Haven't signed up for the British Open Pick-6 game? Good news, you're not too late. In the US Open game, we awarded more than $2,200 in cash... all for a measly $10 entry. Click here to register, and join the PGA Championship game while you're at it for only $7 more. We really appreciate your support.
The John Deere is playing about as expected: plenty of low scores, Steve Stricker around the lead, and a collection of veterans and relative unknowns looking to secure an elusive Tour win.
There are actually several proven fantasy players within striking distance, including Robert Garrigus, Zach Johnson, John Senden, Ben Crane and others… but the current leaderboard looks a lot more like the Greenbrier last Sunday. It's going to be steamy on the Mississippi this weekend with a chance of storms on Saturday, so it could be a long Sunday if there are substantial delays. At least they have a charter waiting for the guys going over the Open Championship. Onto the some other news and notes from the first 36 holes from TPC Deere Run:
- How surprising is Troy Matteson's -13 thru two rounds? Very. His best finish on 2012 is a t26 way back at the Honda, and prior to this week hadn't had consecutive rounds in the 60's since early last October (Frys.com). He has had a t3 and t10 here at the Deere, but has also missed cuts. He's putting the lights out (t2) this week and hitting tons of greens, but everything started to cool off for him on the back nine on Friday. Two things going for him: 1) he's won the Frys.com twice, so he knows what he's doing, and 2) he has proven he can go low plenty of times, which he'll need to do in at least one round over the weekend. Against him: Stricker is looming and there are a ton of guys within range if he shoots a mediocre round.
- Stricker is right there, and hasn't played his best golf yet. He didn't sound very enthusiastic about his second round, either, but winning four in a row was clearly on his mind. He can bring his B game to this track and still win it, which is what he's doing right now. He makes a bogey a round but hits 14 greens out there, and if his putter is average (for him) he'll make five or six birdies. So far, his putter has been below average, currently 35th in the field in putting. It won't be dramatic, but he should cruise into the lead late Saturday or early Sunday. His third round scoring average here the last three years: 64.3 (62, 63, 68). The course is just way too comfortable for him.
- Zach Johnson, another pre-tourney favorite, made a nice move on Friday with a 65. He currently sits four shots behind Matteson, but that's in the ballgame on this course and with only a handful of players ahead of him. He's from across the river in Iowa, and he's always wanted to win this one -- that's why he plays it every year. He's been close before -- two top-3 finishes -- but this year is setting up especially well for him. I expect a low round out of Zach on Saturday.
- Scoring average at TPC Deere Run is 69.51 through two days, and the cut came at -4. The analysis for gamers: your player better shoot 67 or lower to move up. Brendon de Jonge, Bill Curley and JJ Killen, all t31, are the highest on the leaderboard without recording a round of 67 or better. I think that's a good sign for those guys, as they've left a few shots on the course. Could be a few to watch Saturday.
- Props to James Dalthorp, who in his preview identified Brian Harman (t2), Gary Christian (t4) and Luke Guthrie (t11) as sleepers this week. That's about as good as it gets in a tourney in which 80% of the field are darkhorses.
- Last week's winner, Ted Potter, Jr., is right in the mix again after rounds of 67-66. Thought that might happen here -- it's tough to say if there will be another real chance to use him the rest of the year, but he's going to be playing with house money the rest of 2012. He needs courses on which the ball will run off the tee or it's not overly long to be successful -- the Wyndam has potential if it doesn't rain like it always does. Otherwise, he'll be one we'll look at after the FedEx Cup Playoffs.
- Other guys we're expecting good things from on Saturday: Tim Clark (good record here); John Senden (13th in third-round scoring) and Jeff Overton (28th) like to move up on Saturdays; Tommy Gainey (t4) is really rolling the rock.
- Seung-yol Nuh made another cut. That's 11 in a row for the rookie, but he's been a lot closer to the lead the last few weeks when he's had high finishes. He's putting right in line with his season average: 53rd on the week, 57th on the year. I read that as he's playing his game, but it's just not good enough on a course where a lot of putts need to made. His trend has been to have one mediocre round over the weekend, too. His average finish the last 10 weeks: 29.6, with a low round of 66 and four top-15's during that span. Solid, but it's probably safer to bench him this weekend.
- The old guys came to play this week: Jeff Maggert (t2) and Lee Janzen (t8) are in the mix. Janzen especially has really been grinding the last few years, so it would be great to see him stay in the hunt.
Good luck this weekend.
Follow C.A. (@fantasygolfguy) on Twitter and Join Us on Facebook
Photo: US Presswire