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Strictly Stricker but several to consider in Illinois!

Steve StickerThe John Deere Classic, TPC John Deere, Moline Illinois, 11th – 14th July

Technically speaking we are in Illinois but, in theory, we are closer to the Mighty Missippippi river, adjacent to Davenport and the rolling hills and farmlands of Iowa

Iowa, similar to Dorset, is without doubt the most underated state of the Union and  unlike West Virginia, yet another underrated State but exceptionally poor, Iowa is the real harvest box of the USA and has some really beautiful scenery, unlike the powerhouse of its near neighbour, the extremely industrial Illinois.

The TPC is undoubtedly a combination of the two. Powerhouse open rolling fairways with extraordinarily large greens,  8000 sq feet surface area and yep, you guessed it, room to swing your arms.

This is a par 71 that ranks lowest scoring track for the last 3 years on the entire PGA Tour and, when I mean low scoring, we are talking 2.5 shots per player below par. So, we are talking -20 as a minimum, with “hares” scorching away every day, with tortoises trying desperately trying to catch up and someone will. Somebody who can pour it on at a 66 each day and there will be plenty of them

I would really like to tell you how undulating this course is, how bouncy it is but I am afraid life is not like that. Moline Council wont help with expansion, The PGA don’t allow cross fairways anymore and, with today’s technology, the guys are biffing it miles so that bumps and hollows don’t count

Recently though, the PGA guaranteed a place for the John Deere after 13 years of sponsorship but would have to wait for a new place in the circuit until someone drops out because they are not happy with their spot in front of a major (the British Open). Guarantee really means that they are a confirmed annual sponsor by use of continuing patronage and as soon as a new space becomes open you can apply for it. There are 11 guarantees + 3 majors and 4 other tournaments (Byron Nelson , Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer)

With entry now finished and closed for the British Open, apart from one spot and that therefore is  followed by a sudden dash Sunday night to Scotland. Hmmm, Moline to Prestwick sounds a real exciting set of travel plans to me !

So I thought for once let’s concentrate  on the selections

So, my four this week are:

1 – Cant leave Steve Stricker out – Hottest favourite I have chosen 6/1 – that’s tight odds but three times champion, eight times in top 10. Yep he is in

2 – Louis Oosthuizen  – Dispelled recent rumours that he was ill, played well last week. Loves JCB and big Tractors, only player to get personal invite around factory  – 22/1

3 – Keegan Bradley – Class player, burned himself out a little, does read stats well, plays on instinct, building (or just built), a palace. May need the dosh…I doubt it but you never know, that’s why he is playing so hard – 20/1

4 – Jordan Spieth – Got last weeks tournament with his name written all over it. What does he do? Has 14 straight birdie chances, misses the lot, shoots 73 last round instead of a 65, to win by a street. Plonker but, lets make sure we invest a little – 33/1

If I biff it well:

Two new names here:

1 – Brendon de Jonge  – 35/1. I know very little about him, except he walks and plays very much in the vein of the mighty Fred Couples. A definite “W Six Times” and for those that dont know – Went, Well, Will, Win, When, Wanted  “I’m calling yooooou hooooooo”!!!!!

2 – God forbid, another Hoffman! Morgan this time, not Charley or, to give him his nickname “whistler or hummer”, ‘cos thats what he does….whistles and hums his way round the course  – 55/1

My two trustee souls:

1 – Kevin Streelman – where you been Kevo? Missing these last few weeks, bit tired were you? Come on laddie your a pro! Big boys are away….time for another pot – 50/1

2 – Ronnie’s fav D A Points – same as above, won more than enough, eased off a little, manager may have played hard ball recently, might be a little re-occurence of glory days, of earlier weeks. Mind you, a long fall from grace at 125/1.

Old and Bold

got two of them this week

1 – Billy Mayfair – real old school just biding his time waiting for the seniors which he will undoubtedly light up . The Silver Fox {he still wishes to be blond but we know better} still a ball striker of power and can still line up a rack of birdies and if this is ever such a course , then look out Loves his pancake breakfasts  but depends on tee off tmes 300/1

Finally 2 – Not many pro’s live in West Wisconsin, close to the llinois/Wisconsin/Iowa border but this one an still play a bit and, if neccessary, can biff it 300 yards. As he says, every day -5 or +5 over par. Watch, look and learn boys, just as he drives off  150/1

That’s it, look for big round up of the British Open next week

Talk to you when your older

Michel-Jean Caule De Marolan

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