Second-Round Notes – Friday, July 14, 2017
Weather: Partly cloudy, with a high of 77. Wind NW 7-12 mph.
Cut: 80 professionals and two amateurs at 2-under 140 from a field of 153 professionals and three amateurs.
Patrick Rodgers 65-64—129 (-13)
Bryson DeChambeau 66-65—131 (-11)
Charles Howell III 63-69—132 (-10)
Zach Johnson 65-67—132 (-10)
Avon, Indiana native Patrick Rodgers played 35 holes before taking his first bogey of the week. Unable to convert for par at his last hole of the day in round two, Rodgers improved on an opening-round 6-under 65 with a 64 in round two.
At 13-under 129, Rodgers will take a lead/co-lead after any round on the PGA TOUR for just the second time. Through 54 holes earlier this season at the Farmers Insurance Open, he was T1 before finishing T4.
With a win this week, Rodgers would become the 19th player to make the John Deere Classic his first PGA TOUR title. The last was Brian Harman in 2014.
The highlight of Rodgers’ round came with a holed chip for birdie from 49 feet at No. 3 (his 12th hole) to get to -11.
A two-time sponsor exemption of the John Deere Classic as an amateur in 2012 and 2013, Rodgers is making his sixth start in the tournament, highlighted by a T15 in 2013, which remains the best finish by an amateur.
Rodgers has played the John Deere Classic more than any event on the PGA TOUR.
In 22 starts on TOUR this season, Rodgers has two top-10s and is No. 107 in the FedExCup. In his best result, he shared the third-round lead before finishing T4 at the Farmers Insurance Open. Rodgers has missed the cut in 13 starts, but has advanced to the weekend in his last three starts.
Second-Round Lead Notes
Since moving to TPC Deere Run in 2000, the second-round leader has held on for the win four times (2016/Ryan Moore, 2010/Steve Stricker, 2002/J.P. Hayes and 2001/David Gossett).
The second-round leader has emerged victorious 16 of 34 times in stroke-play events on the PGA TOUR this season. The last to do so was Jordan Spieth at the Travelers Championship.
Through 36 holes last year, Wesley Bryan and eventual winner Ryan Moore were tied at the top at 12-under 130.
Beginning on No. 10, Bryson DeChambeau improved on a 1-under 35 on his front nine with five birdies and no bogeys on his inward nine to post a 6-under 65 and move to 11-under 131.
DeChambeau found a perfect 14 of 14 fairways in regulation in round one, but dipped slightly to 10 of 14 in round two.
In his only other start in the John Deere Classic, DeChambeau missed the cut in 2015 as an amateur.
DeChambeau remains in search of his first career win on the PGA TOUR in his 40th start this week. His best showing, a T2, came at the Puerto Rico Open in March.
Though he had made just nine cuts in 24 starts this season on TOUR, DeChambeau has finished inside the top 20 in his last two starts before this week; Quicken Loans National (T17) and The Greenbrier Classic (T14).
DeChambeau earned his 2016-17 PGA TOUR card with a fifth-place finish on last year’s Web.com Tour priority list, thanks to a win at the DAP Championship, his Web.com Tour debut.
Making his 16th start in the John Deere Classic, Zach Johnson followed a 6-under 65 in round one with a 67 in Friday’s second round. In doing so, Johnson extends his streak of consecutive rounds of par-or-better to 35, 32 of which have been in the 60s.
In total, Johnson has 41 rounds below 70 at TPC Deere Run, the most of any player. Steve Stricker trails with 31.
In 15 previous starts at the John Deere Classic, Johnson has one win (2012), three runner-ups (2009, 2013, 2014) and two third-place finishes (2011, 2015). Johnson has the most runner-ups in the event.
In 16 starts on TOUR this season, Johnson has two top-10s and is No. 103 in the FedExCup standings, his highest position in the FedExCup standings since week 16 of last season.
Johnson is in search of his 13th PGA TOUR title and first since the 2015 Open Championship. Of his 11 victories on U.S. soil, he has won in just four states; Texas (2008, 2009 Valero Texas Open, 2010, 2012 DEAN & DELUCA Invitational), Georgia (2004, 2007 AT&T Classic, 2007 Masters Tournament), Hawaii (2009 Sony Open in Hawaii, 2014 Tournament of Champions) and Illinois (2012 John Deere Classic, 2013 BMW Championship).
Johnson, winner of the 2007 Masters and 2015 Open Championship, is one of seven major winners in the 2017 John Deere Classic field, in addition to Angel Cabrera (WD), Bubba Watson, Lucas Glover, Davis Love III, Geoff Ogilvy and Y.E. Yang.
Charles Howell III
Charles Howell III, who was the 18-hole co-lead with Ollie Schniederjans at 8-under 63, posted a 2-under 69 in round two to keep himself in the mix. At 10-under 132, he will begin the third round three strokes back.
