John Deere Classic, Thrilling Three Way Tie and Five Hole Play-Off

Jordan Spieth captured the John Deere Classic on Sunday on the fifth playoff hole for his first PGA TOUR victory. At the end of regulation play at TPC Deere Run he was tied at the top with defending Champion Zach Johnson and David Hearn, all at -19 under par.

CBS Sports stream

Zach Johnson, Jordan Spieth and David Hearn / Getty Images

Jordan, just nineteen years of age, carded a final-round -6 under par, 65, after holing out a bunker shot on the 72nd hole to finish at -19 under and a tie with defending champion Zach Johnson and David Hearn. It then took five extra holes to decide the winner, with Jordan scoring a birdie to win it out-right.

Jordan Spieth and Trophy / Getty Images

This  win gives Jordan full-time membership on the PGA Tour, along with a chance at the FedEx Cup playoffs, and also  gives him a chance of a tilt for the Claret Jug , as his win gives him a spot at Muirfield next week. Jordan said he did not expect to win this early in his career, and is now worried about his summer golf attire going to Scotland;

“I didn’t think it would happen this early, I had a plan. I guess the plan got exceeded. The shot on 18 was the luckiest shot I ever hit in my life. The fact that it bounced right and hit the pin and dropped down to the cup, it’s just extremely fortunate. Just got so lucky. That’s what it is. But right now I’m extremely pleased, and a little worried about only having short sleeves going to Scotland”

Defending Champion Zach Johnson had a chance to win the tournament on the first play-off hole, but his  12-foot birdie putt attempt agonizingly missed.

Zach and the missed putt on the first play-off hole, the 18th./ Getty Images

Zach reckons he has seen too much of the 18th hole;

” I don’t need to see that hole many more times. I had my chances on the back side in regulation. I mean, I hit some really good shots and just didn’t make anything. I love this place, as you all know, and I am just appreciative to be able to play and represent this tournament. I feel like this is my profession and one thing you have to be is resilient. I’ll get over it pretty quick, I’ll keep the mindset that I am playing well and ride it out. I’ll be fine.”

David Hearn is happy with his play and is looking forward to playing in the RBC Canadian Open, in two weeks;

” I’m obviously happy with where my game is at going into that, so I’ll be happy to compete again. Congrats to Jordan. He’s going to have an amazing career, obviously. He’s an incredible talent to come on tour at his age and have as much success as quickly as he has. So hat’s off to him.”

John Deere Classic. Two Tied At TheTop

Logo Image

Zach Johnson and Camilo Villegas are the two players tied at the top of the leaderboard after the opening round of the John Deere Classic, at TPC Deere Run.

John Deere Classic, Round 1

Zach Johnson and Camilo Villegas / Getty Images

Defending Champion Zach Johnson has posted his intention to hold on to the John Deere Classic trophy by carding a very comfortable first round -7 under par 64.

Zach said he was always comfortable playing this course;

” I have always felt comfortable here, regardless of my numbers. It just feels natural now, I’ve gotten so used to being here that it just feels very, very comfortable now. When you are comfortable with the surroundings, when you’re comfortable with the peripherals, it helps. My routine has been the same here the last three or four years, we’re staying in the same place, I’ve got my family here. The John Deere Classic staff does a great job of just letting me get into my game. I can only imagine winning this tournament twice in a row, let alone three times in a row, it’s just not easy. When you can embrace the positives you had from the previous years, previous rounds, that’s great. However, you still have to really just stay in the present. That’s what makes what Steve Stricker did that much more impressive. To take it to another level, that’s what makes what Tiger Woods has done over multiple years, on multiple golf courses, multiple events, repeating, defending, even beyond impressive. I can live with that, especially now that I have won here, but even before that. I’m not trying to over simplify it, but what I have done is just felt like, you know what? It doesn’t matter if I shoot 85 or if I shoot 60. Friends and family are still going to be here, cheering for me. It’s just the fact of the game and where I am here. And I am so thankful for that.”

Camilo Villegas, who has been in the doldrums for sometime suddenly had a red-hot putter, needing only 26 putts in his round of -7 under par 64, to equal Zach’s total;

” Made some great putts and just kept out of trouble, I was very pleased with the way I handled myself out there. It was a nice, relaxed, chill attitude and I enjoyed every single bit of the round. It’s the game of golf, it’s a messed up game. You make a little mistake here, a little mistake there, and the numbers just don’t add. I truly believe that sometimes we over analyze. When guys start playing bad, they get calls. I can help you. Then you’ve got the mental coach, the golf swing coach, you’ve got the physical trainer. You have all these people who have the answer, and nobody has the answer, It’s only you. Let me tell you, in this game everything is a lot easier said than done. This job is great when you’re playing good, it kicks your butt when you’re not performing. But you can kick your butt even harder when things are not going good. So I’m trying not to be that guy that kicks his butt a little bit harder, just enjoy every second of it.”  

Tied in third place are Brendon De Jong, Matt Bettencourt and Daniel Summerhays, all on -6 under par, just one shot behind. The John Deere Classic looks like being another closely contested contest, and Zach has a real incentive to win again.

