The PGA Tour stays in America’s heartland, traveling from Michigan to the Quad Cities for the long-running John Deere Classic.
The 50th edition of The John Deere will be contested at its permanent home since 2000: TPC Deere Run. Situated along the Rock River, just a couple of miles south of where the Mississippi River divides Moline (IL) and Davenport (IA), TPC Deere Run will play to a par 71, and stretch out to 7,257 yards for the championship.
The 2020 tournament was canceled due to COVID, so Dylan Frittelli will defend his 2019 title against a field headlined by the likes of Daniel Berger, Brian Harman, Sungjae Im, and last week’s Rocket winner Cam Davis.
Here are more details on what to watch for this week at The John Deere.
2021 John Deere Classic
Pro Golf Weekly previews the PGA Tour stop at TPC Deere Run in this week’s 2021 John Deere Classic Primer.
Tournament: John Deere Classic
Title Sponsor: John Deere
Tour Debut: 1971
Dates: July 8-11, 2021
Where: Silvis, Ill.
Course: TPC Deere Run
Distance: Par 71, 7268 yards
Architect: D.A. Weibring/Chris Gray
Format: Stroke Play
Winning Share: $1,116,000
Defending Champion: Dylan Frittelli
How to Follow the John Deere Classic
TELEVISION: Thu-Fri: 3-6 p.m. (GOLF); Sat-Sun: 1-3 p.m. (GOLF), 3-6 p.m. (CBS)
PGA TOUR LIVE: Thu-Fri: 7:45 a.m.-6 p.m. (Groups); Sat-Sun: 7:45 a.m.-3 p.m. (Groups), 3-6 p.m. (Holes)
RADIO: Thu-Fri: 12-6 p.m.; Sat-Sun: 1-6 p.m.
John Deere Classic History
The John Deere Classic started as a rare Iowa event, playing as a satellite event called the Quad Cities Open in 1971, and became an official event the following season.
The Hawkeye State only had hosting honors for four years before the tournament moved to Coal Valley, Ill., and in 2000, the event permanently moved to TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Ill.
The inaugural event was won by Deane Beman, a man who would go on to become PGA commissioner. Beman won again in 1972, making the John Deere Classic half of his four career victories. Over the years, other notable winners have included Dave Stockton, Roger Maltbie, Payne Stewart, Vijay Singh, Steve Stricker, Zach Johnson, Jordan Spieth, and Bryson DeChambeau.
TPC Deere Run was designed by D.A. Weibring, a three-time winner of the John Deere Classic, which ties him for first all-time with Stricker. The scoring is typically very low, as the last nine tournaments have featured a champion with a score of -18 or lower. This was also the site of the fourth 59 in Tour history, shot by Paul Goydos in 2010.
The scoring was so low that year that despite the 59, Goydos only led by a single stroke after the first round. That edition was taken by Stricker, who finished at a tournament record 26-under par.
The course was also the site of Michelle Wie’s 2004 and 2005 attempts to make the cut at a men’s event.
One of the prevailing themes tied to the history of this tournament is its frequent status as a launching pad for talented young players.
Spieth became the first teenager to win on the PGA Tour since 1931 when he claimed his first career victory at the 2013 John Deere. Jason Day made his first PGA Tour start on a sponsor’s invite in 2006.
Other talented young players who have played this event on sponsor’s invites over the years include Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Patrick Reed and 2017 champion DeChambeau.
History: Tournament Names
- John Deere Classic (1999-)
- Quad City Classic (1995-98)
- Hardee’s Golf Classic (1986-94)
- Lite Quad Cities Open (1985)
- Miller High Life QCO (1982-84)
- Quad Cities Open (1980-81)
- Ed McMahon-Jaycees Quad Cities Open (1975-79)
- Quad Cities Open (1972-74)
History: Recent Winners
2019: Dylan Frittelli (-21)
2018: Michael Kim (-27)
2017: Bryson DeChambeau (-18)
2016: Ryan Moore (-22)
2015: Jordan Spieth (-20)
2014: Brian Harman (-22)
2013: Jordan Spieth (-19)
2012: Zach Johnson (-20)
2011: Steve Stricker (-22)
2010: Steve Stricker (-26)
2009: Steve Stricker (-20)
257 (-27) Michael Kim (2018)
258 (-26) Steve Stricker (2010)
3 – D.A. Weibring (1979, 1991, 1995)
3 – Steve Stricker (2009-11)
2 – Deane Beman (1971-72)
2 – Scott Hoch (1980, 1984)
2 – David Frost (1992-93)
2 – Jordan Spieth (2013, 2015)
Defending: Dylan Frittelli
Dylan Frittelli produced a Sunday 64 to secure his maiden PGA Tour title at the 2019 John Deere Classic.
