After he finished T-2 at last week’s Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands in Connecticut, it would have been logical to surmise J.T. Poston would have success at the John Deere Classic. After all, TPC Deere Run is similar in style, with “birdie ball” usually what it takes to win at both venues.
For once in golf, conventional wisdom became reality as Poston captured the Deere, riding the strength of his first 54 holes to build enough of a cushion to be standing alone at the top come Sunday afternoon in the Quad Cities of Illinois and Iowa for his second PGA Tour title.
Poston opened with three straight birdies in the final round before stalling with back-to-back bogeys on holes five and six. From there came a parade of pars on holes seven to 16. A birdie at 17 ended the drought, leading to a final-round 69. That’s not normally the number needed to win at the Deere – the last JDC winner to shoot 69 or higher wass Steve Stricker with 69 in 2011 – but it was good enough this time around.
Although Poston had Titleist’s recently introduced tour TSR3 driver (with a Mitsubishi Diamana BF 60 TX shaft) in the bag, it was his play with the company’s T100 irons that made the difference. Poston ranked second for the week in strokes gained/tee-to-green, picking up nearly 13 strokes on the field. He also ranked seventh in greens in regulation, hitting 60 of 72. Poston’s irons have True Temper’s Project X 6.5 shafts and Golf Pride’s Tour Velvet grips.
On the rare occasion Poston did miss a green, he was steady, getting up and down 10 out of 12 times to rank T-2 for the week in scrambling. He was first in strokes gained/around-the-green, gaining nearly six shots on the field for the week with his Titleist Vokey SM9 wedges.
No doubt, it was the kind of game that travelled well from TPC River Highlands to TPC Deere Run.
What J.T. Poston had in the bag at the John Deere Classic:
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Driver: Titleist TSR3 (Mitsubishi Diamana BF 60 TX), 10.0 degrees
3-wood: Titleist TS, 15 degrees
Hybrid: Titleist TS2, 19 degrees
Irons (3): Titleist T100•S; (5-9): Titleist T100; (PW): Titleist Vokey SM9
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM9 (50, 56, 60 degrees)
Putter: Scotty Cameron by Titleist GoLo 5 tour prototype
PHOTO: Stacy Revere