PGA TOUR Golf Sleepers: 4 Potential John Deere Classic Longshot Picks
It’s another birdie-fest week on the PGA TOUR, as we head to the Quad Cities for the 2023 John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run. Although birdie-fests have traditionally been the best opportunity to fire away at PGA TOUR golf sleepers with longer odds, the lack of field depth at the John Deere Classic has historically led to fewer surprises. Just two players over the last 10 years have gone on to win at golf odds longer than 100-1.
Generous fairways and greens have paved the way for winning scores to eclipse -20 year over year at this event, but players will need to show solid leading form in both their ball striking and short game in order to separate from the field here, making TPC Deere Run a slightly more imposing test than your typical putting contest.
Last week’s PGA TOUR golf sleepers article identified Adam Schenk as a top value play, who contended throughout the week and ultimately finished inside the top-10. So we’ll look to continue the momentum going into Silvis, Illinois. Ahead, we’ll dive in to the most viable longshot options to consider for the 2023 John Deere Classic.
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TPC DEERE RUN INTRODUCTION
With over 50 years of history on the PGA TOUR, the John Deere Classic has brought plenty of fireworks with its climactic finishes – an appropriate event to contest the week of 4th of July. Just over 7,200 yards, this par-71 is not daunting with its length, and is one of the select courses on the yearly schedule where accurate plodders with below average driving distance – such as Zach Johnson, Ryan Moore, Brian Harman, and JT Poston – can still contend.
TPC Deere Run feature generous fairways above-average in width and greens which are also larger than PGA TOUR average. While that has traditionally led to high fairway and green in regulation averages, the penalty for missed fairways and greens is much greater than your typical birdie fest. With that said, I’m still favoring players this week who are above-average in driving accuracy and SG: ARG, as this is should be more than just a pure putting contest.
With some showers in the upcoming forecast, the winning score should once again push close to 20-under par. While a poor strength of field creates limited longshot options, the below players are my favorite choices to out-perform their price from a betting and DFS standpoint.
For a deeper dive into the course, read my John Deere Classic preview. Let’s get to our 2023 John Deere Classic picks, with a focus on longshots and PGA TOUR golf sleepers for your DFS lineups.
PGA TOUR GOLF SLEEPERS: JOHN DEERE CLASSIC
From a betting perspective, I’m choosing to construct a much tighter card this week than last, given the lack of depth in this field. While my exposure is concentrated to the favorites, I still managed to fit a couple of the below longshots on my betting card.
In terms of DFS, this has all the makings of a balanced lineup construction for me, as there is not a ton of separation in talent between the first and second tier of players this week. While it’s less necessary to dip beyond the low $7K range in a balanced week, these longshots will allow the salary relief to squeeze in more favorites into your lineups, if you choose to go that route.
Below, find my favorite value PGA TOUR golf sleepers and longshots for the 2023 John Deere Classic. Stats pulled across Last 36 Rounds unless otherwise noted. Each player is listed with best price in John Deere Classic odds.
Chez Reavie (, $7,700)
I have featured Chez Reavie far more times in this article in 2023 than I care to admit. But, that’s a testament to his consistency on short approach-centric courses that fit his skillset, and oddsmakers’ unwillingness to take his renaissance season seriously.
Reavie has missed only one cut and recorded seven top-40 finishes over his last 10 starts. Throughout that stretch, he’s consistently leaned on the strength of his driving accuracy and iron play, ranking top-15 in Fairways Gained, Good Drives Gained, and SG: Approach. The approach form is improving exponentially too, as the 8.7 strokes he gained at last week’s Rocket Mortgage Classic is the second best tournament performance of his entire career.
TPC Deere Run is yet another course in this portion of the schedule that should reward those skillsets, and Reavie’s performances both here and other comp courses support that fit up as well. Reavie has three top-20s and just two missed cuts over his last eight appearances at the John Deere Classic. His best finish this season is a T4 at The Travelers Championship, a good omen when considering how JT Poston used a high finish at TPC River Highlands to springboard to victory here in 2022. With the irons and putting continuing to click, Reavie has legitimate winning upside despite the long price tag.
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Callum Tarren (, $7,300)
I had very high hopes for Callum Tarren this year after closing out his 2022 calendar year with a runner-up finish at the RSM Classic. Unfortunately, he’s struggled to settle in since then with just one top-30 finish in 2023. That seems due to change soon however, as Tarren’s ball striking visibly turned a corner over the last couple months.
The English bomber has now gained 2+ strokes off-the-tee in four consecutive starts and a combined nine strokes on approach in his last two, missing just one cut since the start of May. TPC Deere Run is not a bomb-and-gouge course, but a little extra distance can still be advantageous here, as Dylan Frittelli, Bryson DeChambeau, and Jordan Spieth have shown in their past wins here. He’s also proven capable of dialing back his driver on shorter courses, as he ranks top-10 in Comp Course History with recent top-20 finishes at the 3M Open, Rocket Mortgage Classic, and Sanderson Farms.
Tarren impressed in his John Deere Classic debut last year, gaining across all strokes gained categories en route to a T6 finish. His 4.3 strokes gained putting at this event should offer some optimism for a bounce back on the greens after a career-worst 8.1 strokes putting at the Rocket Mortgage Classic last week. Long term, he’s been a dependable putter with spike upside, so I’m willing to take a chance on some positive putting regression if his ball striking remains this consistent.
Nate Lashley (, $7,200)
When scoring conditions are at their easiest, I’m always going to consider Nate Lashley, as his game is perfectly suited to generate ample birdie opportunities on generous fairways and greens. Though a bit erratic off-the-tee, Lashley has proven to be in an elite tier from fairway to green in easy scoring conditions. He ranks top-10 in SG: APP, Prox: 75-150, Birdies or Better Gained, and 3-Putt Avoidance; all crucial to generating scoring opportunities at TPC Deere Run.
With a win under his belt at Detroit Golf Club and 10 additional top-30s at short and easy courses like Pebble Beach, TPC Craig Ranch, TPC River Highlands, and CC of Jackson, Lashley ranks No. 19 in Comp Course History. That’s a very strong indicator for recent contenders at the John Deere Classic.
At TPC Deere Run, Lashley has made just two appearances, but peaked with a T26 here in 2019. The No. 8 player in my model this week, Lashley’s spike approach and putting upside make him a viable contender at the 2023 John Deere Classic.
Satoshi Kodaira (, $6,800)
In terms of DraftKings pricing, there is a precipitous drop off in talent when we reach the $6K threshold. There is truly no “safe” option this far down the board in a field so thin, but Satoshi Kodaira is the one player whose game looks best suited to push for a made cut and top-40 finish, so I’ll have myself some exposure to the Japanese plodder this week.
Kodaira enters this week in modest form with three consecutive top-50 finishes on the PGA TOUR. Despite the lackluster results, however, Kodaira has maintained an elite stat profile in key areas for TPC Deere Run. He ranks No. 2 in Fairways Gained and top-10 in SG: APP and Prox: 75-150. His lone PGA TOUR win came at the RBC Heritage in 2018, so it’s no secret that another short course with emphasis on shorter irons should favor his game.
He demonstrated that fit with a T30 finish at this event last year, so with his irons and driving accuracy remaining sharp in 2023, Kodaira is a solid value play consideration on Draft Kings.
Best of luck if you choose to bet these PGA TOUR golf sleepers!
JOHN DEERE CLASSIC ODDS
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