John Deere Classic 2017
Round 4 - Bryson DeChambeau claims first PGA Tour titleJuly 17, 2017
Third-round leader Patrick Rodgers knew that it would take a ton of birdies Sunday to win the John Deere Classic.
Bryson DeChambeau took that advice to heart.
DeChambeau overcame a four-stroke deficit to beat Rodgers by a stroke for his first PGA Tour title - and a spot next week in the British Open.
The 23-year-old DeChambeau birdied four of the final six holes at TPC Deere Run for a 6-under 65 and an 18-under 266 total. In 2015, the unconventional former SMU star became the fifth player to win the NCAA individual title and U.S. Amateur in the same year.
The win punctuated a comeback of sorts for DeChambeau, who capped a string of eight consecutive missed cuts last month in the U.S. Open - where he was 6 over for two rounds.
''I was able to right the ship about three or four weeks ago, and it's been steady Eddie ever since,'' DeChambeau said. ''It is vindication.''
Rodgers closed with 70.
DeChambeau made a 14-foot birdie putt on No. 18 to pull even with Rodgers. Rodgers then had a par putt on No. 17 lip out, and sent his tee shot on 18 into the rough.
''He's a great competitor, and I was kind of shocked he bogeyed 17,'' DeChambeau said about Rodgers. ''I thought I was going to be in a playoff.''
Wesley Bryan (64) and Rick Lamb (66) tied for third at 16 under, and past tournament champions Steve Stricker (64) and Zach Johnson (67) topped the group at 15 under.
DeChambeau played the front nine in even par, then birdied six of the final nine holes to surge to the top of the leaderboard.
Rodgers, on the other hand, had four bogeys - and his approach on No. 18 sailed past the green. Rodgers nearly chipped in from 50 feet to force a playoff, missing the cup by a foot.
DeChambeau became the 10th first-time winner on the PGA Tour this season.
''Our tendency when you have the lead is to kind of hold on and play safe and guard against making mistakes,'' said Rodgers, who remained winless on the PGA Tour. ''But I had guys coming at me with some really low rounds. Obviously, Bryson shot a great one.''
Bryan, who won the RBC Heritage in April for his first career victory, shot a 30 on the back nine. Lamb was 13 under for the final two rounds but was done in by pedestrian efforts in the first two rounds.
Stricker, who won at TPC Deere Run from 2009-11, grabbed a share of the lead before Rodgers teed off Sunday.
The 50-year-old Stricker went 8-under par through 14 holes to jump all the way up from 34th place. But his only bogey came on the 18th hole, when his par putt grazed the cup.
''Realistically, if I could have made a couple more birdies there and could have got it to 18-under, who knows? Just couldn't get it in there,'' Stricker said.
Johnson, who won the tournament in 2012 and has finished in the top three six times in his last eight appearances, challenged the leaders yet again before falling back. Johnson picked up bogeys on a pair of par 4s on the back nine, and he missed a 4-foot birdie putt on 14.
''My goal was to birdie every hole and give myself a chance on every hole. Early on it looked like my game plan was being executed,'' Johnson said.
Bubba Watson shot a 68 to finish at 9 under.
Round 3 - Patrick Rodgers maintains leadJuly 16, 2017
Patrick Rodgers is 18 holes away from his first PGA Tour win.
But the 25-year-old former Stanford star knows that it'll likely take a lower score than the one he shot Saturday to secure such a milestone victory.
Rodgers shot a 3-under 68 in the third round, maintaining a two-stroke lead in the John Deere Classic.
Rodgers had a 16-under 197 total at TPC Deere Run. He's trying to become the third player in five years to win the Quad Cities event for his first PGA Tour title.
''It's going to be a shootout because there's a lot of birdies to be made out here, and I'm going to have to make my fair share in order to stay at the top,'' Rodgers said.
Daniel Berger had a 63 to match Scott Stallings (64) at 14 under.
Nicholas Lindheim (66) was 13 under, and Jamie Lovemark (66), Bryson DeChambeau (70) and J.J. Henry (68) were another stroke back. Area favorite Zach Johnson had a 70 to drop five strokes back.
Rodgers, who opened with rounds of 65 and 64, was hampered by a pair of bogeys. But Rodgers also had five birdies, and he saved par on the 17th after hitting his tee shot into the gallery.
