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19th Hole

‘You’re right, we’re always wrong!’ – Sergio Garcia receives warning during Open qualifier



On Tuesday morning, Sergio Garcia began his attempt to qualify for this month’s Open Championship at Royal Troon. The 44-year-old has had a strong season on LIV and finished T12 at the U.S. Open.

Ben Parsons of Bunkered is in attendance for Garcia’s qualification efforts at Lancashire Links and caught an interesting exchange between Sergio and a rules official on camera.

The Spaniard received a slow play warning and wasn’t happy about it.

“You’re right, we’re always wrong,” Garcia can be heard saying.

Parsons added that Garcia was upset with the slow play warning because it was taking marshals a long time to clear the fans watching his group, which of no fault of his own.

At the moment, Garcia is on the back nine of his first 18 holes and three back of first place.

The Fireballs GC Captain will tee it up next week at LIV Valderrama in his home country.

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19th Hole

Vincenzi’s 2024 John Deere Classic betting preview: Denny McCarthy to get breakthrough win



After an exciting week of golf at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, the PGA TOUR makes one final stateside stop before the Scottish Open and Open Championship at TPC Deere Run to play the John Deere Classic.

TPC Deere Run is a 7,268-yard par 71 located in Silvis, Ill., in the Quad Cities area. The course historically fails to present a major challenge to golfers with easy-to-hit fairways and Bentgrass greens. Most players will have short approach shots into the greens and the event often turns into a bit of a putting contest.

The John Deere Classic will play host to 156 golfers and as expected, the field is considerably weaker than we have gotten used to this season, but better than the John Deere field last year. 

A few of the notable golfers who will make the trip to the Midwest include Jason Day, Sungjae Im, Jordan Spieth and defending champion Sepp Straka. 

Past Winners at The John Deere Classic

  • 2023: Sepp Straka (-21)
  • 2022: J.T. Poston (-21)
  • 2021: Lucas Glover (-19)
  • 2019: Dylan Frittelli (-21)
  • 2018: Michael Kim (-27)
  • 2017: Bryson DeChambeau (-18)
  • 2016: Ryan Moore (-22)
  • 2015: Jordan Spieth (-20)

In this article and going forward, I’ll be using the Rabbit Hole by Betsperts Golf data engine to develop my custom model. If you want to build your own model or check out all of the detailed stats, you can sign up using promo code: MATTVIN for 25% off any subscription package (yearly is best value).

Key Stats For TPC Deere Run

Let’s take a look at five key metrics for TPC Deere Run to determine which golfers boast top marks in each category over their last 24 rounds.

Strokes Gained: Approach

Strokes Gained: Approach is historically the most predictive statistic at TPC Deere Run.

It’s a relatively short course with extremely wide fairways. Lack of distance off the tee will not be a major hindrance to golfers since the majority of approach shots will allow for a short iron or wedge onto the green.

SG: Approach Over Past 24 Rounds:

  1. Patton Kizzire (+.95)
  2. Aaron Rai (+.93)
  3. Sepp Straka (+.93)
  4. Kevin Yu (+.84)
  5. Kelly Kraft (+.78) 

Strokes Gained: Total on Easy Courses

Similar to last week, players who excel at easy courses will have an advantage at TPC Deere Run. 

Strokes Gained: Total on Easy Courses Over Past 36 Rounds:

  1. Nick Dunlap (+2.31)
  2. J.T. Poston (+2.20)
  3. Kevin Yu (+1.69)
  4. Eric Cole (+1.67)
  5. Sungjae Im (+1.55)

3. Birdie or Better Percentage

Scores can get extremely low at TPC Deere Run as the course will offer plenty of birdie opportunities. Twelve of the 18 holes on the course historically average under par.

Birdie or Better Percentage Over Past 24 Rounds:

  1. Maverick McNealy (25%)
  2. Nick Dunlap (+24.5%)
  3. Patton Kizzire (+24.5%)
  4. Justin Lower (+24.3%)
  5. Sean O’Hair (+24%)

4. Course History

This statistic will show us who’s played well at TPC Deere Run over their past 36 rounds. 

Proximity 125-150 Over Past 36 Rounds

  1. Bud Cauley (+1.88)
  2. Greyson Sigg (+1.86)
  3. Alex Smalley (+1.76)
  4. Lucas Glover (+1.69)
  5. Maverick McNealy (+1.67)

5. Strokes Gained: Putting (Midwest Bentgrass)

With green in regulation percentages definitively higher at TPC Deere Run than the average TOUR stop, the winner will likely be determined by who can catch the hottest putter.

