BETHESDA, Md. -- Steve Marino withdrew from the AT&T National on Wednesday, citing a knee injury.
Brendon Todd will replace him in the field.
Marino underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee last October. He returned at the Sony Open in Hawaii this past January but played just nine holes of the pro-am because his knee swelled up with fluid.
He made two more starts, but the knee never got better and Marino was forced to shut it down because of a bone contusion on the tip of his tibia and femur as well as avascular necrosis, which prevented blood flow to the inured area.
Marino returned at the Memorial tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance earlier this month. He also played a 36-hole U.S. Open qualifier, as well as the U.S. Open and Travelers Championship before withdrawing at Congressional.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
BETHESDA, Md. -- When Steve Marino arrived for the U.S. Open, it marked just his second start in four months following complications from surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee.
“In hindsight, maybe I wasn’t ready for that kind of test,” he said of hilly Olympic Club.
Though Marino said his surgically repaired knee doesn’t feel like the other one -- “It's maybe not quite as strong as the other one,” he added -- he doesn’t feel much pain now.
After all that downtime, he’s also ready to play.
“I watched a lot of TV,” Marino said. “I think I've seen every movie that's ever been made.”
Marino originally underwent surgery last October. When he returned at the Sony Open in Hawaii this past January, he played just nine holes of the pro-am because his knee swelled up with fluid.
“I couldn’t even squat down to read my putts,” Marino recalled.
He played the next two weeks, but the knee never got better and Marino was forced to shut it down because of a bone contusion on the tip of his tibia and femur as well as avascular necrosis, which prevented blood flow to the inured area.
“Basically, my bone was dying,” Marino said. “I couldn't walk without pain for nine holes, let alone 72 holes. I knew probably the first month or so into it that it was going to be a long process.”
So too will Marino’s return to form. He’s missed each of his first three cuts since returning from the injury, which included shooting an 84 in the opening round of the U.S. Open.
A return trip to Congressional could help.
Marino grew up in suburban Washington D.C., and as he recalled from 2008 had one of the rowdiest galleries of the week, and with good reason -- he led after an opening-round 65 that year.
“It can be kind of crazy,” Marino said. “I'm excited to have a bunch of my friends from high school and college to come out and watch, especially my family. It's just a fun week.”
If Marino plays well, it could be a fun weekend, too.
Steve Marino, who has been sidelined with a knee injury since the end of January, will return to action at the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance, May 31-June 3 at Muirfield Village.
Marino, who underwent surgery on his right knee last October to repair a torn meniscus, has not played since the Farmers Insurance Open, where he tied for 66th.
“This is one of those injuries that takes time to heal and rehab,” Marino said in a statement Wednesday. “I tried to play in January but I experienced a lot of swelling and pain. If you try to come back too early you can do more damage. So, I had to learn how to be patient. I have done that and I have gone through the necessary rehab and now I am eager to get back out on TOUR.”
Marino made three starts this season before shutting it down. His best finish was a tie for 19th in the Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation.
The 32-year-old has made 144 starts without a victory on the PGA TOUR, but has come close a handful of times with four career runner-up finishes.
Chez Reavie and Steve Marino have started their third rounds at TPC Deere Run. What’s at stake for them if they can end the weekend on top? Plenty.
For Reavie, a win would be his second on TOUR, the first coming at the 2008 RBC Canadian Open. He entered this season on a major medical exemption after reconstructive knee surgery last year and has 13 events to earn $673,983. So far, he’s earned $489,036.
He’s $184,947 away from fully-exempt status the rest of the season, so coming up just shy of first place at the John Deere Classic would still be huge.
For Marino, 22nd in FedExCup points, status isn’t the issue. It’s all about getting the monkey off his back and finally getting a first TOUR win. He has four career second-place finishes in 134 starts and is arguably the best player without a win.
The leaders are about an hour away from starting their third rounds at the John Deere Classic. They could find a more difficult TPC Deere Run for moving day.
