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The sense around TPC Deere Run is this year's John Deere Classic is as open as it's been in years.

Three of the Las Vegas favorites to win are fresh out of college, none of whom are ranked higher than 135th.

But as Matthew Wolff showed last week in his win at the 3M Open, rankings can sometimes be meaningless.

"The Tour's so deep these days," Kyle Stanley said. "You've always got to go pretty low here so I don't know. In terms of being a higher ranked player, it's nice but I don't really think that matters."

At 56th in the world, Stanley is the second highest ranked golfer in the JDC field, one spot behind Charles Howell III.

Stanley turned pro in 2009, and he knows the rankings are but a guide, not a guarantee of good play.

"I pay attention to the world rankings — I think everybody does — but you've still got to come here and play well," he said. "Someone's going to go deep so you're going to have to do something well to keep pace."

Stanley is making his 10th appearance at TPC Deere Run after missing the cut last year. His best finish was second in 2011, finishing one shot behind Steve Stricker, who completed his JDC three-peat that year.

Since then, he's won twice on Tour, at the Waste Management Phoenix Open in 2012 and at Quicken Loans National in 2017, coincidentally over Howell in a playoff.

Stanley said Howell "flies under the radar" but admires his consistency. That's a trait in which Stanley is clearly progressing. He's made seven of his last nine cuts and finished tied for eighth at the Wells Fargo Championship in May. He took last week off to gear up for this week and next week's Open Championship.

"I've been in good shape for a while now," Stanley said. "I've been playing quite a bit better than maybe my results would indicate. Coming off a week off, I'm pretty well rested, to a place I've had some good success in the past so I'm looking forward to a good week."

Still, he's hoping TPC Deere Run can spur him on to a strong end to the season.

"I think my game's definitely trending in the right direction, but it's definitely been a slow year," Stanley said. "So we've had to get back to a lot of the basics, and this year it seems like it's taken a lot more work than the previous two seasons but that's just the nature of the game.

"Golf's a really hard sport and we're not robots. I had a few kind of body issues earlier in the year but starting to feel healthy there so I would expect maybe some good results to follow."

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