John Deere Classic: Cook has ideal recipe for TPC Deere Run

American Sam Saunders
Sam Saunders looks a good fit for TPC Deere Run

After tipping 45/1 winner Kevin Na last week, Dave Tindall looks for more profits in this week's John Deere Classic with three selections...

"Cook heads to the Illinois course making birdies galore. He posted eight in the final round of The Greenbrier last week, ranking fifth in birdies for the week and finishing in a tie for fifth place after three 66s and a 70."

Back Austin Cook each-way @ 33/1

Main Bet: Back Austin Cook each-way @ 33/1

Austin Cook hit the headlines in the early part of the 2018 season when taking victory in the RSM Classic at Sea Island in Georgia.

That week he shot 66-62-66-67 to win with 21-under. For those taking notes, the entry for that week's diary was "make note of Cook in birdie-fests".

And that's what we have on offer this week on the PGA Tour.

The John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run has been won with 20-under or lower in seven of the last nine seasons and there's every reason to expect that to change to eight in 10 this week. Cook heads to the Illinois course making birdies galore.

He posted eight in the final round of The Greenbrier last week, ranking fifth in birdies for the week and finishing in a tie for fifth place after three 66s and a 70.

And two starts earlier he shot 10 birdies over the 36 holes to finish T6 in the St. Jude Classic, finishing his week with a 65. On the season-long stats, the 27-year-old is 28th for Birdie Average.

When he walked off The Old White course last week, he told reporters: "I'd love to get into The Open. Pretty amazing to play this year as a rookie. The PGA I'm guaranteed in already. We'll see what these people do coming down the stretch."

The good news was that he got in after claiming one of the four qualifying spots.

Therefore, this week looks like a completely free hit. Go out there, attack, make lots of birdies and hopefully head to Carnoustie on a high.

It's his tournament debut but he looks a great fit and he always seemed to play well in events in Illinois. Take the 33/1.

Next Best: Back Sam Saunders each-way @ 100/1

While there was joy for Cook in West Virginia, there was agony for Sam Saunders.

Saunders also finished T5 at The Greenbrier but missed out on an Open qualifying spot due to Cook having a higher world ranking.

Given that he's the grandson of Arnold Palmer, that would have been a great story given what Arnie did for the Open Championship.

It may not be quite Arnie's Army, but there would surely have been a few Sam's Soldiers following him around the dunes at Carnoustie. However, all is not lost just yet. Saunders will give it another crack here and it should be another good course for him.

He's played it three times already and, after T44 on debut, shot 69-69-67-68 to make the top 25 last year. Last week's T5, which included a second-round 63, was built on a high birdie count (he ranked 12th) and, to be honest, he did everything pretty well (8th on the All-Around).

Saunders is 23rd in Birdie Average (two spots higher than Rory and Bubba if you want a reference point) and put his skills to good use at another birdie-fest earlier this season when closing with a 64 to take T8 in the CareerBuilder Challenge.

Also T9 in the Wells Fargo at Quail Hollow in May, he said at The Greenbrier: "I've been playing pretty well all year. But at the end of the day, you want to try to win golf tournaments. You want to put your name on trophies.

"I'm still looking for that first one, and I'm really trying to focus on trying to win a golf tournament."

Which is all very well of course but Saunders has shown enough to pinch a win in a field like this and 100/1 seems a price worth taking.

Final Bet: Back Kevin Tway each-way @ 60/1

Perhaps I've been watching 'Who Do You Think You Are?" too much because I'll also put up another player with a major winner in the family.

Bob Tway won the 1986 PGA Championship by two from Greg Norman and son Kevin Tway is now showing he can cut it on the PGA Tour too.

Tway junior has reeled off three top 10s in his last six starts - posting T9 at the Byron Nelson Championship, T5 at Colonial and T6 at the Travelers Championship.

He shot a 64 and a 65 at the Travelers and a Friday 65 at the Byron Nelson and was a combined 38-under for those three events.

There's not much to get excited about in his stats, although he's 10th for eagles, but a bigger plus is that he's played well at TPC Deere Run before.

Two years ago he opened with a 65 and last year Tway rode a Friday 63 to finish tied 12th to record his best result of a rather disappointing summer.

Tway reeled off a run of 3-3-5 on the PGA Tour last year so definitely thrives when the confidence is up and hopefully he can shine again here after that recent spate of top 10s.

Take him at 60/1.

It could easily be a week where the 'obvious' names such as Zach Johnson, Ryan Moore and Steve Stricker do well here yet again but I'd rather try and find something a little more exciting from an each-way point of view.

And with all the earlier talk of elder generations and offspring, perhaps we can tell our grandchildren that once upon a time Francesco Molinari (9/1 this week) went off at single-figure odds in a PGA Tour event.

*E/W terms: 1/5 odds, 7 places

Dave's 2017/18 PGA Tour P/L (based on £5 ew per selection outrights, £10 win top 5s/10s)

Staked: £1030
Returned: £1652.84
P/L: +£622.84

(After the Quicken Loans National)

P/L: +£1179.89

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