topped the Par-4 Scoring.
As noted, smart drivers thrive here, for reasons explained by Ryan Moore
The holes that you can force it down there a little bit farther, they’re pretty difficult tee shots, so guys that hit it significantly farther than me don’t have a huge advantage, but there are angles you need to hit.
You’ve got to be hitting your wedges really close. If you can do that all week, you’ll be just fine.
26-year-old Nick Hardy took a little longer graduating from the second-tier Korn Ferry Tour to the main tour than some observers expected – and he also took a little time getting to grips with his rookie campaign.
But in recent weeks it has all come together.
A drop down the gears helped, landing second on the KFT’s NV6 Invitational in May and since then she has improved on the top circuit.
He was T35th at the Canadian Open, T14th in the US Open and then tied eighth last week on the Travelers Championship.
That’s form that stacks up very well against this field.
At the first of those four events, he talked of “good things about to happen”. At the second he added, “I’m really happy how I’m playing.”
He added at the US Open that his driving was in particularly good shape.
And finally last week he said that he felt ready to win:
That’s my goal now, to keep putting myself in that position where I have the chance to win.
Illinois born and bred this week is made for him. He’s 2-for-2 at making the cut in the event and has three laps of 66 under his belt.
And that runner-up finish in May? It also came in his home state.
Take him each way in the outright at +3000 with Caesars Sportbook which pays out eight places.
It’s been a long time since six-time winner Bill Haas was a force on the PGA Tour.
But he’s made 11 of his last 13 cuts and, although not one of them has been a top 20, he is getting closer.
Last week he opened with a 72 to sith T109th after 18 holes before carding 64-68-68 to grab T25th.
Victory this week might be beyond him, but a good week is absolutely not in a weak field.
He’s landed two top 20s at TPC Deere Run, most recent in 2019 when he was only one blowback of the lead after 54 holes.
Players with the strong form at Innisbrook have also performed well at Deere Run.
Jordan Spieth, John Senden, Sean O’Hair and Vijay Singh are winners at both venues, while Ryan Moore, Steve Stricker, Jonathan Byrd, and Kenny Perry had very good records at Innisbrook and have won at Deere Run.
Haas was a playoff loser at Innisbrook in 2016 and hasn’t missed a cut there since 2011.
Take him to make the top 20 with DraftKings offering +550.
Throughout this year the veteran Charles Howell III and youngster Denny McCarthy have split their head-to-head count five apiece, but the former has a distinct advantage at TPC Deere Run.
When they’ve both played in this event Howell III leads 2-0, but their long-term records suggest he can win again.
McCarthy has played three times, missed the cut twice and has a best of T34th.
Howell III, in contrast, has failed to make the weekend just once in 13 visits and in 10 of those weeks he bettered McCarthy’s best.
Take Howell III in the DraftKings match-up at -130.
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|John Deere Classic Information|
|Tournament||John Deere Classic|
|Location||TPC Deere Run, Silvis, Illinois|
|Time||Thursday, June 30 – Sunday, July 3|
|How to watch||Thursday & Friday, 3-6 pm ET (Golf Channel). Saturday & Sunday, 1-3 pm (Golf Channel), 3-6 pm (CBS). And all four days on Sky Sports.|
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Matt Cooper has been a sports journalist since 2009 with his work appearing at ESPN, Sky Sports, NBC, Sporting Life and the Planet Sport Network among many others, in addition to guest appearances on the BBC and CNN. Although a specialist in golf, who has traveled the world to cover the sport, Matt has also covered rugby, cricket, football and the Olympics. Email: [email protected]More info on Matt Cooper
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