SG: Putting (Bentgrass) over Past 24 rounds

  1. Brandt Snedeker (+1.12)
  2. J.T. Poston (+1.04)
  3. Callum Tarren (+.84)
  4. Beau Hossler (+0.83)
  5. Denny McCarthy (+0.83)

The John Deere Classic Model Rankings

Below, I’ve compiled overall model rankings using a combination of the six key statistical categories previously discussed — SG: App (27%), Birdie or Better (18%), SG: Putting Midwest Bent (19.5%) Strokes Gained: Total on Easy Courses (15.8%), and Course History (15.8%).

  1. Patton Kizzire
  2. Keith Mitchell
  3. Sungjae Im
  4. Maverick McNealy
  5. Michael Kim
  6. Kelly Kraft
  7. Sam Ryder
  8. Daniel Berger
  9. Greyson Sigg
  10. Seamus Power

2024 John Deere Classic Picks

Denny McCarthy +3000 (DraftKings)

Denny McCarthy has yet to win on the PGA Tour but has multiple close calls, including a playoff loss at the Valero Texas Open earlier this year. The 31-year-old has shown that he can contend at courses where distance off the tee isn’t a prerequisite, and that will be the case once again at TPC Deere Run.

McCarthy is an excellent putter, and the John Deere Classic is an event where a hot putter can carry a player to victory. Denny has had some solid results at the course, finishing in a tie for 6th in each of the past two years. In his five trips to TPC Deere Run, McCarthy has gained more than two strokes putting in four them.

While the putter is extremely consistent for McCarthy, the rest of his game is up and down. In his most recent start at the Travelers Championship, he gained 2.88 strokes on approach, which was the most he’s gained in the category since his runner-up in Texas. A repeat iron performance this week would surely be enough to get him into contention in a weak field.

McCarthy has two playoff losses in his career to two incredibly talented players in Viktor Hovland and Akshay Bhatia. The fact that he hasn’t won yet is a bit unlucky. If he gets in the mix again, I could see the third time being the charm for McCarthy.

Nick Dunlap +4000 (DraftKings)

The John Deere Classic has been an excellent spot for up-and-coming players and Nick Dunlap certainly fits the bill. The 20-year-old won the American Express earlier this season and is beginning to look more and more comfortable as a PGA Tour player.

Last week, Dunlap struck the ball brilliantly. He gained 5.1 strokes on approach and 3.2 strokes off the tee on his way to a tied for 1oth place finish at Detroit Golf Club. Over his past 24 rounds, he ranks 2nd in birdie or better percentage and 1st in the field in Strokes Gained: Total on courses with easy scoring conditions.

Dunlap’s victory earlier this season at -29 showed that if a “birdie fest” breaks out, he has the skill set to take advantage and go low at TPC Deere Run.

Beau Hossler +6000 (FanDuel)

It’s been an inconsistent year thus far for Beau Hossler, but he’s begun to show life over his past handful of starts. Last week at Detroit Golf Club, the former Texas Longhorn put forth one of his better ball striking weeks of the season. He ranked 16th in the field in Strokes Gained: Approach and 10th in the field in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green. Hossler was disappointing with the putter, which is unusual as he’s typically one of the better putters on the PGA Tour. Therefore, I’d expect some positive regression in that category this week at TPC Deere Run.

In his three starts at the John Deere Classic, Hossler has finished in a tie for 26th in two of them, missing the cut in the other. He’s gained strokes putting in all three starts, showing he has a good feel for the greens at Deere Run. Once a highly regarded prospect, the now 29-year-old is the type of player who will need to rely on a hot putting week to finally break through.

Hossler doesn’t have the ball speed and power that many of the up-and-coming stars on the PGA Tour have, making it difficult for him to compete at the longer tracks on the schedule. TPC Deere Run is a course where accuracy and putting can theoretically carry him to his first career victory.

Jhonnatan Vegas +9000 (FanDuel)

It’s been a long road back to health for Jhonnatan Vegas. The 39-year-old has been battling right arm issues (first elbow, then shoulder) for the better part of two years, but finally seems to be making significant progress on his return to full strength.

Last week, Vegas began to look like his former self. The Venezuelan ranked 5th for the week in Strokes Gained: Ball Striking at Detroit Golf Club. He gained 4.3 strokes on approach and 3.1 strokes off the tee.

