While most of the golf world has turned its attention across the Pond for next week’s Open Championship, there is still one more tournament stateside with some intriguing storylines this coming weekend. There are three big names in this week’s John Deere Classic at Deere Run in the Quad Cities, and another story to watch is who will claim the final spot at the British Open which will be given to the highest top five finisher who hasn’t already qualified. It should be an interesting week, and it’s always an important one for fantasy golf players.
Last week, Angel Cabrera snuck in and stole the Greenbrier Classic while Webb Simpson finished with a red-hot round that earned him a third-place bonus for those who started him in any round during the week and didn’t leave him on their bench (like I did). In our Yahoo! FanSided and Friends group “Thatz what She Said” took the weekly win with Cabrera leading the way. It was enough to move Thatz into second for the segment behind the Harbour Dogs who lead this segment, won last segment, and hold the overall lead for the season as well. The Harbour Dogs are howling at the door of the top 50 overall and is setting the bar extremely high for the rest of us in the group.
Here’s who I’m putting in my pair of foursomes for this week’s tournament at TPC Deere Run:
Daniel Summerhays: The A-list is a dry and barren land this week with only 11 players in the field. Whoever from this list you settle on, there is going to be some risk involved, but I think Summerhays is the best of the lot despite an ugly week at the Greenbrier last week. Summerhays crashed out hardcore with a 75-74 but had made six straight cuts before that event including four top-30 finishes. He finished t4 at the Deere last year just one shot out of the three-way playoff. His two previous trips to Deere Run he missed the cut, but based on last year I think he’s a risk worth taking this week.
Ryan Moore: The “safest” option on the A-list is probably Moore who has made nine of 12 cuts this season and is coming off a t5 at the Travelers in his most recent event. Last year, he finished t22 at the Deere after a t8 in 2012. Moore is a nice insurance policy if you go risky with your top A-lister like I’m planning on doing.
Zach Johnson: The three big names at this tournament are all on the B-list with Johnson, Stricker, and Spieth the only players in the top 20 committing to this event. There’s really no reason not to roll with all three of them based on their course history, so just try and start them for their best rounds. Johnson has been in the top three his last three trips to TPC Deere Run and has only missed the top-three bonus once in his past five Deere Classic’s. He has an active streak of 20 consecutive rounds in the 60s on the course and needs to be on your roster unless you have no ZJ starts left.
Steve Stricker: The only person who can compete with Johnson’s track record here is Stricker who finished t35 last week at the Greenbrier after a tough Sunday but showed he’s still got game in the earlier rounds. He won this event in 2009, 2010, and 2011 and will look to be the first four-time winner at the event. Since his three-peat, he finished t5 in 2012 and t10 in 2013.
Jordan Spieth: I’ll start Spieth on my bench more because of the potential that I’ll use him more the rest of the season while Johnson I most likely won’t since the courses don’t fit his game as well going forward. Spieth is the defending champ and has been great all year on tour. Recently he’s been in the top 20 for four straight tournaments and seems to have been knocking on the door all year. If you roster ZJ, Stricker, and Spieth, you have the last five year’s winners on board and are pretty much able to roll the dice with your fourth B-lister.
J. J. Henry: Since there are plenty of options and little pressure on this spot, I’m going with someone with a good history on the course even if his current form is a little off. Henry has made the cut in eight of his last ten starts but has only one top-15 in that span. The reason I’m going with him this week, though (over Chris Kirk, Jerry Kelly, and Roberrt Garrigus), is his t7 and t13 the past two years at TPC Deere Run.
Harris English: After a sizzling start to the season, English faded in the spring segment a bit but appears to be surging again. In his last tournament, English finished t7 at the Travelers Championship which was his 10th top 20 on tour this season but his first since late March. English finished t15 at last year’s Deere in his first trip to the event.
Billy Hurley III: Hurley earned his trip to Royal Liverpool last week with a t4 at the Greenbrier which was his second top-ten in a row and his fourth of this season. Hurley also put up a top ten (t8) two years ago in his last trip to this event so don’t let his Sunday letdown steer you away from the former Navy standout this week at TPC Deere Run.