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Spieth looks for JD repeat

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Tournament: John Deere Classic
Date: July 10-13, 2014
Venue: TPC Deere Run
Location: Silvis, Illinois

In the week before the third major of the year, the PGA Tour takes their talents to Illinois for the John Deere Classic, a tournament established in 1971 and played at TPC Deere Run since 2000. This tourney has seen many scoring chances, as the winners at this course have scored at least 16-under par with Steve Stricker posting a tournament record 26-under back in 2010; his second of three consecutive wins at this event.

The past two seasons have seen a playoff at the John Deere Classic with Zach Johnson defeating Troy Matteson in 2012 followed by Jordan Spieth coming away with a his first career victory as he took down both Johnson and David Hearn in 2013. Spieth will be the only top-10 player from the World Golf Rankings in the field as he attempts to defend his title while just two others, Johnson and Stricker, will play from the top-25. The three former champions will have a tough time fending off newcomers at the par-71, 7,268-yard course this weekend, so let’s look at a few players -- including this top-25 trio -- who have the best chance to get a win come Sunday.

Golfers to Watch

Jordan Spieth (17/2): Spieth is the first of three players who have absolutely dominated this tournament over the past five years as he came away with a victory here last year after a three-player playoff and a score of 19-under par. He has had a tough time getting his second PGA Tour victory though, but already has two runner-ups this year, including one against the toughest field on tour at The Masters. His eighth-best scoring average (69.74) and ability to scramble from the rough (65%, 4th on tour) puts him as the favorite to earn a win this weekend.

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Steve Stricker (21/2):
If you look at Stricker’s track record at this tournament, you may think you were looking at Tiger Woods, as he has three victories (2009, 2010, 2011) and followed that with two top-10 finishes in 2012 and 2013. The 47-year-old has played in just eight tournaments this season, but was looking good last week at the Greenbrier with three scores of 68 or better before falling apart on Sunday. His confidence and this course could vault him up the leaderboard and put him in contention.

Zach Johnson (23/2): He has owned this course, finishing in the top-3 in four of the past five years. Johnson also had an amazing start to the year, which included a victory at the Tournament of Champions, but he should be primed to jump back into the winners' circle for the 12th time in his career against a weak field. His accurate driving (70.8%, 6th on tour) combined with a solid ability to hit greens in regulation (67.5%, 30th on tour) should give him a strong chance to get a leg up on his opposition throughout the weekend.

Billy Hurley III (50/1): He has the momentum coming into this week with a top-8 finish in each of the past two tournaments. Hurley's driving accuracy has been over 73% in each of his past two starts, and he ranks 7th overall (71%) in the category on the year. He has never played at this event, but should have a solid chance to ride his hot play into this week and compete for his first career PGA Tour win.

Michael Thompson (65/1): He has two 12th-place finishes at the John Deere Classic over the past three years and he has placed among the top-25 seven times over 19 events this season. Thompson showed he can really score low, as he shot under a 66 twice this past weekend at the Greenbrier where he finished 11th. The 29-year-old should make a run at a victory this weekend and get a fighting chance to capture his second career win on the tour.

Betting Odds - Provided by Sportsbook.ag

Jordan Spieth 17/2
Steve Stricker 21/2
Zach Johnson 23/2
Ryan Moore 20/1
Harris English 22/1
Chris Kirk 29/1
John Senden 30/1
Kevin Na 30/1
Brendon De Jonge 35/1
Chris Stroud 35/1
Cameron Tringale 40/1
Kevin Streelman 45/1
David Hearn 50/1
Ben Martin 50/1
Robert Garrigus 50/1
Billy Hurley III 50/1
Daniel Summerhays 50/1
Kevin Chappell 50/1
Charles Howell III 55/1
Michael Thompson 65/1
Jason Bohn 70/1
Luke Guthrie 75/1
Martin Flores 75/1
Bud Cauley 75/1
Brian Harman 80/1
Jerry Kelly 80/1
Shawn Stefani 80/1
Sang-Moon Bae 80/1
Troy Matteson 80/1
Scott Langley 80/1
Bo Van Pelt 80/1
Russell Henley 90/1
Camilo Villegas 90/1
Boo Weekley 90/1
David Lingmerth 100/1
Ben Crane 100/1
Pat Perez 100/1
Morgan Hoffmann 100/1
Scott Stallings 100/1
Will Wilcox 100/1
Rory Sabbatini 100/1
Retief Goosen 100/1
John Huh 100/1
Alex Cejka 100/1
Greg Owen 120/1
Davis Love III 120/1
Steve Marino 120/1
Jeff Overton 120/1
Robert Streb 120/1
J.J. Henry 120/1
Hudson Swafford 120/1
Chad Campbell 120/1
Patrick Cantlay 120/1
Steven Bowditch 120/1
Andres Romero 120/1
David Toms 120/1
Charlie Beljan 120/1
Tim Clark 120/1
Andrew Svoboda 120/1
Ted Potter Jr. 130/1
Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano 130/1
Roberto Castro 130/1
Danny Lee 130/1
Brian Davis 160/1
John Merrick 160/1
Robert Allenby 160/1
Will MacKenzie 160/1
Kyle Stanley 160/1
Greg Chalmers 160/1
Scott Brown 160/1
Brian Stuard 160/1
Lucas Glover 200/1
Ricky Barnes 200/1
Ken Duke 200/1
Justin Hicks 210/1
John Peterson 210/1
Jhonattan Vegas 210/1
Heath Slocum 210/1
Trevor Immelman 210/1
Jonathan Byrd 210/1
Kevin Kisner 210/1
Jim Herman 250/1
Eric Axley 250/1
Jamie Lovemark 250/1
Tim Herron 250/1
Miguel Angel Carballo 250/1
Tim Petrovic 250/1
Cameron Beckman 250/1
Doug LaBelle II 250/1
Ryuji Imada 250/1
Troy Kelly 250/1
Johnson Wagner 250/1
John Rollins 250/1
Mark Wilson 250/1
Matt Bettencourt 250/1
Edward Loar 250/1
Tag Ridings 250/1
Brad Fritsch 250/1
Charlie Wi 250/1
Jason Allred 250/1
Andrew Loupe 250/1
Jim Renner 250/1
Brian Gay 250/1
D.A. Points 250/1
David Duval 250/1

  
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