2024 John Deere Classic Preview - Nick to Dunlap the Field


Nick Dunlap showed us how to go low when he won the AMEX

Nick Dunlap was on my radar last week at Detroit Golf Club but his recent stats just didn't make the cut for me. I thought I was going to rue leaving him out but now he's back to form and at a track I think will suit. Instead we plumped for Cam Davis at 60 to 1 and he nailed the win for the mailing listers for the second time at the Rocket Mortgage Classic. This added to recent wins for Robert MacIntyre at 80/1 and Laurie Canter 30/1. Sean Crocker wasn't far off making it a foursome from just 6 picks across the two main tours last week. Remember you can join the mailing list and get all my weekly picks from both tours. 

The John Deere Classic will follow in the footsteps of Detroit with par breakers aplenty being the brief. Pristine fairways and some of the best greens on tour often light up our screens at the John Deere which has seen some record low scoring over the years. Locals Steve Stricker and Zach Johnson have excellent records here which should give us a clue as to what players to profile. Pitching and putting will sort the men from the boys.

The market is led by last year's winner Sepp Straka 14/1 who booked his spot into the Open Championship with that win. 14s is too short. We could say the same for Sungjae Im at the same price. Jordan Spieth is the obvious danger towards the top of the market at around 20s.

Course and Player Profiling

Proximity to the hole will be a key stat this week on a track that plays fairly easy from tee to green. Lot's of wedges are used and the track usually plays soft. Its a parklands course, treelined with elevation changes and mounding lining the fairways. Large bentgrass greens are elevated but surrounded mainly by rough and white marble bunkering. TPC Deere run is a par 71 playing around 7,300 yards. Par breaker streaks are common here - just ask Jonny vegas! The rough varies from year to year.

Key Metrics

  • Total driving efficiency
  • Approach (Proximity)
  • Wedge Play
  • Par breakers
  • Holing out
  • Par 5 performance 

Nic's Picks for the John Deere Classic

It's Nick Dunlap 40/1 I'm most interested in here. He was simmering formwise before the Rocket Mortgage but his driving stats didnt make for good reading. He's 24th in approaches in the 50-125 yards range and 8th in approaches inside 100 yards. Nick finished t10 in Detroit but his total of -29 at the AMEX to win as an amateur is what stands out the most for me ahead of another birdie fest. Dunlap is also 7th in birdie or better conversion percentage. He was t1 in GIR and 5th in birdies last week in Detroit. The recently turned pro was 12th at Memorial recently which is a second shot track. 

Patton Kizzire 100/1 stands out in most of the main departments this week. He has 5 top 30s in his last 6 events and owns 4 top 30s from his last 5 at TPC Deere Run. He was 11th and 16th there previous to a missed cut last year and a 20th place finish in Detroit warms him up nicely. Kizzire ranks 8th in both proximity to the hole and strokes gained approach in 2024

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Bryan Nicholson is the pioneer of the progressive form and course fit ratings for golf betting, with the associated progressive form model and course fit profiling model. Bryan is the author of the annual course fit profiling manual and #1 golf betting book Angles & Edges.

What is expected Strokes Gained Course Fit ?

Bryan pioneered the concept of Expected Strokes Gained Course Fit (xSGF) in golf betting. xSGF can be predicted using my model below. For prospective golf betting tips it projects ahead of time how many shots a player is expected to pick up per round on average on a particular golf course. It's weighed against a neutral golf course of the same rating.

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Input up to date player and course data (from the upcoming course fit manual 2024) into this interactive golf betting model. My course fit profiling model for golf betting tips uses highly evolved golf nuance and betting intuition, precise parameters and inputs based on Bayesian analysis, plus years of empirical evidence through observing, betting and documenting golf and stats.

What is Progressive Form in Golf Betting?

Progressive form in golf betting differs from current form in that players are showing a trend in the right direction in their recent scoring. Trending form has a high predictive value in golf betting and can also catch players under the radar at an inflated price vs their true betting odds.

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To check the latest player finishing positions for golf betting tips see the official world golf rankings and search/click a golfer. Input these numbers into the interactive golf model above, following the guide.

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