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    • Fan takes over as Harman's caddie

      Brian Harman finishes 6 under in final 12 holes with a local high school coach on the bag

    • Brian Harman selected local high school coach Jay Hatch after his caddie had to stop due to illness. (Photo courtesy of the John Deere Classic) Brian Harman selected local high school coach Jay Hatch after his caddie had to stop due to illness. (Photo courtesy of the John Deere Classic)

    SILVIS, Ill. -- Jay Hatch has built a Hall of Fame resume, coaching girls at Alleman High School in Rock Island, Illinois, to three state softball titles and another on the basketball court. He added to his athletic resume Thursday when he helped carry Brian Harman to an 8-under round and a share of the first-round lead at the John Deere Classic.

    “I don’t know how athletic it was but it was sure cool,” Hatch said of his pinch-caddying role on Harman’s bag after veteran looper Scott Tway came up ill six holes into the day. “I always wanted to be inside the ropes to see what it looked like from there. You know that commercial where they say ‘These guys are good?’ They are way, way better than that.”

    The 48-year-old coach and math teacher was standing beside the seventh tee on Thursday morning when Tway, who had been awake and ill much of the previous night, required medical attention. The call went out for someone -- anyone -- to step up and shoulder Harman’s bag.

    You know that commercial where they say ‘These guys are good?’ They are way, way better than that.

    “I said I can carry your bag if you don’t need any help reading putts,” recalled Hatch, who also has coached the Pioneers girls golfers and plays recreationally.

    Harman went 6 under over his final 12 holes, but, Hatch insisted, “I didn’t have anything to do with that. He only hit one bad shot that I saw.”

    Harman was more than happy with his fill-in. “My man Jay came out and did a really good job,” he said. “He was like a true pro out there.”

    Harman said Tway tried to battle through despite his long night, but early in the round, “Scott wasn’t looking good. He is tough as nails but I looked in his eyes and he didn’t look good. So I called a medic over.”

    Hatch stepped up and, afterward, Harman vowed to mail him a check at the end of the week. You know, for the effort. Hatch declined, but said he would happily settle for total consciousness.

    Brian Harman interview after Round 1 of John Deere
    • Interviews

      Brian Harman interview after Round 1 of John Deere

    Brian Harman interview after Round 1 of John Deere
    • Interviews

      Brian Harman interview after Round 1 of John Deere

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