''I wasn't as sharp as I was the past couple of days. So, I guess I did a good job mentally to get in at 3-under par,'' Rodgers said. ''All in all, if you told me at the start of the day that I'd have the same lead I started with, that's a positive thing.''
Berger, who won the St. Jude Classic last month in Memphis and lost a playoff at the Travelers Championship in his last event when Jordan Spieth holed out a bunker shot, birdied seven of his first 11 holes. Six of those birdie putts came from inside 10 feet.
Berger and Rodgers are among four players with a tournament-high 19 birdies.
''In Memphis I drove the ball phenomenally. This week I haven't driven it that well, but I've kind of kept it in play for the most part and I've made a bunch of putts, which has been the difference,'' said Berger, one of only two players in the top 10 in the FedEx Cup standings in the field.
Stallings shot a 30 on the back nine and eagled the par-5 17th hole with a 22-foot putt. He's shot back-to-back 64s after opening with a 71 on Thursday.
''I can't control what anyone else does. I couldn't event tell you some of the other guys that are on the leaderboard,'' Stallings said. ''We've gotten ourselves this far, and we're happy to be in the position we're in
Johnson, a Cedar Rapids, Iowa, native who won at TPC Deere Run in 2012 and notched six top-three finishes in his last eight appearances, again drew the biggest galleries. But he followed an eagle on the 14th hole with a double bogey on No. 15.
Bubba Watson's decision to skip the Scottish Open for the chance to accumulate FedEx Cup points might not work out in his favor. Watson had a 68 and was tied for 57th at 6 under.
Kelly Kraft made arguably the day's most impressive shot on No. 17. His tee shot landed on a walkway behind a hospitality tent, and Kraft hit his second shot over 200 yards and eventually saved par.
Round 2 - Patrick Rodgers moves two clearJuly 15, 2017
Patrick Rodgers shot a 7-under 64 on Friday to take a two-shot lead after the second round of the John Deere Classic.
Rodgers had eight birdies and a bogey to finish at 13-under 129 at TPC Deere Run. Finishing on the front nine, he had five birdies in a seven-hole stretch before closing with a bogey on the par-4 ninth.
''It was nice to keep making birdies and keep the gas pedal down,'' Rodgers said. ''It was tricky with some breeze, but I know 13 under is not going to win the golf tournament. So, I got to keep that same mindset for the next two rounds.''
Bryson DeChambeau was second after a 65.
Local favorite Zach Johnson, the 2012 winner, had a 67 to join Charles Howell III, the co-leader after the first round, at 10 under. Howell followed his opening 63 with a 69.
Kevin Tway (63), Chesson Hadley (64), Chad Campbell (68) and J.J. Henry (64) were 9 under.
Tway had nine birdies in a 10-hole stretch en route to the best round of the day.
Hadley is coming off a victory Sunday in the Web.com Tour event in New York.
Rodgers, the 25-year-old former Stanford star who is winless on the PGA Tour, has followed the formula that many players have used to win at TPC Deere Run - converting makeable birdies and largely avoiding mistakes.
Rodgers also made his fair share of tough shots, notably chipping in from 50 feet on the par-3 third hole and holing a 50-foot birdie putt on the seventh hole.
''I put together a really nice round. Was very much in control. Rolled in some nice putts and stayed very patient,'' Rodgers said.
DeChambeau, who was just above the FedEx Cup playoff cut line entering the weekend, survived a pair of early bogeys to grab second place.
Tway was struggling to stay above the cut line when he went on his birdie binge, making seven in a row at one point. But Tway's tee shot on his 17th hole found the rough and he was forced to settle for a bogey.
Tway's round, the best of his career, was highlighted by a 28-foot birdie putt on the forgiving third hole.
''I was kind of hoping it would never stop,'' Tway said. ''You've got to make a lot of birdies around here.''
Hadley said after his bogey-free round that he felt like he was playing with ''house money'' after wrapping up a PGA Tour for next season card last week.
''I've been heading in the right direction for a while, and I think it kind of starts with your attitude, how you think about and handle things,'' Hadley said. ''So I kind of finally got that right, and then everything came together last week obviously.''
