The course at TPC Deere Run in Illinois was designed by DA Weibring in 1999 and has been host to the John Deere Classic since 2000. The course is located near the Rock River, the valley it creates affects a number of holes here.
It may not be the most significant event on the PGA Tour schedule in terms of prize money or Fed-Ex Cup points, but there’s a Major incentive on offer. The winner of the tournament will receive a spot in the Open Championship at Turnberry the following week. Last year Kenny Perry refused his invitation to Royal Birkdale as he was concentrating on playing events that suited his game in an effort to make the US Ryder Cup team. Jay Williamson gratefully accepted the slot and went on to finish a creditable tied 39th at Birkdale.
TPC Deere Run was lengthened for the 2008 tournament though it remained one of the easier layouts on the circuit – it ranked as the 15th most straightforward track the PGA Tour visited last year. J.P Hayes holds the course record here at 61.
Venue: TPC Deere Run, Silvis, Illinois
Course stats: par 71, 7,213 yards
Purse: $4,300,000 Winner: $774,000
Defending Champion: Kenny Perry (-16)
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Kenny Perry – The defending champion continues to play superb golf on the PGA Tour. He won on his last outing at the Travelers Championship and lies second in the FedEx Cup.
Zach Johnson – Hailing from nearby Iowa, Johnson would be a popular champion here. He has two wins on the 2009 Tour plus seven further top-10s.
David Toms – The 2001 PGA champion is on a solid run of form and the course at TPC Deere Run should suit his game. He’s due a win.
Key Hole: 14th par 4, 361 yards. This is a great risk and reward hole, it’ll be drivable for some, but accuracy is very important. If the drive is slightly wayward, you may find yourself playing a blind shot from heavy rough left of the green. The putting surface is more contoured than most others on the course, so stopping the ball close to the hole can prove tricky.
Going low – This is one of the easier courses on the circuit and it tends to be won with a total in the late teens under par. The winner will sink a hatful of putts and make a high number of birdies and eagles. Steady pars are no good here.