Frittelli entered his final day at TPC Deere two off the pace of overnight co-leaders Cameron Tringale and Andrew Landry, but after a hat trick out of the gate (Nos. 1-3) the South African became the man to beat.
A fourth birdie on No. 8 saw the former Texas Longhorn turn in 31, and in possession of his first lead. Frittelli added further gains on Nos. 10, 11, and 17 to reach 21-under par, two shots clear of runner-up Russell Henley, who torched the TPC track to the tune of 10-under 61.
Frittelli’s victory marked the third consecutive week that the tournament winner entered the event ranked outside the top 100 in both the world rankings and FedExCup standings.
Final Top-5 Finishers
Pos-Player-To Par (Final Rd)
1. Dylan Frittelli -21 (-7)
2. Russell Henley -19 (-10)
3. Andrew Landry -18 (-2)
4. Collin Morikawa -17 (-5)
4. Chris Stroud -17 (-4)
Field at TPC Deere Run
The field’s highest ranked player is Daniel Berger, who enters as the world No. 16 and in good form with two top-10s and another top 20 in his last four starts.
Berger has made two career starts at the Deere with his best finish a T5 in 2017. Two of the players who joined Berger in a tie for fifth that year were Zach Johnson and Steve Stricker, a pair of Midwestern products – who at times have seemingly made the John Deere Classic their own two-man big-money televised match.
Wisconsin native Stricker won the Deere title three straight years from 2009 through 2011, making him the most recent PGA Tour player to post a three-peat. He’s also the all-time leader in earnings at the John Deere.
Stricker had his win streak broken by Iowa native Johnson, who – in a stat that seems hard to believe, claimed his only John Deere title that year.
Johnson in contention at this event feels like an annual certainty, and he did finish as runner-up the next two years after his win (and had one more behind Stricker in 2009). He’s also placed third two times at the Deere, and hasn’t missed the cut here since 2007.
Dylan Frittelli will defend his title in horrific form which includes six missed cuts alongside a T46 and T56 in his last eight starts. On the other hand, Russell Henley, who finished runner up to Frittelli, appears to be in good form. The Georgia native arrives in Silvis, Illinois off two top 20s, including a top 15 at the U.S. Open.
At last week’s Rocket Mortgage Classic, world No. 27 Sungjae Im posted his first top 10 result since the Honda in late March. The Korean, who finished T26 in his 2019 debut, is the second highest ranked player in the field.
Another top-50 ranked player in the field is Im’s countryman Si Woo Kim, who has struggled for much of 2021 but has finished in the top 10 three times, including a win at The American Express and two top 10s in two big league events (the Memorial and The PLAYERS).
Playing even better is 2014 John Deere champion Brian Harman, who has pinned two top-10s and another top 20 in his last three starts. The former Georgia Bulldog is one of the top betting favorites this week.
Kevin Na is another player to keep an eye on this week at the Deere. The Las Vegas resident won the Sony Open earlier this season and moved into the top 25 of the world rankings, boosting his Ryder Cup hopes. But the Korean American has been missing from the leaderboards ever since, reeling off 14 consecutive starts without a single top-10 finish. Na’s two most recent starts at the John Deere include a MC (2017) and T8 (2016).
Ryan Moore is another John Deere regular whose record as a long-standing visitor to this event is just a shade behind that of Stricker and Johnson. Moore won the Deere title in 2016, but is in the midst of his worst PGA Tour season. The 38-year old has made 12 starts in 2021, and has missed five cuts with a T26 his best finish. Once a staple in the world top 50, Moore has fallen to the lowest ranking of his career: 249th. Could the Deere get the 2016 Ryder Cup star back on track?
Swede Alex Noren could be another wild card to watch. The 2018 Ryder Cupper enters off a T4 at last week’s Rocket Mortgage, and before four top 25s in his six starts.
Top-10 Betting Favorites
1. Daniel Berger 9-1
2. Brian Harman 14-1
2. Sungjae Im 14-1
4. Kevin Streelman 20-1
4. Russell Henley 20-1
6. Cameron Davis 25-1
7. Alex Noren 33-1
8. Kevin Na 33-1
9. Si Woo Kim 33-1
10. Aaron Wise 40-1
Full Field & Odds
TPC Deere Run | Silvis, Illinois | July 8-11, 2021
Credit: PGA Tour, Getty Images, DraftKings Sportsbook