First-round co-leader Ollie Schniederjans had a 74 to drop eight shots behind Rodgers.
Two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson shot a 70 to make the cut at 3 under, as did Davis Love III (68). Three-time tournament winner Steve Stricker (67) made the cut on the number at 2 under.
Defending champion Ryan Moore shot a 71 and missed the cut, finishing at 3 over after two rounds. Moore missed the previous five weeks with a left shoulder injury.
Round 1 - Charles Howell III and Ollie Schniederjans share leadJuly 14, 2017
Charles Howell III and Ollie Schniederjans each shot 8-under 63 on Thursday to share the first-round lead in the John Deere Classic.
Playing alongside local favorite Zach Johnson, Howell birdied seven his first nine holes and added a birdie on No. 7 in his morning round at rain-softened TPC Deere Run. The two-time PGA Tour winner lost a playoff to Kyle Stanley two weeks ago in the Quicken Loans National.
''This morning without traffic, they were rolling like carpet,'' Howell said. ''This morning was absolutely the best scoring we'll see all week, which would also lead me to believe that tomorrow morning you're going to see some low scores as well. Here, it's about minimizing bogeys as much as you can and take advantage of the holes that you need to.''
Schniederjans birdied five of his last eight holes in his lowest round of the PGA Tour. The 24-year-old former Georgia Tech star earned a PGA Tour card last year through the Web.com Tour.
''I haven't had a great start really all year on the first round,'' Schniederjans said. ''I have had some decent first rounds and good Fridays, but this is the first really goof round I've had on Thursday. It's nice to get off to a good start and hopefully keep it going.''
Johnson was two strokes back at 65 along with Rory Sabbatini, Patrick Rodgers and Chad Campbell. Johnson, from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, won the 2012 tournament.
''With this Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday rain we had, it's one of those you feel like you got to keep the pedal down,'' Johnson said. ''The course is still nice. I was surprised we didn't play it up today. I technically only had 1 1/2 mud balls probably, so that was pretty good considering.''
He holed a 24-foot birdie putt on his second-to-last hole to get within two strokes.
''I'm very comfortable with this golf course, essentially any condition,'' Johnson said. ''All that being said, you still have to execute. (Thursday) was one of those good days.''
Howell and Schniederjans are coming off injuries.
''I had nine weeks off prior to the Quicken Loans with a rib injury, and it was my first injury - knock on wood - I've had in my career,'' said Howell, making his 11th at Deere Run. ''I went to Quicken Loans quite honestly not prepared to play well. I had only been hitting balls for four or five days prior to that event. Expectations were extremely low and I played well.''
Schniederjans has been fighting a pulled muscle in his back since Colonial in late May.
''It kind of lingered and I tried to play through it, and then ended up taking like 15 days off without hitting a ball and still is sort of there,'' Schniederjans. ''Kind of have to have maintenance. ... It's been fine the last three weeks, but my game has been getting better as the days have gone on, too.''
Bubba Wastson, the two-time Masters making his first Quad Cities start in seven years, opened with a 69. Fifty-year-old Steve Stricker, the winner from 2009-11 at Deere Run, had a 73.
Defending champion Ryan Moore had a 74 in his return from a strained tendon in his left shoulder that sidelined him for five weeks.
The British Open is holding one spot for the leading player among the top five who is not already exempt next week at Royal Birkdale.
|T10||USA||J. J. Henry||-14||-||69||64||68||69||270|
|T19||USA||Charles Howell III||-12||-||63||69||70||70||272|
|T25||KOR||K. J. Choi||-11||-||68||72||67||66||273|
|T39||RSA||Tyrone van Aswegen||-10||-||70||68||68||68||274|
|T64||USA||J. T. Poston||-5||-||68||69||69||73||279|
|T68||USA||Billy Hurley III||-4||-||68||71||69||72||280|
|MDF||USA||Davis Love III||-2||-||71||68||72||-||211|
|CUT||ZIM||Brendon de Jonge||Par||-||72||70||-||-||142|
|CUT||USA||D. A. Points||2||-||74||70||-||-||144|
|CUT||USA||Harold Varner III||2||-||72||72||-||-||144|
|CUT||USA||J. J. Spaun||10||-||76||76||-||-||152|