John Deere Classic. Super Spieth Wins

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A super performance from Jordan Spieth wins him the John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run in play-off against Tom Gillis.

John Deere Classic

Jordan Spieth / Getty Images

Jordan was tied at the top of the John Deere Classic leaderboard with Tom Gillis on -20 under par, and won the second play-off hole with a par. He said he now has momentum gong into next week at St.Andrews, and does not care how it comes;

“I came here for a reason, and we accomplished that reason, and certainly have some momentum going into next week.”

“To be able to shoot twenty under in three rounds is nice momentum.”

“The finish, when I really didn’t feel like tee to green I had much Sunday, gives me a lot of momentum to draw on if I don’t have my best stuff. “

“I’ve got plenty in the tank.”

“Leading into the Masters, those couple of weeks right before could have taken a lot out of me with a runner-up finish and then a playoff loss. And we rebounded nicely.”

“This tournament means a lot to me, this is a tournament I truly love.”

“I need to fine tune my driver. I love where my putter is at. My pace control, my speed is awesome right now.”

Tom spoke about advancing age;

“When you’re going to be 47, the window is closing.”

 “What I saw Sunday, and the last three days, I’d have to say makes me think I’ve still got some tread on the tires left.”

Consolation for Tom he secured the one spot available at The Open from the John Deere Classic, via his  performance at the tournament, and will be at St Andrews next week.

Zach Johnson and last weeks winner Danny Lee tied in third place at -19 under par. Danny was penalized for an infringement early in his round.  He was on the fourth hole when he marked his tee shot and lifted his ball to clean it, believing  that the tournament was still operating under the clean and place rules. It cost him a place in the play-off.

Zach was standing over a 30 foot putt on the par three 16th hole, just as he made his swing a loud explosion knocked him out of his stride. A successful putt would have tied him at -20 under;

“I don’t know if it was like a pipe bomb or a backfire from a boat.”

“I don’t have any idea, but I know it was loud, and I know I was about ready to hit my putt.”

Finishing tied fifth for the competition at -18 under par were; Chris Stroud, Johnson Wagner and Justin Thomas.

 

 

 

John Deere Classic. Jordan Spieth Leads, With a 61.

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Jordan Spieth leads the John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run shooting 61 in the third round.

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Jordan Spieth / Getty Images

Jordan carded two Eagles, but the one at the par five 17th came via a 106 yard pitch shot, after he had missed the fairway and was forced to lay up. He followed that with a birdie at the 18th, to give him a third round score of -10 under par 61, to take the outright 54 hole lead in the John Deere Classic, with a -17 under par total.

He spoke about the one handed wedge shot, and his slow start to the competiton;

“It was certainly maybe a couple of grooves low, I just seem to get some lucky breaks here at the John Deere Classic.”

“I think it was just on-course repetitions.”

 “My first round was the pro-am, and that went rough.”

“And then Thursday was a little rough, and then for whatever reason just started to really pick it back up.”

Last weeks Greenbrier Classic winner Danny Lee continues his good form, sitting nicely on his own in second place at -15 under par following his equally impressive third round of -9 under par 62.

Danny, from New Zealand, could only admire the great play of Jordan;

“Jordan just played magnificent today.”

“I watched his third-shot eagle on 17, it was ridiculous,  I think it’s going to be a fun day for us tomorrow.”

Third place is shared by Shawn StefaniJohnson Wagner and Justin Thomas at -14 under par.

Shawn with a -7 under par 64 third round,  Johnson  with his -3 under and Justin carded -2 under 69.

On a sad note Chris Kirk has been forced to withdraw from the field at next week’s 144th The Open, allowing compatriot Kevin Streelman to take his place in the field at St Andrews. It is reported that Chris has broken his hand, we wish him a speedy recovery.

John Deere Classic. Justin is in Control.

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Justin Thomas has taken control of the John Deere Classic after two rounds at TPC Deere Run.

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Justin Thomas / Getty Images

Justin shot a second round -4 under par 67 to sit on top of the John Deere Classic leaderboard after 36 holes with -12 under par total.

He spoke about the tough putting on the greens late in the day;

“Later in the day when the greens get a little bumpier, it’s harder to make putts.”

“So to kind of get myself a little bit deep to start. It was nice.”

“I hate finishing with a bogey probably more than anything.”

Johnson Wagner and Tom Gillis are tied in second place at -11 under par.

