2022 John Deere Classic Rankings, Grades: JT Poston rides from start to finish and earns second win on PGA Tour

From start to finish, JT Poston was the clear class of the field at the 2022 John Deere Classic as he scored his second win on the PGA Tour on Sunday. Poston became the third player in tournament history to carry last week’s momentum from TPC River Highlands to TPC Deere Run.

Poston finished second in the Travelers Championship and ideally opened his John Deere Classic to the tune of 9-under-62. The 29-year-old never looked back, signing for rounds of 65-67-69 to finish 21-under and three shots ahead of his closest pursuers Christiaan Bezuidenhout and Emiliano Grillo.

Although he went into the final round three shots up and won by said margin, there were a few hairy moments in his front nine. After blasting out the gates with three consecutive birdies, Poston began taking water as he bogeyed back-to-back on the fifth and sixth holes.

It was an irritated par save on the seventh par 3 that stabilized the ship as he made nine straight pars, forcing other players to attack pins as he rolled on. Poston added another safe birdie on the par-5 17th, extending his lead back to the day he started.

Cool, calm and collected, Poston never blinked in the face of adversity. Seeing his lead over the inner nine shrink to just one shot, he stood his ground and as a reward for his hard work he will be featured on the PGA Tour for years to come. Not only does he get access to tournaments like the Masters and Players Championship, but also the 150th Open in just two weeks. 112th in the FedEx Cup just 14 days ago, Poston is now 22nd in the season race and is one of the titans of the game. Rating: A+

Here is the breakdown for the rest of the 2022 John Deere Classic leaderboard

T2. Emiliano Grillo (-18): It’s been a difficult season for the Argentine as he missed 12 cuts in 23 starts. On closer inspection, however, Grillo has made six of his last seven cuts and has scored some quality performances at the RBC Canadian Open and Memorial Tournament. He was able to shorten Poston’s lead to a shot in the back nine, but his inexplicable bogey on the short par-4 14th will be seen as the cause of his shortcomings. As a consolation prize, Grillo moves up 62 spots in the FedEx Cup rankings to 85th and redeems his ticket to the 150th Open at St Andrews. Class: A

T4. Chris Gotterup (-17): The Haskins Award winner was fantastic in his John Deere Classic debut. When he came into the tournament via the sponsorship exemption, Gotterup wrote a letter to the tournament committee and received his application. This result puts him in the finals of the Korn Ferry Tour and almost the same for the Open Championship as the top three finishers in the top 10 booked their trips to St Andrews. While Jordan Spieth and Bryson DeChambeau started their careers by winning the TPC Deere Run, Gotterup did the same but without the hardware.

“Yeah, just another confirmation that I belong out here,” Gotterup said. “And honestly I haven’t had my best stuff this week. Hitting it amazing but just putting pretty bad until I get down the course. So yeah you’re collecting things along the way. Yeah I’m drawing from my experiences like Puerto Rico and the last pair.” Class: A

T6. Denny McCarthy (-16): It felt like the perfect storm for McCarthy coming into the week, but in the end it wasn’t to be. As a member of Sunday’s penultimate group, the University of Virginia product went the wrong way early in its lap and will likely kick itself for it. Despite the recent disappointment, McCarthy is still in the midst of the best season of his career, recovering well from a missed cut at the Travelers Championship. He often refers to himself as a “grinder,” and while he’s shown he can keep up in these birdie fests, his top-10 finishes at the Memorial Tournament and US Open might indicate he’s getting his first win at a more difficult golf course achieved. Grade: B+

T16. Sahith Theegala (-12): He nearly missed the cut but showed some determination after opening his John Deere Classic with a 3-over-74. Theegala carded consecutive rounds of 65 and finished his week on a 68, climbing into the top 20 by the end of the tournament. With that effort, the rookie-of-the-year contender has now made 11 straight cuts on his own, where he was out last weekend at the Players Championship in March. While it can be fickle at times, these ups and downs have a way of smoothing out over the course of a tournament. A two-time podium finisher in 2022, including a runner-up at the Travelers Championship, it’s only a matter of time before Theegala records his first win on the PGA Tour. Grade B

Rick Gehman, Greg DuCharme and Kyle Porter recap the John Deere Classic and share key insights from LIV Golf Portland. Follow and listen to The First Cut on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

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