John Deere Classic’s colossal amount of birdies is an enormous red flag


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Davis Thompson put on a clinic at the John Deere Classic as he won his first PGA Tour event. He set the scoring record at 28-under and made 30 birdies himself.

TPC Deere Run gave up a total of 2,055 birdies through 72 holes. That is the most birdies made in the 30 events so far in 2024. The scoring average for the week was 68.77. It is No.25 on the toughest course ranking, as it played -2.219 strokes under par, per the PGA Tour.

On Thursday, TPC Deere Run saw Hayden Springer’s historic 59, but it also saw 26 scores of 65 or lower. Sixteen players shot 65 or better on Sunday, including Thompson, who signed for a 7-under 64 to win by four shots. This golf course gave the players many scoring chances, and many took advantage of those opportunities.

There were 748 birdies on Thursday, 607 on Friday, 329 on Saturday and 374 on Sunday. This 2,055 total is the most birdies of the year by 75.

To put this in perspective, let’s look at the birdies from the 30 tournaments this season.

Total Birdies in each of the 2024 PGA Tour events

*Signature Events

— The Sentry *: 1,365 birdies
— Sony Open in Hawaii: 1,675 Total
— The American Express: 1,128 total
— Farmers Insurance Open: 991 total
— AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am*: (54 holes bc of weather) 704 total
— WM Phoenix Open: 1,495 total
— The Genesis Invitational*: 909 total
— Mexico Open: 1,542 total
— Cognizant Classic: 1,613 total
— Arnold Palmer Invitational*: 878 total
— Puerto Rico Open: 1,697 total
— The Players: 1,711 total
— Valspar Championship: 1,425 total
— Texas Children’s Houston Open: 1,431 total
— Valero Texas Open: 1,525 total
— The Masters: 866 total
— RBC Heritage*: 1,114 total
— Corales Puntacana Championship: 1,622 total
— Zurich Classic: 1,292 total; 550 Rd. 1
— The CJ Cup Byron Nelson: 1,980 total
— Wells Fargo Championship*: 899 total
— Myrtle Beach Classic: 1,495 total
— PGA Championship: 1,731 total
— Charles Schwab Challenge: 1,116 total
— RBC Canadian Open: 1,473 total
— The Memorial: 750 total
— U.S. Open: 1,007 total
— Travelers Championship: 1,248 total
— Rocket Mortgage Classic: 1,803 total
— John Deere Classic: 2,055 total

Before the John Deere Classic, the CJ Cup Byron Nelson tournament delivered the most birdies at 1,980.

At the beginning of the season, the Cognizant Classic saw 1,613 birdies. There have been 11 tournaments where players made 1,500 or more birdies through 72 holes.

This tournament’s result raised a red flag because 28-under is almost too low. People love to see PGA Tour players score, but over 2,000 birdies is too much. It was a marathon to see if anyone could catch Thompson. When a 62 or 63 does not even get someone close to the leader, it could be “too easy” for the players.

Granted, the governing bodies have already decided to roll back the ball, which feels like the right decision after seeing the field obliterate TPC Deere Run.

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Savannah Leigh Richardson is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. For more golf coverage, follow us @_PlayingThrough on all major social platforms. You can also follow her on Twitter @SportsGirlSL and Instagram @savannah_leigh_sports.





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