Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Power Rankings - John Deere Classic

Sometimes you're Germany, and, well, sometimes you're Brazil. For the John Deere Classic, you're either Steve Stricker or you're not, as he's pretty much dominated this tournament for the last five years, with three wins, a Top-5 and a Top-10. Watching the end of The Greenbrier, I heard a commentator saying that Stricker will be dipping into his retirement fund this week - the purse at the tournament. Granted, Jimmy Walker was the heavy favorite last week, and he MC'd, so take course history for what it's worth and don't forget to check the Movers and Losers for some prospects that aren't listed here. 



In this week's edition of the Power Rankings, and those going forward, I'll be listing the Top-15 with their Total Aggregate (TA), a number that combines recent performance with course history and some select other metrics, and the change (CHG) from the last tournament they participated in. Total Aggregate is out of 100, with a lower number indicating a better ranking, as described in Movers and Losers.

  1. Steve Stricker - TA: 16.5, CHG: -5.42 - His results have been lower than the incredibly high bar he set last year, but Stricker still plays excellent golf just about every time he tees it up. Throw in his remarkable history here, and it'd be hard to justify anyone in the tournament ranking above him.
  2. Jordan Speith - TA: 21.25, CHG: -1.4 - On the opposite end of the age spectrum is last year's winner. Two Top-15s and two Top-10s in his last four tournaments demonstrates he's still in exceptional form. The question is still when, not if, he'll win again.
  3. Chris Kirk - TA: 21.67, CHG: -3 - Don't let his weak finish at The Greenbrier frighten you, as he's still on a made cut streak of 22. If you take last week out of the equation, he's finished no worse than 30th since before The Masters. T22 and T30 in his last two visits here.
  4. Billy Hurley III - TA: 30.25, CHG: +5.2 - Sure, he punted away a possible victory, but his first time in contention on Sunday means he's starting to pile on experience with his current hot streak. His recent credentials have spoken for themselves, but a T8 in his last visit here helps support his ranking as well.
  5. Brendon de Jonge - TA: 34.17, CHG: -6.8 - Played to a dismal 64th last week, but I wouldn't expect his poor play to continue long. Somehow, he keeps finding his way here, and though a T54 last year doesn't help, a T19 the year before backs him up.
  6. Ryan Moore - TA: 35.5, CHG: +2.6 - Like Hurley last week, Moore kicked away a victory with a lackluster Sunday finish at The Travelers, where he placed fifth. Moore has an eye for TPC Deere Run as well, with a T22 and T8 in his last two starts.
  7. Ben Martin - TA: 37.7, CHG: -10 - Missed the cut last week, ending a string of made-cuts that extended to just after The Masters. He's here on the merit of his finishes before the Greenbrier and a T38 in his last visit, so despite the missed cut, his numbers still stack up better than those below him.
  8. Charles Howell III - TA: 42.08, CHG: +9.6 - I had my hamster double check the math on this one, and Sprinkles says it checks out. Despite some lackluster finishes lately, and a relatively poor history here, by the way the weighting works in the aggregate, he finds himself here. I hope Sprinkles knows what he's doing.
  9. Robert Garrigus - TA: 42.3, CHG: +10.83 - He's been heating up since a missed cut at The Players, with two Top-30s and a Top-15 in his last three starts. Garrigus has two Top-25s in his last three starts here.
  10. Chris Stroud - TA: 42.43, CHG: +19.2 - Stroud comes into the John Deere with a Top-20, Top-15, and Top-5 in his last four starts. He tends to be pretty streaky, but so long as it doesn't end this week he could be in for a good trip to the John Deere Classic.
  11. Chad Campbell - TA: 42.75, CHG: -13.45 - Another player with a missed cut last week that makes the Power Rankings. Why? A T15 and T36 in his last two starts here, matched up with a Top 10, and a Top-30 in his last 4 starts. Depending on how all these "missed cut" players fare, it may be time for some adjustment to the Aggregate calculations.
  12. Andrew Svoboda - TA: 44.5, CHG: +7.2 - He's gone slightly cold the last few weeks, but with a Top-20 and a Top-10 since The Players, he's still good for some fantasy points as he's been consistently making cuts since.
  13. David Hearn - TA: 45, CHG: -4 - He's been somewhat of a conundrum since the Fed-Ex/St. Jude. He's been playing solid golf, however, he's got a missed cut and a 64th place finish in his last five starts. Finished second to Jordan Spieth in a playoff last year.
  14. Kevin Na - TA: 45, CHG: -6.8 - A second place finish, a Top-15, and a Top-30 in his last five starts should soothe any concern about his recent abilities. If he knocks any harder on the door this year, he'll get his win.
  15. J.J. Henry - TA: 46, CHG: +0.4 - Don't look at me too cross-eyed for this one, he's T7 and T13 in his last two efforts here. His recent results aren't spectacular, but they appear to indicate that he's found some semblance of form in time for a tournament for which he has a strong affinity.
Kyle Donovan
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