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Michael Taylor 7th Jul 2009 - 20:26

Perry on course for John Deere repeat

As the PGA Tour heads to Silvis, Illinois for the annual John Deere Classic, the question on everyone's lips is, can anybody beat the defending champion, Kenny Perry?

Well, the good news for favourite backers is, that on paper, Perry doesn't only have an edge over the field, he holds a psychological advantage usually reserved for the likes of Tiger Woods.

He starts the week at a healthy 9/1 in the betting, and if he can simply continue in the rich vein of form that has seen him win the FBR Open and Travelers Championship already this year then he's sure to give punters a great run for their money.

The truth is, like a fine wine, Perry has just got better with age. With just 13 months left until a Seniors Tour card becomes available he has taken his game to a whole new level.

Seventh in drive average, fourth for greens in regulation and fifth in scoring average shows how, before Tiger's AT&T National win, Perry had climbed to the top of the Race for the FedEx Cup standings.

Of course stats aren't everything and, as we saw when Perry disastrously choked at Augusta in April's Masters Tournament, there is always somebody waiting to take advantage if the favourite does wobble.

One definitely capable of mounting a challenge over the four days looks to be former USPGA Champion David Toms.

The experienced Louisiana native starts as the 14/1 joint second favourite which seems particularly appropriate given the three second places he has already managed this season.

Toms has shot back into the public eye over recent months with a number of eye catching performances and, although he remains title-less since 2006, there is a building feeling around golf that he's going to be amending the record very soon.

The Silvis course may not have been a particularly happy hunting ground for the former world number five but his game does have all facets required to have success at some point.

His rank of number one in driving accuracy by itself could prove vital give the wide open fairways at the TPC Deere Run. If you hit the fairways and greens in regulation, like Toms does, then you have the recipe for low scores - of which we can expect many.

Someone not unfamiliar with shooting low scores in Illinois is 50/1 shot Chad Campbell, who could be a great each-way bet this week.

Campbell showed everyone that he can post consistently low scores in the 2008 Classic by posting four under 67s in the last three rounds of last year's event - good enough for a seventh placed finish.

This year's Masters runner-up has re-discovered some of the form that allowed him to become a multiple winner on the PGA Tour and he may feel quietly confident of adding to his tally on Sunday.

Campbell is well-known for being a confidence player so if he finds himself amongst the front runners after the first day then you may find the Texan's price shortens dramatically.

Finally, one man I will be avoiding has to be Ryan Moore at a highly unattractive 25/1.

Fair enough Moore has plenty of talent and will win Tour events in the future but he's yet to bag a top three finish all season and has just four career second places.

His decent seventh in the US Open two weeks ago is nothing to be sniffed at but definitely not enough for me to be getting the chequebook out.


Kenny Perry - 9/1 to win

Chad Campbell - 50/1 each-way

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