It’s Silvis or bust for the John Deere Classic, a traditionally weak field event that has produced many a long-shot champion.
Michael Kim, Dylan Frittelli, Ryan Moore, and Lucas Glover are just a few of those deep-odds golfers that have claimed the biggest prize in the lawn care business.
We think the stars (or lack thereof) are aligning for another long-shot champion at the Deere in 2022, and so there is great John Deere Classic odds value to be found on up-and-comers, veterans, and unheralded players in the top finishers and matchups markets. We explore it all in our 2022 John Deere Classic picks.
John Deere Classic picks
- Laird (-118) over Griffin
- Schenk (-102) over Ghim
- Long (-110) over McNealy
- J.T Poston Top 20 (+260)
- Hank Lebioda Top 20 (+410)
- Kelly Kraft Top 20 (+700)
Picks made on 6/28/2022 at 1:00 p.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.
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TPC Deere Run stats that matter
TPC Deere Run is a par-71 tipped out around 7,289 yards with three scorable par 5s, a drivable par 4, and not a lot of hazards or trouble. The greens are bentgrass that run pure without a ton of undulation, but they are fairly small. A lot of different skill sets can succeed here. Short hitters, like Steve Stricker, have won the John Deere, but so have long hitters like Dylan Frittelli.
Scoring will be easy to do here. Only four other courses on the tour have played easier than TPC Deere Run since 2015, and according to DataGolf, only six other regular tour stops produce a higher percentage of greens-in-regulation and only two courses have a higher percentage of fairways hit.
However, total drivers who combine power and accuracy will still have the biggest advantage, because Deere Run ranks in the Top 25% of most penal courses for fairway missers. So, you don’t have to be long, but you do have to be straight off the tee, and if you’re both that is a recipe for success.
- Driving accuracy and fairways gained.
- Strokes gained approach.
- Course history.
- Birdies or better gained.
- Bent grass putting.
- Recent form.
John Deere Classic matchup predictions
Martin Laird (-118) over Lanto Griffin
Griffin has issues off the tee these days and that won’t behoove him at the Deere. He ranks 129th in the field in strokes gained off the tee over his last 12 rounds, while Laird is a comfortable 58th. Laird is also coming off a 13th place finish at the Travelers, where he gained four shots on approach, five around the greens, and 5.9 fairways gained vs. the field. Laird also has course history on his side.
Adam Schenk (-102) over Doug Ghim
Ghim has one finish inside the Top 30 since April Fool’s Day and has missed seven of his last 12 cuts. His putter has been failing him, his around the greens play is very inconsistent, and he is 134th in this low-end field for birdies or better gained over the last 24 rounds.
Schenk is 41st in that key stat and now he’s coming to a place where his last two finishes are T6th and 4th. While he missed the cut at Travelers, the stats say we can blame the flat stick.
Schenk clearly likes the greens in Silvas. Last year he came to the Deere on a cold putting streak, then gained 7.8 rolling the rock. We’re also impressed by his 25th-place finish at the U.S. Open.
Adam Long (-110) over Maverick McNealy
Long improved on a T53 at the Deere in 2019 to finish T23 in 2021. He also has two Top 20s and two Top 25s over his last seven events. Plus, he’s sixth in the field over the last 36 rounds in fairways gained and seventh in strokes gained putting.
McNealy has been decent with the flat stick but has lost shots off the tree in his last four starts and ranks 67th vs. this minor league field in birdies or better gained over the last 12 rounds. Give us the form, the history, and the driving accuracy with Long.
John Deere Classic top finisher predictions
J.T Poston Top 20 (+260)
Poston ranks 13th in strokes gained approach vs. the field over the last 12 rounds and he just about won the Travelers, where he gained 8.2 shots on approach and 5.3 on the greens. He also has two recent Top 10s at Wells Fargo and the RBC Heritage, and he’s gained shots off the tee in 13 of 16 starts this year. He’s in the form where he can win this event, but his poor course history is what’s keeping this number juicy enough to eat.
Hank Lebioda Top 20 (+410)
Lebioda is heating up. He was a DFS darling last year who then lost his form up until last month. He’s now gained multiple shots on approach in three out of four starts, and his around-the-greens play has been solid as well. He even seems to be improving off the tee, where he has really struggled in 2022. He also does some good putting on bent and he’ll feel confident after a T8 at the Deere last year.
Kelly Kraft Top 20 (+700)
Kraft has two Top 20s in his last five starts and only one missed cut. He’s also been very accurate off the tee recently, gaining shots driving in five out of seven. So, he’s in similar form to 2016, when he finished fifth at the John Deere, and if he can putt as he did at the Canadian Open, he could be in business for a Top 20 here.