Red-hot Chilean can pepper pins at TPC Deere Run
Zach Johnson set for further Classic success
Sky Sports Golf, 6.30pm Thursday
Joaquin Niemann has made a sensational start to life on the US Tour and the slimline Chilean teenager is rocketing up the world rankings. Expect further progress in the John Deere Classic.
Niemann is making his debut at TPC Deere Run, but the straightforward, low-scoring track does not require much previous knowledge, and the whizzkid can be expected to feast on birdies from the off. He looks a strong favourite in the top rest of the world market.
Niemann started this year ranked 1,486 in the world, but he is up to 171st after five superb US Tour outings. His pro debut yielded sixth place in the Texas Open at the end of April, and he has followed up with eighth spot at Colonial, sixth at Muirfield Village, 17th at the Quicken Loans National and fifth at the Greenbrier Classic on Sunday, where he closed with a magnificent 64.
Niemann, dominant in the amateur ranks, is clearly here to stay and is best suited at this stage of his career to easier courses. His only struggles this year have come on tougher tracks, like Augusta, Quail Hollow and TPC Southwind. Deere Run is right up his alley and he can leave Si Woo Kim and the rest of the RoW section in his wake.
Zach Johnson and Deere Run is a match made in heaven and the JDC board member has a fantastic record on the track. Johnson, who should arguably be outright favourite this week, is a juicy price as evens outsider to defeat Francesco Molinari.
Since 2009, Johnson has made nine cuts in a row in the JDC, recording a win, three second places and two thirds, with a scoring average of 66.89, going 148 under par in total. A remarkable 41 of his last 42 rounds there have been par or better. Debutant Molinari, despite all his recent heroics, should be outsider against Johnson on this terrain.
Another match-bet option to consider is Brian Gay against David Lingmerth. Gay has struck a rich vein of form over the last few weeks and, although his 39th place in the Greenbrier on Sunday does not look anything special, it was his best finish in seven starts in that event.
J Niemann top rest of world
2pts 7-2 general
Z Johnson to beat F Molinari
2pts Evens bet365
B Gay to beat D Lingmerth
2pts 10-11 Betway
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