Get ready, golf world! Bryson DeChambeau is a PGA Tour winner! It’s only a matter of time before the next Phil Mickelson has his own line of same-length golf clubs on shelves and books of theory on the golf swing are published in his name…
Now that the John Deere Classic is in the books, the greatest players on Earth will turn their focus towards the 146th Open Championship at Royal Birkdale. For many, this week will be one filled with positive vibes and good feels — but for others, it’ll be a week wrought with concern and self-doubt.
Because, well, golf.
The John Deer Classic is the most gettable event of the year. Each year, the Tour’s best take it low — real low — en route to double-digit sub-par rounds that make even the most seasoned golf fans shake their heads. While no one got to 26-under — the current tournament record held by Steve Stricker — there were plenty of super low scores.
Bryson DeChambeau — After all the hype and pomp and circumstance surrounding golf’s newest savant, Bryson DeChambeau has won the PGA Tour! It’s always great to see when someone who is highly touted makes good on their promise and with DeChambeau, the Tour could have a bonafide star on their hands. His final-round 65 was good enough to hold of Patrick Rodgers by one stroke.
Patrick Rodgers — After what has been a pretty dismal season for former UCLA standout, Rodgers took it deep at TPC Deer Run and almost captured his first career PGA Tour win. Had if not been for a poorly timed bogey on 17, Rodgers could have been the once celebrating. As it stands, his week was easily his best on Tour and one that had all his fantasy owners smiling wide.
Steve Stricker — After opening with an ugly 73 on Thursday, Steve Stricker showed the world why he all but owns the deed to TPC Deere Run. With rounds of 67-65-64 over the final three rounds, Stricker steadily climbed the leader board and into contention at his favorite tournament of the year. His 15-under total for the week was good enough for a tie for 5th.
Ollie Schniederjans — At the beginning of the week, Ollie Schniederjans was a popular fantasy choice for many. And why not? The kid has had a great season and, with all the new winners popping up this year, it seemed like it could be his turn. After a Friday 63, it seemed all but a certainty. Unfortunately for Schniederjans and his fantasy owners, the rest of his week looked like a roller coaster.
Nicolas Lindheim — Getting his first real taste of Sunday on Tour, Nicolas Lindheim had an awful Sunday and slipped all the way from a top-5 finish to a T-55. After opening with rounds of 68-66-66, Lindheim stumbled to a Sunday 77. Most people who took Lindheim took him because they needed to save cap space or because they were throwing stuff at the wall to see what stuck — and for three days, it worked. Unfortunately, on the PGA Tour, tournaments are 72 holes, not 54.
Daniel Berger — After opening with rounds of 69-67-63, Daniel Berger struggled on Sunday at TPC Deere Run and watched his chances at career win No. 3 slip out of his hands. Berger, who made three bogeys en route to a Sunday-70, will still be a betting favorite and a fantasy must next week at the Open Championship, but his T-5 finish at the John Deere will sting a little after such a promising start.
Sebastian Munoz — OK — so putting Sebastian Munoz in the “or worse” section is a touch unfair — but many fantasy players were looking for big things from him on the heels of his near-win at the Greenbrier last week. To be fair, Munoz wasn’t horrible (he missed the cut at even par) and, honestly, might have seen the weekend were it not for the fact that everyone and their mother were in the mid-to-low 60’s during the first and second rounds.
Kevin Na — While I had a few hits a couple whiff’s last week, one call that was easy and spot-on was that of Kevin Na having a poor week at the John Deere Classic. Na, who has had his struggles in the past but had turned himself into one of the more reliable late fantasy grabs has been one of the more inconsistent players on Tour this year. It seems like every other week he’s got a top-25 followed by a missed cut or a T-70 or something. Those results hardly produce the line graph that screams success.
Hunter Mahan — I always feel like I’m kicking guys when they’re down in this section, but you’ve got to call ’em like you see ’em. In the cut throat world of fantasy golf, there’s no room for feelings — just facts. And the fact of the matter is, Hunter Mahan is still kryptonite for any fantasy format. The former Tout standout has made plenty of starts, but his appearances on the weekend have been few and far between. Though he has shown signs of life lately at the Traveler’s (T-17) and the Greenbrier (T-37), Mahan missed the cut at the Quad Cities to bring his slash line to 8-for-21.