Howell opened with nine straight pars in round two, before making three birdies and one bogey on the inward nine. For the second straight day, he hit 9 of 14 fairways in regulation.
Howell made just his third professional start on TOUR in the 2000 John Deere Classic which resulted in his best performance in 10 previous starts at TPC Deere Run. Howell is making his 11th start where he has two top-fives: 2000 (3rd) and 2011 (T5).
Howell has 16 runner-ups on the PGA TOUR and two wins. Making his 492nd start on the PGA TOUR this week, Howell is in search of his third TOUR victory and first since the 2007 Nissan Open at Riviera. It’s been 15 years since his first career TOUR victory, the 2002 Michelob Championship at Kingsmill.
Despite being out of competition due to a rib injury between the RBC Heritage in April and the Quicken Loans National the first of July, Howell is No. 23 in the FedExCup standings thanks to five top-10s and just one missed cut (season-opening Safeway Open) in 17 starts. Howell is one of 16 players who has advanced to the FedExCup Playoffs all 10 years. The Augusta, Ga., native is looking to return to the TOUR Championship in Atlanta for the first time since 2011.
With his runner-up at the Quicken Loans National, Howell earned an exemption to next week’s Open Championship at Royal Birkdale, which will mark his first Open Championship since 2012.
Making his third start in the John Deere Classic, Kevin Tway reeled off seven straight birdies on Nos. 16-4 en route to an 8-under 63. The previous record for most this season was six.
Tway’s seven straight birdies is also the most at TPC Deere Run. Three players previously made six straight; 2002/Paul Stankowski (R4), 2011/Jhonattan Vegas (R1) and 2006 Zach Johnson (R1).
Tway rolled in additional birdies at Nos. 6 and 7 to come in with an 8-under 63.
A week removed from his LECOM Health Challenge win on the Web.com Tour, Chesson Hadley followed a 2-under 69 in round one with a 7-under 64 in round two. He will head into the weekend four strokes back at 9-under 133.
Hadley has been solid with his accuracy all week. Through two rounds, he has hit 23 of 28 fairways in regulation and 32 of 36 greens.
Hadley has now played his last four competitive rounds of golf in 24-under-par, an average of 6-under-par a round. He played rounds three and four of last week’s LECOM Health Challenge in 15-under (64-65) and is 9-under-par through the first two rounds this week (69-64).
Hadley is making his third start in the John Deere Classic, having missed the cut in 2015 and 2016.
Hadley claimed his only PGA TOUR victory, the 2014 Puerto Rico Open, en route to PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year honors. Of late, he has bounced between the PGA TOUR and Web.com Tour.
Additional Player Notes
En route to his bogey-free, 6-under 65 in round two to get to 8-under 134, Kevin Kisner hit a perfect 14 of 14 fairways in regulation. Through 36 holes, he has hit 25 of 28 greens. With a win Sunday, Kisner would join Justin Thomas, Hideki Matsuyama, Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson as multiple winner
Three-time John Deere Classic champion Steve Stricker improved on a 2-over 73 in round one with a 67 in round two to make the cut on the number.
After ending his streak of consecutive sub-par rounds at the John Deere Classic at 23 with a 3-over 74 in round one, defending champion Ryan Moore wasn’t able to improve much in round two, posting an even-par 71. At 3-over 145, Moore missed the cut. The last winner of the John Deere Classic to come back the following year and miss the cut was John Senden in 2007.
The John Deere Classic continues its tradition of offering playing opportunities to deserving up-and-coming young players. This year, there are three amateurs among the sponsor exemptions including Stanford’s Maverick McNealy (T29) and University of Illinois’ players Nick Hardy (T29) and Dylan Meyer (MC).
The John Deere Classic is the final event of The Open Qualifying Series USA, offering one spot to the leading player (not otherwise exempt) who finishes in the top five and ties.
Six past John Deere Classic champions are in the field: Ryan Moore/2016 (MC), Brian Harman/2014 (T70), Zach
Johnson/2012 (T3), Steve Stricker/2009-2011 (T70), Jonathan Byrd/2007 (T11) and Sean O’Hair/2005 (T70).
Angel Cabrera withdrew during round two with a shoulder injury.
R1: K.J. Choi (68), Bryson DeChambeau (66), Gonzalo Fdez-Castano (69), Charles Howell III (63), Kevin Kisner (69), Maverick McNealy (69), Patrick Rodgers (65), Boo Weekley (68).
R2: Ricky Barnes (68), Jonathan Byrd (65), Miguel Angel Carballo (68), Chesson Hadley (64), Kevin Kisner (65), Peter Malnati (67), Scott Stallings (64), Kyle Stanley (66), Robert Streb (66), Steve Stricker (67), Charlie Wi (69).
Early Scoring Average: 70.03
Late Scoring Average: 69.52
Scoring Averages at the par-71 TPC Deere Run:
Front 9 Back 9 Total Cumulative
R1: 34.916 35.800 70.716
R2: 34.438 35.333 69.771 70.247