The PGA Tour’s John Deere Classic is living proof of sporting events being the cornerstones of their communities. That is especially true in the Quad Cities.
Illinois cities Rock Island and Moline, and Iowa communities of Davenport and Bettendorf have seen the annual golf tournament provide millions of fundraising dollars to regional charities. The return of the event since the pandemic in its usual spot before the British Open is a triumphant return for the region.
And fans will be waiting with open arms to embrace the idea that, as the tournament claims, “magic happens here.”
John Deere Classic: Facts and figures
- Where: TPC Deere Run, 3100 Heather Knoll, Silvis, IL 61282
- When: Thursday, July 8, through Sunday, July 11
- TV: Golf Channel (Thursday and Friday); CBS (Saturday and Sunday)
- Broadcast Times: 3-6 p.m. Thursday and Friday; noon-1:30 p.m. (Golf) and 2-5 p.m. (CBS) Saturday and Sunday
- Defending Champion: Dylan Frittelli (21-under 263 in 2019; 2020 event canceled because of COVID-19)
- Purse: $6,200,000
- Winner’s Share: $1,116,000
- Yardage: 7,268 yards, par 71
- Course Architects: D.A. Weibring and Chris Gray, 2000
- Tickets: $50 per day (does not include parking)
Last of the British Open spot up for grabs
The John Deere Classic is well accustomed to selling its atmosphere and that sense of magic without the automatic draw of the top-ranked players in the Official World Golf Ranking.
The Deere often gets short shrift on the calendar because of its proximity to the British, which takes place in England next week. Many top pros make the trip overseas a week early to get acclimated to the time difference and oft-inclement weather.
But that neither dims the enthusiasm of the spectators nor quells the desire of competitors to walk away with the $1.1 million first prize. Current superstars Jordan Spieth and Bryson DeChambeau have earned their first PGA Tour victories in the Quad Cities.
Two years ago, next-generation stars Collin Morikawa, Matthew Wolff and Viktor Hovland all attended on sponsor’s exemptions as they looked to kickstart their careers. They all have since become winners on Tour, including Morikawa’s victory at the 2020 PGA Championship.
It remains to be seen who will earn their star turn this week, but there is one final spot in next week’s British Open up for grabs for the golfer who places highest in this week’s top five who has not yet qualified for the major. He’ll earn a spot on the annual charter flight from John Deere that sends all qualifiers for the British Open directly to the competition site.
An unusual concern this year, however, will be the ongoing spread of COVID-19 amidst the British Open being contested. Strict contract tracing rules from the Royal & Ancient Golf association conducting the championship could end up affecting many players on those flights if someone contracts the virus.
Daniel Berger: Consensus favorite at Illinois sportsbooks
Once that field becomes bereft of household names, oddsmakers and Illinois bettors alike will gravitate toward that spare highly ranked golfer in the field.
So it’s no surprise that Daniel Berger (16th in the OWGR) dominates the future landscape. He tops the list at FanDuel Sportsbook with +950 odds and is a flat +1000 at PointsBet, DraftKings, BetRivers.
Predicting outright golf winners for betting purposes is almost folly to begin with, and Berger’s value is not conducive to taking home a trophy in a 156-player field. There’s not much relative value going further down the pegs either, as the best odds for a top-10 Berger finish are a scant +125, also at FanDuel.
A top-30 performance at BetRivers carries -225 odds, which is an almost laughable “value.”
John Deere Classic odds
But fun John Deere Classic bets abound
Dig beyond futures wagers, however, and you can find some intriguing markets all over the place.
DraftKings Sportsbook has an offering for the top former University of Georgia player in the field this week (there are five). Tournament second-favorite Brian Harman has +125 odds in that market.
You’ll find 140 bets at PointsBet on players who will “either, neither or both” finish in some conglomeration of the top 5 or top 10. (Seriously, take a look; it’s too much!)
Media content guru Teddy Greenstein has put up a special tournament boost of +100 odds for a round of 10-under 61 or better on the course. Paul Goydos achieved an iconic score of 59 at the TPC Deere Run in 2010.
BetRivers is offering abundant market choices for the tournament winner’s Sunday score on No. 18 (par -175, bogey +350, birdie +450).
FanDuel takes betting a step further, with double-digit markets in top players by nationality, including the USA.
Zach Johnson still seeks form in his 40s
Johnson, 45, a Cedar Rapids product and Drake University graduate, has seen his abilities wane in his mid-40s in comparison with the cavalcade of bombers now frolicking in PGA Tour fairways.
But the 2012 John Deere Classic winner considers the Quad Cities event as a virtual home game, and the 2007 Masters and 2015 British Open champion honors his hometown heritage with regular appearances at TPC Deere Run.
Still, Johnson has had a rough go so far in the 2021 calendar year. Johnson has had one top-10 finish (A T-8 at the Honda Classic in March) in that six-month span. Also, he’s missed five of his last nine cuts.
Golf lines at DraftKings has Johnson at -250 to make the 36-hole cut, +175 to miss it and +3300 to win the event.
How to bet on the John Deere Classic in Illinois
One of the unique features of the John Deere Classic is its crossover appeal in two states.
If you hadn’t previously been to Illinois and signed up for an online sports betting account, you will need to do so this week. State Gov. JB. Pritzker re-instated in-person registration in April.
So, either place those golf bets before crossing the state line or find a new friend from the Land of Lincoln to help you enjoy your time at the tournament.