John Deere Classic, Troy Matteson still leads

  

Steady at the top

Troy Matteson/Cohen/Getty Images

Troy Matteson shoots a third round -5 under par, 66, to maintain a three-shot lead in the John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run on Saturday, with a tournament total of -18 under par. The man just one shot behind him is the history seeking three-time Champion Steve Stricker, looking for his fourth success in this event. Troy was happy with his good days work;

” Round went pretty good today. Made birdies early and kind of got relaxed after that, because you never know how the round is going to start. I really didn’t hit too many bad shots today. I only hit a couple and I got away with them. Only made a couple bogeys. One was a smart bogey. One on 18 I just misjudged the putt going down the hill. It’s got a little baked out and it’s easy to knock it by.  All in all it’s a good day. Made a couple long putts that I didn’t expect. I think I did better than maybe I should have.”

He also spoke of Steve and Zach being up there with him;

” You always want to be ahead rather than behind. Every stroke you can gain is good. Steve is a great guy. He’s the kind of guy that personifies what we’re looking for on the Tour. He’s the kind of guy you can tell your kids to use as a role model. He’s just a really good guy. He’s a good guy to have at the top of the leaderboard at any tournament, especially John Deere because of what he’s done here in the past. I think it’ll be really fun to play with him. I’m pretty used to if I’m playing in the last couple groups I’m not the guy people root for, so I think that it’ll be pretty normal for me. But like I said, Zach being from up this way, really good to see him at the top of the leaderboard. It gives people a reason to really come out and watch. So it’s just good that those two guys are up there. “

Steve also had a -5 under par third round and has set his sights on winning again, he said of his chances;

“I don’t know, I have a good time here, obviously a lot of good vibes going around here having won the last three years. ‘Things start to happen for me here, I make some putts, pull out some shots here and there, a lot of good things happen but I don’t know what it is.         I just have to keep plugging, I have one more day and hopefully make another run at it tomorrow.”

Zach Johnson is a further shot back and expects Steve to play well tomorrow;

“I expect Steve to play well here. Who wouldn’t ? We’ve both played well here so I don’t think it’ll be surprising if we both play well again four straight days.”

John Deere Classic, Troy Matteson still leads going into the weekend

       

Troy Matteson still leads the John Deere Classic going into the weekend, shooting a second round -3 under par 68, for a tournament total of -13 under par at TPC Deere Run, Silvis, Illinois. It was not quite as spectacular as yesterdays 61, but still good enough to give him a one shot lead over the field on the day. Troy spoke about returning to the course after yesterday’s magical 61;

“It’s just always tough when you shoot a low one to come to the golf course the next day, I got here early. You get a little out of sync because you’re anxious to get out there and play and see what you do. But, you know, all in all I felt pretty good with what we did today.  Because we did hit the loose shots that we hit, we got away with most of  them.”

Following close behind, just one shot off the pace are Jeff Maggert and Brian Harman, who are tied in second spot at -12 under par. Jeff is there courtesy of a great round of -9 under par 62, and Brian with a second successive -6 under 65 on this par 71 layout. There are another four players a further shot back at -11 under par, they are; J.J. Henry, Ricky Barnes, the new slim Robert Garrigus and England’s Gary Christian. Gary must be feeling the odd man out, he is the only non-American in the top ten places.

Steve Stricker Steve remained in the hunt for a record-tying fourth straight title at the John Deere Classic. Steve is attempting to become the fifth player in golf history to win the same tournament four times in succession, joining Young Tom Morris (British Open 1868-70, 1872), Walter Hagen (PGA Championship 1924-27), Gene Sarazen (Miami Open 1926, 1928-30), and Tiger Woods (Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard 2000-03; Buick Invitational 2005-08) and he is certainly capable of making history this weekend. Steve is under no illusion as to what it is gong to take;

” I need a low round, that’s what it’s going to take.  One of these two rounds on Saturday or Sunday I’m going to have to put up a real low one and get right in there.”

Live Report Image

Steve Stricker/Cohen/Getty Images

Missing the cut of -4 under par was a long list of top names, including last weeks play-off competitor Troy Kelly, along with last weeks second placed Charlie Beljan, Boo Weekly, Chucky three sticks, Jhonattan Vegas, David Duval, Sean O’Hair, John Daly and Stewart Cink.

John Deere Classic, TPC Deere Run, Troy Matteson leads

Matteson sets the mark

Troy Matteson/Greenwood/Getty Images

Troy Matteson leads the John Deere Classic after the first round Thursday at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Illinois. Troy had a first round score of  -10 under par and a 61 on the par 71 layout, to lead by three shots from Ricky Barnes, who had a round of 64 and -7 under par.

The new light weight Robert Garrigus is one of six players at -6 under par and four shots off the lead after the first day.

garrigus625.badz.jpg

Slim Robert Garrigus/Stan Badz/PGA TOUR

Robert has lost 30 pounds from his waistline, how did he manage this tremendous feat;

” Stopped drinking soda and eating fried foods. I was carrying around 210 pounds and sweating coming down Sunday, not making good swings, not thinking right, because my fitness wasn’t right. My energy level wasn’t there. I am fully committed to staying with this fitness thing.”

Robert has also retired his infamous 27-inch putter that he had dubbed “Mini Me”  in favor of a new 47-inch belly putter he refers to as “Dr. Evil.”

The cut in this tournament is expected to be around -3 under par, so all those players already over par from the first round are in desperate danger not being able to make up the deficit tomorrow to survive for the week-end.