Rossow’s Rants: 2019 JDC Eliminator Pick

John Deere Classic

Adam Rossow uses a process of elimination to whittle the John Deere Classic field from 156 to 1


It’s been about a decade since Matt Willis and the ESPN Stats and Information group first used a process of elimination to pick players at professional golf’s four major championships.

Based on the tried-and-true method of Googling, I cannot tell if they’re still keeping this up for The Masters, PGA Championship, U.S. Open and The Open Championship.

Either way, I thought it would be good to apply some logic and reason to a 2019 John Deere Classic pick.

Here is “The Eliminator” for the 2019 JDC Champion.

Ranked No. 145 or better in Official World Golf Rankings

Defending champion Michael Kim was ranked 473rd when he won last year’s JDC. Prior to that, no winner had ranked outside the top-145 since J.P. Hayes in 2002…an outlier to say the least.

That gets almost 80 percent of the field (124) out of the running to begin the Eliminator.

  • Albertson, Anders
  • Allan, Steve
  • Atwal, Arjun
  • Bae, Sangmoon
  • Barnes, Ricky
  • Blanks, Kris
  • Blaum, Ryan
  • Beljan, Charlie
  • Bozzelli, Dominic
  • Brown, Scott
  • Byrd, Jonathan
  • Burgoon, Bronson
  • Campbell, Chad
  • Catlin, John
  • Castro, Roberto
  • Collins, Chad
  • Crane, Ben
  • Cauley, Bud
  • Cejka, Alex
  • Chin, John
  • Choi, Ho Sung
  • Chopra, Daniel
  • Clark, Wyndham
  • Claxton, Will
  • Cook, Austin
  • Connelly, Austin
  • Couch, Chris
  • Davis, Cameron
  • Davis, Brian
  • Díaz, Roberto
  • Donald, Luke
  • Duncan, Tyler
  • Dufner, Jason
  • Every, Matt
  • Etulain, Julián
  • Fisher, Darin
  • Fathauer, Derek
  • Garrigus, Robert
  • Garber, Joey
  • Garnett, Brice
  • Gómez, Fabián
  • Gooch, Talor
  • Gribble, Cody
  • Haas, Bill
  • Hearn, David
  • Harkins, Brandon
  • Hickok, Kramer
  • Henley, Russell
  • Hoge, Tom
  • Hovland, Viktor
  • Henry, J.J.
  • Herman, Jim
  • Herron, Tim
  • Hurley III, Billy
  • Hughes, Mackenzie
  • Jacobson, Freddie
  • Jaeger, Stephan
  • Jones, Matt
  • Jones, Kyle
  • Kaufman, Smylie
  • Kim, Michael
  • Kim, Whee
  • Kraft, Kelly
  • Lahiri, Anirban
  • Laird, Martin
  • Langley, Scott
  • Landry, Andrew
  • Lebioda, Hank
  • Lee, Kyoung-Hoon
  • Lindheim, Nicholas
  • Lingmerth, David
  • Lovelady, Tom
  • Luck, Curtis
  • Malnati, Peter
  • Mahan, Hunter
  • McLachlin, Parker
  • McNeill, George
  • Merritt, Troy
  • Meyer, Dylan
  • McCarthy, Denny
  • Morikawa, Collin
  • Mullinax, Trey
  • Muñoz, Sebastián
  • Ortiz, Carlos
  • Piller, Martin
  • Poston, J.T.
  • Potter, Jr., Ted
  • Power, Seamus
  • Pride, Dicky
  • Prugh, Alex
  • Redman, Doc
  • Reeves, Seth
  • Roach, Wes
  • Rodríguez, José de Jesús
  • Ryder, Sam
  • Saunders, Sam
  • Schenk, Adam
  • Schnell, Brady
  • Schniederjans, Ollie
  • Silverman, Ben
  • Sloan, Roger
  • Straka, Sepp
  • Stallings, Scott
  • Stefani, Shawn
  • Streb, Robert
  • Stroud, Chris
  • Sucher, Zack
  • Suh, Justin
  • Svensson, Adam
  • Taylor, Nick
  • Teater, Josh
  • Todd, Brendon
  • Trahan, D.J.
  • Thompson, Chris
  • Trainer, Martin
  • Tringale, Cameron
  • Truslow, Austin
  • Van Aswegen, Tyrone
  • Varner III, Harold
  • Vermeer, Ryan
  • Wagner, Johnson
  • Weekley, Boo
  • Werenski, Richy
  • Wright, Chase
2019 JDC: A conversation with reigning champ Michael Kim
Michael Kim celebrates after winning the 2018 John Deere Classic. (Adam Rossow/

Making fifth appearance or fewer at John Deere Classic

One of the trends that Clair Peterson and the JDC promote is that good, young talent always seems to win. That’s mostly true, because if you take out the titles of tournament ambassadors Steve Stricker (’09-’10-’11) and Zach Johnson (’12), then 13-of-15 champions at TPC Deere Run were making their fifth appearance or fewer.

Say goodbye to 14 more players, including some household names.

  • Cink, Stewart
  • Harman, Brian
  • Howell III, Charles
  • Glover, Lucas
  • Johnson, Zach
  • Lee, Danny
  • Moore, Ryan
  • Palmer, Ryan
  • Perez, Pat
  • Stanley, Kyle
  • Stuard, Brian
  • Taylor, Vaughn
  • Thompson, Michael
  • Watney, Nick

Finished T-18 or better in one (or more) of last four events on PGA Tour

Every JDC winner in the last 11 years has registered a Top-18 finish or better in his previous four starts on tour. Jonathan Byrd was the last champion who didn’t fit this criterion, although he did post a T-9 at the 2007 AT&T Classic, the fifth most-recent tournament before his JDC win.

Take away nine more golfers, leaving us with just seven for the 2019 title.

  • Armour, Ryan  
  • Champ, Cameron
  • Dahmen, Joel
  • Frittelli, Dylan
  • Hossler, Beau
  • Kodaira, Satoshi
  • Long, Adam
  • Uihlein, Peter
  • Vegas, Jhonattan

Recorded at least one T-21 or better in Major Championship in career

There were a couple other categories to whittle down this list (non-American winner, last was John Senden in 2006) or (champion in first time at JDC, none since Sean O’Hair in 2005), but let’s get to an obscure fact that leaves one man standing.

14 of the 19 champions at TPC Deere Run finished T-21 or better in a major before claiming the John Deere Classic hardware. That includes the past four champions: Jordan Spieth, Ryan Moore, Bryson DeChambeau and Michael Kim.

Eliminate the final half-dozen contenders, leaving your new champion.

  • Burns, Sam
  • Im, Sungjae
  • Lashley, Nate
  • Niemann, Joaquin
  • Tway, Kevin
  • Wolff, Matthew

2019 John Deere Classic Champion: Daniel Berger

Daniel Berger gets ready for first JDC
Daniel Berger finished T-5 in his only JDC appearance in 2017. (Adam Rossow/

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Live leaderboard