For the first time in recent memory, the PGA Tour is taking second fiddle in the United States, as the LIV Portland event features a much more notable field than the John Deere Classic. But there’s still plenty on the line for the golfers who tee it up at TPC Deere Run beginning on Thursday.
DraftKings Sportsbook pegs Adam Hadwin as the +1000 favorite for the John Deere Classic, with Webb Simpson close behind at +1200.
Theegala coming off near-miss at Travelers
While Hadwin isn’t the biggest name in golf, he has made waves as of late. Hadwin led the US Open after the first round earlier this month, and has two previous top-20 finishes at TPC Deere Run, making him a natural pick. The Canadian ultimately finished tied for seventh at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts, and will be playing for his second PGA Tour victory this week.
Simpson, meanwhile, is seeking his first tour victory since the RBC Heritage back in June 2020. Still recovering from an injured neck, Simpson will look to build on a tie for 13th at the Travelers last week.
Sahith Theegala (+2500) comes into the John Deere Classic on both a high and a low. While the rookie tied for second at the Travelers Championship, he did so in heartbreaking fashion, double-bogeying the final hole to finish two shots behind Xander Schauffele.
“I played so much good golf this week,” Theegala said afterwards. “I had a lot of looks the last few days and put a ton of good rolls on it, just couldn’t get some of the putts that I felt like would have really kept the momentum going to fall. But, yeah, just – I’ll have more time to reflect obviously, but there’s going to be a ton of positives for sure.”
John Deere offers opportunities for lower-ranked golfers
None of the world’s top-50 players are in the John Deere Classic field, as the best players are traveling early for next week’s Genesis Scottish Open. That opens up opportunities for lesser-known players who can earn some big benefits. Three players will earn spots in the Open Championship, and there are plenty of FedExCup points available, without the usual suspects picking up the bulk of the rewards – or the $7.1 million purse.
|John Deere Classic Odds (via DraftKings Sportsbook)|
|Adam Hadwin: +1000|
|Webb Simpson: +1200|
|Christiaan Bezuidenhout: +2000|
|Denny McCarthy: +2200|
|Charles Howell III: +2200|
|Maverick McNealy: +2500|
|Sahith Theegala: +2500|
There are also a few players who will live out a dream by playing in a PGA Tour event, no matter how unusual the field may be. Quinn Riley will make his tour debut after recently graduating from Duke, and says there’s no better place than the John Deere.
“I’ve just seen a lot of young guys kind of make their PGA Tour debut there,” the 22-year-old Riley told PGATour.com. “It’s something that kind of resonates with me. Like I just grew up watching Jordan Speith, Jason Day, and a [of] couple other guys kind of just kick things off there. It made it kind of like my first choice.”