RODGERS LEADS JOHN DEERE CLASSIC AFTER 54 HOLES

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THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Editor and Director of Content. Follow Rory to the John Deere Classic, and on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy

With 54 holes down and just 18 holes to go, Patrick Rodgers holds a 2 shot lead over Scott Stallings and Daniel Berger, and heads to the final round of the John Deere Classic looking for his first PGA Tour victory.

The Avon Indiana native who spent three years at Stanford before turning professional, broke many of Tiger Woods records while at the school.

For the first three rounds Rodgers scores of 65-64-68 have left him at 16 under par for the tournament. Rodgers a former Nike equipment player is now playing Callaway equipment, and has made a good transition. Rodgers will play in the last group on Sunday with Berger teeing off at 12:40 local time. With a win Rodgers would become the 10th first time winner this year on the tour.

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Stallings who said he got off to a “funky start” in Round 1, rallied late to get back to even par.

“I just kept working on my speed and finally some parts started to fall,” said Stallings. “It’s amazing the kind of confidence you get when some putts go in.”

Berger shot an 8 under par 63 on Saturday and didn’t feel like he played that well, that left him thinking if he could be better on Sunday he might have a chance to win.

Click here to hear interviews with leader Patrick Rodgers and University of Illinois Senior Nick Hardy.

Hardy along with Maverick McNeely are the two amateurs that made the cut, and will play for bragging rights of low amateur on Sunday. Hardy is second this week in driving distance at 315.20 yards, he leads the field average by 23 yards. Brandon Hagy is first at 324 yards.

Because of the size of the third round field with over 80 players, the tournament had a third round cut that eliminated 8 players, a ninth player Robert Garrigus was DQ’d for a scorecard violation. the field for the final round will be only 73 players, with Michael Kim going off first as a single at 7:20 Am.

Brian Harman 2014 John Deere Classic Champion, rallied with a 63 that equaled the low round of the championship. Six former JDC champions tee’d it up this week on Thursday. Three time champion Steve Stricker had his best round of the week, when he carded a six-under par 65 in the third round, Stricker is now at 8 under par headed into the weekend.

Past champion Zach Johnson who was in contention starting Round 3, fell back after only shooting a 1 under par 70. Johnson is currently five shots behind Rodgers.

 

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About Rory Spears

Rory spent over 8 years growing up working at Rob Roy Golf Club in Prospect Hts.IL, then two years at Chevy Chase in Wheeling. He has covered golf in Chicago since 1986. Rory was one of the initial members of WSCR all-sports radio Chicago and covered golf there for 5 seasons, before moving on to work for ESPN/Sportsticker and ESPN Radio. In addition to hosting Golfers on Golf Radio on WNDZ Am 750 Chicago, he writes for both Chicagoland Golf and the Chicago District (CDGA) Magazine. Rory has played over 460 courses in 37 states, and rates golf courses. He does golf course management and communications consulting, in the golf industry.