The John Deere Classic is not one of the PGA Tour’s most prestigious tournaments – usually it takes place one week before the Open Championship on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean – but it does boast some of the most impressive event-specific form of any competition.
Jordan Spieth, the Masters Tournament and US Open champion who will continue his quest for Grand Slam glory when he takes part in the Open Championship next week, is the John Deere Classic favourite. Spieth won the 2013 John Deere Classic and he finished last year’s event in a tie for seventh place. But Spieth is not the golfer to whom one alluded in the opening paragraph of this betting article.
That golfer is Zach Johnson, whom Coral are quoting at odds of +1100 to win the John Deere Classic and improve on what are incredible recent tournament figures. Johnson has played in 13 editions of the John Deere Classic and, while it took him some time to find his way around TPC Deere Run, he has more than made up for his early mistakes. Johnson has not missed the top three in each of the last four renewals of the John Deere Classic, winning the 2012 competition. And, just for good measure, Johnson finished tied for second position in 2009. In reverse chronological order, Johnson’s John Deere Classic form figures since 2009 are 2-2-1-3-21-2.
To be fair, Johnson is not the only golfer who has lit up the John Deere Classic on several occasions. Vijay Singh has John Deere Classic form figures of 4-1, although the Fijian racked up those finishes in 2004 and 2003 respectively. And Steve Stricker won three consecutive editions of the John Deere Classic from 2009 to 2011 inclusive. The issue with Singh and Stricker is that their recent performances have been nowhere near as impressive as those of Johnson. Singh has missed the cut on each of his last two starts, while Stricker did not make the weekend on his last appearance. Johnson, on the other hand, has been challenging for titles.
The 2007 Masters Tournament champion, Johnson finished tied for ninth in the year’s first major championship and he has posted six top-10 results in 17 PGA Tour starts this season. Johnson’s only poor performance over the last four months was his tie for 72nd place in the US Open and one is not going to crucify him for that given that he made the cut on a Chambers Bay track that was too long for his short drives.
Many golf commentators cannot fathom why the likes of Spieth and Johnson are competing in the John Deere Classic when the Open Championship is the next tournament on the calendar. Clearly, though, Johnson views playing in the John Deere Classic as a good way to prepare himself for the Open Championship because he has made the top 10 of that major event in two of the last three years. John Deere Classic organisers go out of their way to attract Open Championship qualifiers to their second-tier competition, sponsoring a charter flight that leaves Illinois on Sunday night and arrives in the United Kingdom on Monday morning.
Of course, Spieth is the hottest man in golf right now and he could win the John Deere Classic before packings his bags for the Open Championship. But Spieth’s presence in the John Deere Classic means that one can get a double-digit price about Johnson, whose form and tournament figures are too good to ignore. Thank Spieth for supporting the John Deere Classic and back Johnson to win it for the second time.
Zach Johnson to win
Where to Bet: Coral
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