PGA Tour best bets: John Deere Classic

June 28, 2022 07:07 PM

Xander Schauffele, the ​2021 Olympic champion, won his first official PGA Tour event in more than three years (2019 Tournament of Champions) last week at the Travelers Championship. Schauffele, priced as high as 20-1 prior to Justin Thomas’ withdrawal (back injury), jumped out to a five-stroke lead after 36 holes, shooting a pair of 7-under 63s on Thursday and Friday. He eventually lost the lead on Sunday to 150-1 shot Sahith Theegala before Theegala’s double bogey on the 72nd hole paved the way for Schauffele. Patrick Cantlay, who was in the final pairing with Schauffele, shot a 6-over 76 on Sunday to fall to 13th. 

This week, the PGA Tour returns to the Quad Cities for the John Deere Classic. Daniel Berger was the only OWGR Top 50 player in the field before he withdrew Monday morning with an injury. The field depth is down due to the tournament being moved up in the schedule as next week's Scottish Open is now a co-sanctioned PGA Tour and DP World Tour event. Many players are either taking the week off, traveling overseas to start preparation for The Open Championship or playing in this week's LIV Golf event in Portland. Plus, 14 of the OWGR Top 20, and others including Tiger Woods, are scheduled to play in Ireland for the J.P. McManus Pro-Am on Monday and Tuesday. Therefore, it’s a wide-open field with no clear-cut favorite at the John Deere. 

Webb Simpson (12-1), off his best finish of 2022 with a 13th in Hartford, assumes the favorite’s role. Adam Hadwin (16-1) contended at the U.S. Open two weeks ago before finishing seventh. Theegala (22-1) will attempt to recover from last week's near miss at the Travelers. Denny McCarthy (25-1) missed the cut last week but finished seventh at the U.S. Open and fifth at the Memorial in his two prior starts. Patrick Rodgers finished runner-up to Bryson DeChambeau here in 2017 and is one of a cavalcade of players priced at or around the 30-1 range, including Brendon Todd, Charles Howell III, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Maverick McNealy, Scott Stallings and Jason Day. 

Defending champion Lucas Glover (50-1) ended a 10-year winless drought with a victory here last year. Other recent John Deere champions over the last decade include Dylan Frittelli (80-1), Zach Johnson (100-1) and Ryan Moore (100-1).

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