Among the early players there are no eye-popping scores or surges up the leaderboard. Michael Putnam and John Merrick each shot 67, while Will MacKenzie has a 5-under round going with five holes remaining. He’s up to 10 under for the tournament. Good stuff but nothing quite like Chez Reavie’s Friday 62 or the several 64s shot so far this week.
Asked yesterday to assess the greens, Steve Marino said they are a touch firmer and, consequently, more difficult. Saturday’s dry conditions with temperatures in the upper 80s should continue that trend.
“It’s making it play just a little bit more difficult,” Marino said Friday after his 66. “I mean, they’re not super-firm by any stretch, but you know, I’ve definitely played softer greens. I think they’re about perfect for scoring.”
Whether that’s a super-low score like we’ve seen in previous years of the John Deere Classic remains to be seen.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
Steve Marino’s career as a bridesmaid has been well-documented -- 134 career starts, 21 top-10s, including four runner-up finishes, no wins. After a 66 Friday, Marino is in contention yet again.
Through 36 holes, he is 12 under and near the lead at the John Deere Classic. He also knows however that there’s a long, long way to go and that he’ll need to continue to be aggressive.
“I think the only mindset you can have here is just to go out there and try to make as many birdies as you can because you know that's what everybody else is going to be doing,” Marino said. “So I'm going to keep the same mindset, just kind of pedal to the metal and try to make as many birdies as I possibly can.”
Through two rounds, Marino has made 13 of them, including four on Friday -- plus an eagle.
One of the big reasons he’s again in contention? Putting -- Marino is sixth in the field.
This also marks the third time this year Marino has had a chance at getting his first career win -- the other two were at Pebble Beach and Bay Hill.
“I think that on any given week if I play well, that I'm going to have a chance to win on Sunday,” Marino said. “I think that I'm definitely playing well enough to do it, and there's no reason why I can't see myself doing it.”
No he just has to actually go out and do it. He’ll certainly have a chance this weekend.
The second round of the John Deere Classic is in full swing, and so are Steve Marino’s chances to get his first career win on the PGA TOUR.
There’s still a lot of golf left of course, but Marino has moved into a share of the lead at 12 under after playing his first dozen holes in 5 under.
But a few others are taking it even deeper than that with Chez Reavie, Kirk Triplett and Jhonattan Vegas all 7 under in various stages of their rounds. As a result, Reavie has a share of the lead while Triplett and Vegas are two back.
Triplett is the most interesting, or at least surprising, of those contenders. The 49-year-old is playing on past champion status for the second straight year and no doubt counting down the days until the Champions Tour. In the meantime, he’s cobbled together just 15 starts the last two years, which includes just four this year prior to this week.
Of those four starts, Triplett has made the cut twice and finished in the top 50 just once. He’s also played in four events on the Nationwide Tour, where his best finish was a tie for 12th at the BMW Charity Pro-Am presented Synnex Corporation.
Obviously a good finish here would go a long, long way for the rest of Triplett’s season.
Thanks to five straight birdies to close out his round, Kris Blanks grabbed the lead late in the opening round. He finished with an 8-under 63 and leads by one over three others, including Steve Marino.
The 63 is easily his best round of the year for Blanks, who came into the John Deere Classic having missed three of his last five cuts.
Marino had a chance to join Blanks and it looked like he would after opening the back nine with four straight birdies. Marino made just one birdie the rest of the way, however, to shoot 64.
The lead is still holding for Davis Love III and Matt McQuillan, each of whom opened with a 64 Thursday. But they’ve got company in Steve Marino, who is 6 under through 13 holes.
Marino has birdied his last four holes and he still has a par-5 to go in No. 17. In all, he has eight birdies and just two bogeys.
The biggest boost to Marino today? His putting. He’s averaging 1.11 putts per green in regulation, and he’s hit just under 70 percent of his greens so far.
If he keeps that up, it won’t be long before he passes Love and McQuillan.