Johnson was happy to bounce back from yesterdays bogey ridden round, carding -8 under par 63 today, he was especially happy to record birdies on 6,7,8 and 9;

“It was special, yesterday I bogeyed six, seven and nine.”

“A nice couple of long ones went in.”

“I hit a lot of quality shots, I was in the fairway all day today.”

Scott Pinkney, Daniel Summerhays and Wil Wilcox are tied fourth at -10 under par.

TOUR rookie Scott Pinckney is looking  for the last remaining ticket to St. Andrews,  a second straight – 5 under round of 66 has put him firmly in contention;

“It’d be great if I did play in it, but it’s not the end of the world if I don’t.”

“I’d like to gear up for the FedExCup Playoffs and if I have a week off, it could be great.”

“Either way, I’m going to go out and try to have fun tomorrow.”

Jordan Spieth came back, shooting -7 under par 64 in the second round, and is now five shots off the lead T16, with two rounds to go,. He is now back in the hunt at the tournament where he claimed his maiden victory two years ago. Once he knew the cut line was not a problem he set about his task in earnest;

“Then the cut line was out of my head and it was ‘How can we move up the board a little more.”

“Just another round of golf.”

“This was the third round I have played since the U.S. Open. I’m getting on-course reps and it is making a difference.”

“The putt at 16 was really big, I knew I had a lot of birdie holes left, kind of needed to steal one that I maybe didn’t think I would get.”

“I think today was a big day, I made a huge step forward based on how I felt when I was going to bed yesterday.”

“I wasn’t feeling good about my game and to come out and shoot a round like this when I didn’t feel like tee to green I was very strong.”

“Just made it work and took advantage of a couple of holes.”

“I’m excited to go next week just because I love St. Andrews.”

 

John Deere Classic. Justin Thomas & Nicholas Thompson Lead

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Justin Thomas and Nicholas Thompson lead after the first round of the John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run.

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Nicholas Thompson / USA Today           Justin Thomas / Getty Images

Nicholas and Justin carded opening rounds of -8 under par 63 at the John Deere Classic, to lead the tournament by one shot.

Justin felt he has been close to winning despite last weeks falling out of contention at The Greenbrier, a poor putting performance was to blame;

“I just played a couple of bad holes, and if it wasn’t for that I’m right there.”

“There’s definitely more positives than negatives to take out of the last couple of weeks.”

“I’ve felt like I’ve been close.”

Nicholas, who has never won in 214 PGA Tour starts, carded an eagle on the par four 14th hole, to highlight his impressive start to this tournament.

Charles Howell 111 and Luke Gutherie are tied in third place, that one shot back at -7 under par.

A poor first round performance from the now The Open favorite, Jordan Spieth, will cast some doubts about his ability to grab another Major. Some people criticize his decision to play here, especially now that Rory McIlroy is out of the picture, saying it is jeopardizing his Grand Slam push by playing this tournament rather than heading over to Scotland early to prepare for The Open.

He said it was just a little rustiness;

 “Just a rusty round.”

“I didn’t get out on the golf course like maybe I should have.”

“I had some pretty bad lip-outs, and that’s going to happen. I’m still going to continue to hit good putts.”

“If they drop and I can chip the ball a little better, then I’ll be in good position.”

John Deere Classic. Brian Breaks Through.

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Brian Harman breaks through to record his first PGA Tour win at  the John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run.

Harman's TaylorMade clubs

Brian Harman /Getty Images

Brian kept his head to shoot a final round -5 under par 66, to grab his first PGA Tour win at the John Deere Classic with his -22 under par tournament total.

Brian spoke about knowing the rest of the field were putting pressure on him, and recounted a conversation he had with Zach Johnson the last time he was paired with him;

“I saw the guys were playing well, so that’s when I felt it, but I was able to hit three really good shots on No. 9 to birdie, and that kind of got me going.”

“It was very hard, probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever tried to do in my life, just trying not to let your mind run wild is the hardest part out there.”

I talked to Zach about it, and he felt I was trying to get out of his way a little too much and that I needed to stake my ground a little bit.”

“When those thoughts enter, it’s like what’s the best way to get those things you want.”

Zach Johnson finished in second place at -21 under par, a final round of -7 under par 64 was not quite good enough to force a play-off. He thought Brian, a neighbor of his, would eventually come through;

“He’s always been known as a gritty player that plays pretty simple golf, to me it was just a matter of time.”

Jhonattan Vegas was in third position on his own at -19 under par, a final round -6 under par 65 giving him that result.

