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The John Deere Classic, Zach Johnson wins in Play-Off

Zach Johnson won the John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run on Sunday with a birdie on the second play-off hole, after he and Troy Matteson had finished tied at -20 under par. The first play-off hole was a bizarre event where both players scored a  double bogey 6, after hitting their second shots into the water and being unable to recover to score a five.

Crowd pleaser

Zach Johnson /Cohen/Getty Images

This week was a good week for those who believe in God. Earlier, in Scotland, Jeev Milkha Singh had won with a birdie in a play-off in the Scottish Open, Jeev had remarked;

” I think God has been kind.”

Zach, a devoted Christian, also thanked God after he had sunk his winning birdie putt on the second play-off hole. About his joy at winning this tournament he said;

‘ It just feels awesome. This tournament has meant so much to me and my family, from when they gave me exemptions to being a part of its board.”

He also spoke about the great 6 iron shot he played from the bunker on the second play-off hole, which led to his winning birdie putt from about twelve inches;

“I liked that crescendo from the crowd, I saw it bounce on the green and hoped it would kick left. I couldn’t see the golf ball.”

Troy Matteson also applauded Zach’s great approach;

“My hat’s off to Zach. He drove it in the bunker twice and figured out a way to win. It’s a great story, you know, home-town kid.”

Scott Piercy finished in third place with a last round -6 under par 65, for a good finish to his tournament.

I guess God was looking favorably on golf today as it has been said that giving golf to us was His way of getting a few laughs.

Steve Stricker said he had fun out there, besides coming up short in his record attempt of a fourth win;

” It was a lot of fun. A little disappointing on the back nine, but I put myself in the position on the front and was striking the ball nicely. Really struck it nicely all day except for those three drives at 14, 15, and 17. But other than that, my iron play was good and really couple little miss-putts there. Missed a little putt at 10 for birdie. But all in all it was a good week. A lot of fun. It was fun trying to do it. I gave it a rip and came up a few short, but it was fun trying. “

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.

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