John Deere Classic Power Rankings: Who Has The Edge?

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PGA Tour: John Deere Classic Power Rankings

Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports

TPC Deere Run, site of this week’s John Deere Classic is poised to surrender a great deal of scoring once again this year. This track regularly plays host to shootouts and requires a lot of scoring to take home the title. In addition, several of the players in this week’s field have found great success here over the years. That all adds up to equal one incredibly entertaining golf tournament.

This is also the final chance to get things moving in the right direction for the 22 members of the field that have already qualified for next week’s British Open. While the friendly confines of TPC Deere Run don’t necessarily resemble what they’ll see next week at Muirfield Village, those golfers are going to want to make sure that everything feels good heading into the third major of the season. Good ball striking is the same no matter where the game is being played.

Zach Johnson is the defending champion and has a good chance to fend off the competition, including three-time champion Steve Stricker and teenager Jordan Spieth. Keegan Bradley will be making his first appearance at this particular event and is looking to move up inside of the top 10 in the FedEx Cup standings.

I have a sneaking suspicion that this tournament could very well come down to a battle between the two heavy favorites – Johnson and Stricker. Both have played well this year in addition to having amazing resumes at this event. Of course, since I’ve said that there will likely be a few dark horses that come out of nowhere to prove me wrong yet again.

Carl Conrad is the Senior Golf Writer for Follow him on Twitter or add him to your network on Google.

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#5 Jordan Spieth

Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

This kid can no longer be considered a sleeper any time he steps on the course. He’s already won over $1 million this season and has secured his card for next year. Now, he’s hoping to pick up a victory in 2013 in order to get himself into the FedEx Cup playoffs.

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#4 Charley Hoffman

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Hoffman is riding a streak of seven consecutive cuts made that happens to include a pair of top 10 finishes. The guy with the crazy blonde hair ranks 19th in scoring and seventh in par breakers. Those are key stats when playing a course that surrenders the kinds of scores that we will see at TPC Deere Run.

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#3 Keegan Bradley

Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

I have Bradley ranked a little higher than most this week. I like his chances in his maiden trip to this course. He’s had a bit of an inconsistent season but will likely to be able to take advantage of the scoring conditions this week. If he’s able to find the fairways with slightly more consistency he will be in the mix.

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#2 Zach Johnson

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If he doesn’t win, the odds are in his favor to finish inside of the top something – something that he has done in three of his last four trips here. One of those top three finishes was a victory last year. He’s also been under par in every one of his last 16 rounds here. Don’t expect him to fall too far off the pace.

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#1 Steve Stricker

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It was a tough call to choose between Stricker and Johnson. They’re really 1 and 1(a) this week. Both have had enormous success here, but I think that that amount of rest Stricker has had this year will come in to play this week. He’s also been scoring significantly better than Johnson this year, as Stricker is ranked seventh on Tour and Johnson is 130th. Even so, I wouldn’t be surprised to see those two going blow for blow on Sunday.