Scott Brown and the only long putter exponent in the field, Tim Clark, tied for fifth place, both returning -18 under par tournament totals.

Three-time winner Steve Stricker fell off the pace early, and then compounded that mistake with a double-bogey on the par-3 12th, finishing with a last round+1 over par  72 and a tie for 11th  ;

“It was hard to play after that, I was just trying to get it in without getting in Brian’s way.”

John Deere Classic. Harman Has High Hopes

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Brian Harman has high hopes of winning the John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run.

Brian Harman has been in control of his game for three rounds and could win his first TOUR title Sunday. (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Brian Harman / Getty Images

Brian shot a -6 under par 65 on Saturday, which gives him a one shot lead at -17 under par, to take into the final round at TPC Deere Run, searching for his first PGA Tour victory. Brian said he pays attention to what Steve Stricker is doing;

“I pay attention to what Steve’s doing but don’t base my game on his, he’s had a lot of success here.”

“I watched Zach win this golf tournament, and learned a lot.”

Hot on his heels is Steve Stricker, who carded a -7 under par 64 to occupy second place on his own at -16 under par. Steve thinks it will be difficult to win with so many guys contending;

“So many guys are in this thing, guys can get off to hot starts here, but you can answer them also.”

 “It will still be difficult for me tomorrow, I’m not in that final group a lot out here, especially now. I’ll want to take advantage because I’m not playing very much. To get back into the winner’s circle would mean a lot.”

Scott Brown is in third spot, after his beautiful bogey free third round of -10 under par 61 gave him a tournament total of -15 under par.

Scott Brown carded the week's best round (10-under 61) to to pace his strong Saturday grouping. (Gregry Shamus/Getty Images)

Scott Brown / Getty Images

Scott said he was really just trying to get back into the competition, then started to think about a 59;

‘I was just trying to get back into the golf tournament, and it turned into a great round.”

“Yeah, we kind of got it going early, we were all making a bunch birdies and it just turned into a really special day. Well, they are great guys to play with for one thing, and it’s a bonus when you start making birdies and everybody is feeding off each other. It’s like, he made a birdie, I better make one on the next hole. It is a great mentality and great to have a group like that.”

Tim Clark, Jerry Kelly, William McGirt along with 2012 champion Zach Johnson are three shots back of the leader at -14 under par.

John Deere Classic. McGirt & Johnson Lead

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William McGirt and Zach Johnson lead at the John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run.

William McGirt / Getty Images

William had a second round -5 under par 66, giving him a -12 under par total and a share of the lead with Zach. He said he is virtually unknown on the Tour, and he is happy with that situation;

“I love being in this position because you can go about your business and nobody really knows who you are. You can go to dinner, and people ask ‘Are you a golfer? What’s your name?’ 

“William,” he will tell them. “You just leave it at that and they walk away and go, ‘Who was that guy?’”

“I like to go out, play golf, have a few beers and watch a football game, nothing flashy about me. Nothing that stands out. I’m just like everybody in this room, like everybody out at this tournament. I didn’t grow up very well off. I’ve never been the most talented guy out here. I’ve had to work for everything I have gotten. Everything I have gotten out of the game, I have pretty much earned through hard work. That’s just me in a nutshell.”

“For some reason I’m able to see the line this week, I feel I’ve putted better the last few weeks and haven’t holed anything.”

Zach Johnson / Getty Images

Zach scored a second round -4 under par 67, to get his total of -12 under par, and he is happy to have friends in the gallery;

“I’ve grasped and embraced the fact I’m going to have a lot of friends outside the ropes, and it’s terrific. They don’t care if I shoot 62 or 82. They’re still going to be on my side.

“Trying to play for them may have been part of the issue years ago, but not anymore.”

Steven Bowditch, Johnson Wagner and Brian Harman are all tied in third place, just one shot off the pace at -11 under par tournament total.

Steve Stricker is in contact with the leaders, shooting a -6 under par 65 today, to finish with a -9 under pat total. He thinks he knows how to play this course;

“I know how to play it, I guess, there’s a lot of short iron shots, which plays into my game, and I seem to putt the ball really well, too.”

“At least I kept pace, this was an important day for me. I didn’t go out with a specific number in mind, but I knew I needed something good.”

Defending champion Jordan Spieth was five strokes behind the leaders through 36 holes, thanks mainly to a -7 under par 64 second round. Interestingly he was five back after two rounds last year.