The field is even lighter than last week, with now just over a week remaining between now and the final major of the year, in the Open Championship at Royal St George’s Golf Club in England. Like the last few weeks, the winner this week will likely be going low, with five of the last six winners going -20 or lower.
Which of the “best of the rest” will step up and do some damage this weekend in Illinois?
Let’s take a closer look.
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Zach Johnson (+125 at FanDuel Sportsbook)
As one of the only former winners in the field this week, Zach Johnson needs all the familiarity he can get as he looks to get back on track from what has been a roller coaster 2021. And I think that’s just what we see here.
In his last 10 starts at TPC Deere Run, he’s finished no worse than 37th, and in addition to his win in 2012, has six finishes T5 or better. Over his last 44 rounds here, he’s finished the day higher than 70 just four times. He’s the definition of a course horse.
Looking at recent form, following four missed cuts in six events at one point this spring, Johnson has gone T32 or better in two of his last three and has shot eight of his last nine rounds in the 60s. If he can get some confidence on and around the green Thursday, I like that momentum to carry him low through the weekend.
Additionally, looking at everyone in the field’s last 24 rounds, Johnson ranks #1 in Strokes Gained: Putting on Bentgrass surface (which we’ll be seeing here), and #3 in SG: Par 4s 400-450.
Russell Henley (-110 at FanDuel Sportsbook)
As the fifth-lowest odds to win this week, Henley is on many people’s radars as a guy that can win come Sunday; and rightfully so.
Coming into this week with four top 10s on the season, Henley ranks 44th in FedEx Cup points, is playing some of his best golf of the season at the right time as summer heats up. In his last two starts, Henley has a T13 and T19 under his belt, including a US Open he was in a position to win by Sunday afternoon. Even with the loss, I expect the confidence in knowing he can compete with the sport’s biggest names to propel him further, especially in a weak field such as this.
Add in a second-place finish in this event the last time he played it, and I expect Henley to finish near the top of the leaderboard come Sunday.
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TJ Perun is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from TJ, check out his archive and follow him @JohnnyCovers.
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