By Fred Albers, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent
Former University of Illinois
athlete Luke Guthrie is four shots out of the lead in his second
PGA TOUR event.
SILVIS, Ill. --
Look at Steve Stricker's stats and he appears to be a
middle-of-the-field golfer. He's 17th in fairways and 49th in
Strokes Gained-Putting. Stricker has not hit his best stuff and yet
is still 10 under and in the top 10 after a second-round 67 on
Friday at the John Deere Classic. That's a tribute to his
experience and his patience. Stricker is one hot putting round away
from winning his fourth straight John Deere title.
What a nice day for Luke Guthrie. In
just his second PGA TOUR event, the former University of Illinois
athlete is 9 under. And he has a lot of Illini in him. Guthrie's
brother, Zach, is caddying for him this week. Zach is an assistant
golf coach at Illinois. Luke is also still using university issued
golf balls. His ball bears the big orange "I" with the Illini logo.
Guthrie also got a lesson in slow play on Friday. His group was out
of position and on the clock starting at the seventh. Guthrie
walked quickly to the eighth tee to hit his drive and promptly
blocked one into the woods and made bogey. He called it a rookie
mistake and a learning experience. Guthrie tied for 19th in his
first TOUR event at this year's FedEx St. Jude Classic.
Robert Garrigus is averaging 318 yards
per drive this week and yet that does not accurately reflect how
far he hits the ball. The official drive number comes from just two
measured holes each day. Garrigus hit several drives in the XXL
category. At the 457-yard, 18th hole, Garrigus hit his drive 359
yards and had just 91 yards to the hole. At the par-5, second hole,
Garrigus hit it 357 yards off the tee. With that tremendous
distance, Garrigus still has managed to hit 21 of 28 fairways but
only 28 of 36 greens. If Garrigus sharpens his approach shots and
putting, he could win this tournament.
Friday was University of Illinois day
at the John Deere. Thursday was University of Iowa day. In my
unscientific survey, I saw more orange and navy on Friday then
black and gold on Thursday. The Illini were well represented with
alumni such as Steve Stricker, Luke Guthrie and D.A. Points.
Fred Albers is a course reporter for SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio
and is inside the ropes this week at the John Deere Classic. For
more information on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio,