Who says it’s hard to follow up a really low round with another? Troy Matteson, who opened with a 61 on Thursday to take a three-stroke lead over Ricky Barnes, has picked up where he left off during the second round of the John Deere Classic.
Matteson birdied his first two holes at TPC Deere Run to extend his lead and has added two more birdies on the back nine to move to 14 under through 14 holes. He has yet to make a bogey in 32 holes to far this week.
J.J. Henry is Matteson's closest pursuer right now at 10 under through 28 holes. He started on the back nine and made the turn in 31, then birdied No. 1 to move to 6 under for the day.
Those two are the only players in double figures right now. Three-time defending champion Steve Stricker, who opened with a 65, is 2 under through 13 holes in the second round and tied at 8 under for the tournament.
Troy Matteson had 10 birdies and no bogeys in his first round at the John Deere Classic.
Troy Matteson has taken sole possession of the first-round lead at the John Deere Classic from Ricky Barnes while Ben Crane has tied the first-round pacesetter.
A birdie at the fifth hole, Mattesson's 14th of the day, lifted him to 8 under and one in front of Barnes. Crane has had a similarly productive day -- making birdies in bunches, twice getting two straight and making three in a row as he made the turn.
Crane’s best finish this year is solo second at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, one of three top-10s in his first four starts to the season. He is coming off a tie for 22nd at the AT&T National in his last start.
Talk about a hot start. Troy Mattesson has just made the turn and birdied Nos. 1 and 2 to move to 7 under through 12 holes.
With that sizzling stretch, Mattesson has joined Ricky Barnes at the top of the leaderboard. Another afternoon starter, Nathan Green, has made six birdies in his first 13 holes to pull into the logjam one shot off the lead.
Mattesson, who is a two-time winner of the Frys.com Open, could use a good start. He's only broken 70 once in the first round and hasn't finished higher than a tie for 26th at The Honda Classic this year.
Troy Matteson talks about his 6-under 65 in Friday's first round of the Deutsche Bank Championship.
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
NORTON, Mass. -- For five days starting last Saturday, Troy Matteson didn't touch a golf club. He did, however, spend quality time with several fishing poles.
"Just what the doctor ordered," Matteson said.
Indeed. Getting away from the golf course for an extended time paid off in Friday's first round of the Deutsche Bank Championship, as the well-rested Matteson overcame an early bogey to fire a 6-under 65, the best round of any player in the morning wave.
Considering that Matteson is 97th in FedExCup points and must move up to advance to the 70-man BMW Championship, getting off to a good start at TPC Boston was imperative. Sure, three rounds still remain, but at least he won't have to dig himself out of an early hole.
"Obviously where I'm at, if I don't play well, I'm not going to play (at Cog Hill)," Matteson said. "So I look at it like the end of the school year ... is almost here, so let's just see what happens."
Matteson started the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup ranked 84th in points, but he missed the cut at The Barclays last week and fell to 97th.
With his week finished on Friday and Hurricane Irene on its way, Matteson decided to jump in his motor home and high-tail it to the house of friends of his parents in Paul Smiths, N.Y., in the Adirondacks. Once there, he enjoyed a much-needed break with wife Shauna and 22-month-old daughter Tori.
Matteson is making his 26th start of the season this week; just a handful of players in the Deutsche Bank field have made more starts. More to the point, he hasn't been back home to Austin, Texas, since April. In fact, he's had just four off-weeks since then, as he's been grinding to make sure he earns his TOUR card for next year.
He's also spent plenty of time on the practice range -- another reason why it was good to get away from the game for a few days.
"I've been hitting balls like crazy but it hasn't been doing me a lot of good," said Matteson, who has just two top 10s in those 25 starts, having missed 11 cuts. "Sometimes you need that break."
Still, when he got to the range on Friday, he didn't feel very confident.
"I would have said if I could have kept it under 80, I would have been doing pretty good," he said. "It was just not that good of a warm-up this morning."
It didn't get any better after he bogeyed his first hole, the par-4 10th.
But at the 495-yard 14th, the longest par 4 at TPC Boston, Matteson hit his approach shot to 3-1/2 feet and got his first birdie. He was off and running from there. He birdied three straight holes around the turn and would ultimately shoot 4 under on his second nine.
The 65 is his lowest score in his last 114 rounds on the PGA TOUR, dating back to the final round of The Greenbrier last year.
"Pretty interesting round for me with how I was going into the day," Matteson said.
The key, of course, will be to maintain that momentum for the rest of the tournament. If he does, and he can keep advancing in the Playoffs, it could turn what thus far has been a "lackluster" year -- his description -- into a very good one.
"Your average TOUR pro probably succeeds about one out of 50 or one out of 100 (tournaments)," Matteson said. "Every 50 tournaments you play, hopefully you do something with it.
"But I'm getting up to that 50 mark and I haven't done anything yet. Hopefully we'll push through."
At 97th in the FedExCup standings, Troy Matteson needs a good finish to advance in the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup. He’s certainly off to a good start after an opening-round 65 at TPC Boston.
If he continues to play well this week the payoff could be big -- he’s currently projected to move up to third in the FedExCup standings.
Now, only once before has Matteson advanced beyond the Deutsche Bank Championship. Friday, though, he needed just 25 putts en route to seven birdies and one bogey.
The flip side is that Matteson has just two top-10s this season, so the big question is if he can hold onto his lead. The closest he came to winning this year was a playoff loss in Puerto Rico.
NORTON, Mass. – The top of the leaderboard at the Deutsche Bank Championship looks a lot like the upper echelon of the FedExCup standings.
The red-hot Dustin Johnson is tied for second with Nick Watney, the man who he replaced at the top of the standings when he won the rain-shortened Barclays on Saturday. Also at 4 under is Troy Matteson, and the three are one behind the leader, Jerry Kelly.
Meanwhile, Matt Kuchar, who finished second to Johnson at Plainfield Country Club last weekend, is on the course at 1 under through 14 holes. He leapfrogged Watney as well, moving into second in the FedExCup.
Johnson, Watney and Kuchar are playing together on Friday in the Featured Group.
The leaders have yet to tee off at the Reno-Tahoe Open, but they are already facing pressure to go low in the final round.
Troy Matteson had made five birdies in his first 11 holes to get to 10 under, three off the lead held by Scott Piercy.
Canadian Matt McQuillan has also made a much needed final-round move. He’s 4 under through nine holes, and sits at 9 under. McQuillan entered the week 148th in the FedExCup standings, putting him on the Playoffs bubble.
The winner of the Reno-Tahoe Open will earn a spot at next week’s PGA Championship if already not qualified for the event. The only player near the top of the leaderboard that is in the field next week is Steve Elkington, who won the PGA Championship in 1995.
Elkington is tied for third at 10 under, and leads the five major champions that made the cut in Reno this week (Todd Hamilton – 7 under, Justin Leonard – 6 under, Shaun Micheel – 4 under, Jose Maria Olazabal – 1 over).
After a birdie on No. 16, Sunghoon Kang looked like he might pull away from the field at Annandale. He had eagled two par 5s, and had another par 5 to play, the 532-yard 18th. But Kang backed up with a bogey on the par-4 17th, and then drove his tee shot into the water on No. 18, leading to a par and a third-round 64. He is tied for the lead at 17 under with Chris Kirk, who is 7 under for his round.
Saturday's final group of Hunter Haas, Peter Lonard and Troy Matteson also failed to capitalize on their good position. The trio is stuck in neutral -- a combined 1 under on a day where players are going really low. Haas and Lonard are currently tied for sixth, while Matteson has fallen to all the way to 28th place.
Jim Renner, who began Round 3 in 45th place, has made eight birdies and an eagle for a bogey-free 62. His rounds of 69-69-62 are currently good for third place.