CHICAGO AREA GOLFERS-THERE ARE 2 NEW CLUBHOUSES TO CHECK OUT. So go take advantage of the opportunity and see both new places before or after your round of golf at the Preserve at Oak Meadows (L) in Addison OR Heritage Oaks Golf Club in Northbrook (R). Online see DuPagegolf.com or go visit HeritageOaksgc.com
THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation for Golfers on Golf. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy or connect on LinkedIn or Facebook.
(WRITING FROM TPC DEERE RUN in SILVIS ILLINOIS).
John Deere Classic week is here, quicker than normal with new dates. Because it’s now part of the 4th of July holiday weekend, which should bring the fans out to enjoy this PGA Tour event.
Defending champion Lucas Glover is back. But it’s disappointing that many other expected stars are not here as planned. Glover will need a strong comeback on Friday after an opening round of 74 (+3).
Several weeks back Bubba Watson was coming, but is not here. John Deere sponsored player Daniel Berger has withdrawn. Former PGA Champion and John Deere sponsors exemption from years back Jason Day, has also had to withdraw. But maybe an even bigger disappointment is that three-time champion Steve Stricker is also a WD. There is a Champions Tour major next week, and Stricker is reportedly nursing a lower-back strain. Get well Steve.
For Illinois golf fans, the full force of our local hero’s are here. Wheaton’s Kevin Streelman, Northbrook’s Nick Hardy, Highwood’s Patrick Flavin, Arlington Heights Doug Ghim, Luke Gannon from the Champaign area, and Pekin’s DA Points.
Streelman had the best start, with an opening round of 69 (-2) his fourth straight round in the 60’s on tour.
That being said, Streelman admitted he didn’t have his best game in the opening round. He is looking to have a great finish this week, since he did not qualify for the British Open.
Streelman said he enjoys the open and is disappointed to not be going to the 150th edition of the championship which is being played at St. Andrews.
CLICK HERE to hear our interview with Kevin Streelman after Round 1 at the John Deere Classic.
Northbrook’s Nick Hardy was sailing along most of Round 1 under par. But then that short little par-3 16th hole popped up and nearly ruined Hardy’s day.
Hardy hit his tee shot in a greenside bunker. So it seemed that was no big deal, after Hardy put his bunker shot 13 feet from the cup.
Now facing a par saving putt, Hardy ended up three-putting and making a costly double bogey. Which was not exactly what Hardy had in mind. But Hardy then showed what good players do, he rallied to birdie both 17 and 18 to finish at even par. But Hardy knows he will have to play good in Round 2, to make the weekend cut.
CLICK HERE to hear the Round 1 interview with Northbrook’s Nick Hardy.
Flavin started his round with a bogey on the first hole, after his approach shot found a greenside bunker. But after both playing partners missed the second fairway with their tee shots. Flavin ripped his tee shot down the middle of the par-5 second hole and made birdie. Flavin is -1 after 18 holes. Ghim was fighting his driver mid-round and was +1 after his first 18 holes.
The story of the day was still J.T. Poston’s 8 under par 63.
Poston who has 1 career victory on the PGA Tour, was putting great all round.
The leaderboard so far suggests yet another first time winner on tour, at this weeks tournament.
But can Poston hold off the field and go wire-to-wire.
Time will tell. But I’m hoping the galleries grow as the weekend comes along. Things were quiet at TPC Deere Run for Round 1. Follow the classic at PGATour.com, and root on our local players.
But if your headed down to the tournament, you can get tickets on site. Details at Johndeereclassic.com.