John Deere Classic
We discuss the long holiday weekend, tractor rides, and of course, this week's PGA Tour stop
John Deere Classic
Where: Silvis, Ill.
Course: TPC Deere Run
Defending champion: Steve Stricker broke the tournament record with a 26-under total of 258 to beat Paul Goydos by two shots.
This Week's Fix Six
2. Steve Stricker
3. Jason Day
4. Charles Howell III
5. Jonathan Byrd
6. Steve Marino
Welcome to another edition of Fantasy Fix, where we think it's fitting that an American was victorious on July 4th weekend. Even more exciting is that we called a big week for Nick Watney going into the AT&T. A second win of the season for the California native makes him America's next great hope, at least for this week. Hopefully, we can keep our success rate up as well with this week's tournament. Let's get to it.
The PGA Tour heads to the Midwest for the John Deere Classic. We'd call it a tune-up for the British Open, but TPC Deere Run wasn't exactly modeled after Royal St. George's and most of the field this week would need a ticket to get into the third major championship of the year.
Random tournament fact: David Gossett Jr. won this event in 2001. I swear I didn't just make that up.
Steve Stricker. The Strick Show is the two-time defending champion, a hometown fan favorite here, and a recent winner at the Memorial. Oh yeah, he also shattered the tournament record with a blistering 26-under-par total of 258 last year, so you've got to like his chances. Of course, nothing is guaranteed. For the first time in what seems like forever, I didn't play a round of golf over a long holiday weekend. What were the odds of that?
STUD OF THE WEEK
Zach Johnson. Another Midwesterner, ZJ finished T-2 here in 2009. He showed signs of breaking out at the Travelers before finishing T-24 and we still think he's due for a win. (Side note: Since I was out of the loop for a few days, how was Tiger as a host at Aronimink? I heard he burned a few burgers, but with a little practice, he'll get there.)
FORMER CHAMP TO KEEP AN EYE ON
Jonathan Byrd. The Byrd Man won this event in 2007 and has never missed a cut at TPC Deere Run in seven appearances. He hasn't won since the season opener, but is still in the midst of a great year, currently sitting at No. 14 on the money list.
DON'T FORGET ABOUT THE GUY WHO SHOT 59... AND LOST
Paul Goydos. The poor guy had the round of his life in the first round last year only to have a one-shot lead by the end of the day after Stricker nearly matched him. The Strick Show overtook him over the weekend, but Goydos did take home the runner-up's check for nearly half a million. I guess poor wasn't the best adjective to describe him.
FAN MAIL BREAK
"Hey, Alex. Big fan. Just wanted to say thanks for being on my bandwagon all year, even after what happened at Whistling Straits last year. Other than my swing coach, Butch Harmon, you have been my next biggest source of confidence. Sincerely, Nick Watney."
No problem, Nick. And I promise to find you a better nickname than "Dubs." OK, so Watney didn't really write, but that doesn't mean you can't. Please feel free to e-mail me with comments, questions or just to make fun of my picks. And of course, you can follow me on Twitter.