After his Friday round, Vegas was asked how he was feeling.  “Maybe I’m not feeling a 100% yet, but I’m seeing a lot of improvements, which is what I like.” Of course, I’d rather hear he was 100%, but the fact that he said he is feeling better combined with his best ball striking week in years is enough for me to take a chance on him.

The Venezuelan has had some success at TPC Deere Run. He finished T3 in 2014 and T11 in 2021. If he takes another step forward this week, he could find himself in contention and revitalize his career.

Neal Shipley +11000 (FanDuel)

Neal Shipley turned professional a few weeks ago but has been turning heads since the U.S. Open. After getting into two majors this year as a result of his runner-up finish at the 2023 U.S. Amateur, he finished as low amateur in both the Masters (T54) and the U.S. Open (T26).

Last week, Shipley finished in a tie for 20th at the Rocket Mortgage Classic and ranked 6th for the week in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green. He gained 5.1 strokes on approach and .8 strokes off the tee. He also ranked 6th in Strokes Gained: Around the Green but really struggled with the putter, ranking 69th. The 23-year-old is typically a pretty solid putter, so I’d expect a bounce back performance this week.

The John Deere Classic has historically been a solid spot for up-and-coming talents, and Shipley has a chance to make a name for himself this week at TPC Deere Run.

Troy Merritt +22000 (FanDuel)

Troy Merritt once again showed up last week at a spot in Detroit Golf Club that’s been kind to him over the years. He’s also been pretty good at TPC Deere Run. He has two top-20 finishes at the course including a T17 last season.

Merritt has quietly been finding some form of late. He’s gained strokes on approach in three straight events. In his past 24 rounds, he ranks 18th in the field in Strokes Gained: Approach. Last week, he finished in a tie for 17th, which was his best finish since the CJ Cup Byron Nelson in May.

This is simply a value play on Merritt, as I believe he is priced at about 50 points higher than he should be.

Harry Higgs +30000 (FanDuel)

Harry Higgs has been scorching hot of late. In May, he won in back-to-back starts on the Korn Ferry Tour at the Advent Health Championship and Visit Knoxville Open. A few weeks ago, he finished 4th at the Compliance Solutions Championship.

Higgs hasn’t had much success at TPC Deere Run, but he also hasn’t come into the event with any form until this season. He’s typically been at his best in birdie fests and ranks 23rd in the field in Birdie or Better percentage over his past 24 rounds.

At 300-1, it’s worth seeing if the 32-year-old can keep the heater going.

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19th Hole

LIV Golf in talks with controversial former U.S. Open host course



According to a report from the Tacoma News Tribune, LIV Golf is in talks with Chambers Bay as a potential host for the 2025 LIV Golf season.

Chambers Bay has a rich golf history. The course hosted the 2010 U.S. Amateur, the 2015 U.S. Open, and the 2021 U.S. Women’s Amateur.

While speaking with The News Tribune, Don Anderson, executive counsel to Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier, LIV is “very attractive” for the course.

“LIV has its own issues though, golf politics, world politics-wise. You have to be careful there. They throw a great party, though. 54 golfers, 54 holes, shotgun start. You generate $5 million or so in concession and merchandise sales. From that aspect, they’re very attractive. If they follow up with their indirect inquiry, we’ll listen.”

Chambers Bay has likely been holding out to see if they’d be greenlit for another major championship first, which is yet to happen. The USGA has U.S. Opens booked for the next 18 years, with Chambers not on the schedule.

The course would also be open to hosting a PGA Tour event, but finding sponsors is difficult.

“That would be tough,” Anderson said. “It’s a money issue. The PGA needs a title sponsor that comes up with 150 percent of the purse. That would be a 15-to-30-million-dollar sponsorship.”

Time will tell if Chambers Bay will be the next big course for LIV Golf.

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19th Hole

‘F**k you Brooks Koepka!’ – Aaron Ekblad hits back at Brooks during Stanley Cup victory parade



Back in March of 2023, Brooks Koepka went viral on social media while at a Florida Panthers hockey game. The 5-time major champion was heard and seen on video yelling at Panthers defenseman Aaron Eckblad.

A “traffic cone” in hockey is used as an insult for a player who just stands there, not defending his position.

After the Panthers 2024 Stanley Cup victory, Eckblad had the last laugh.

“F- -K YOU BROOKS KOEPKA”, Eckblad yelled at the championship celebration.

Koepka was supporting the “P’s” all throughout the 2024 playoffs, so I’m sure would trade Eckblad’s retort for the trophy his team ultimately won.

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