Canadian David Hearn and Wisconsin resident Jerry Kelly spent some time talking hockey on Saturday.
By Fred Albers, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent
SILVIS, Ill -- When Daniel Summerhays left the course on Friday he was tied for fifth place. When he arrived at TPC Deere Run on Saturday morning, he wasn’t even in the top 10.
That may have been the best thing to happen to Summerhays because he said it put him in the proper frame of mind. He saw everyone else making birdies and knew he had to be aggressive. Summerhays’ attitude and ability collided on Saturday resulting in 10 birdies and one bogey. He leads the tournament in greens in regulation, is third in ball-striking and has missed a total of six greens for the week. Summerhays made a 51-foot birdie at the fourth hole. Everything broke his way in the third round. On Sunday, we find out if Summerhays can give us a repeat performance.
Bombs away: Zach Johnson made 102 feet in putts on just two holes. He rolled home a 60-foot eagle at the second and a 42-foot birdie on the 14th hole. In between, he also made his first two bogeys of the tournament. Despite those impressive efforts, Johnson’s biggest putt might have come at the final hole where he made a 12-footer for par. That putt kept him at 16 under, three shots off the lead and put him in the penultimate grouping. Johnson is close enough to still win this tournament.
Amateur hour: What a day for Patrick Rodgers. The amateur from Stanford made a 57-foot birdie at the 12th to momentarily take the lead. His Dad, Charlie, whipped out a camera and took pictures of the leaderboard with his son in first place. Rodgers’ caddie is Tom Maples, who was both the basketball and golf coach for Rodgers in high school. The excitement might have been too much as Rodgers made all pars coming in until a bogey at the 18th.
Tee markers: Tournament officials mark each day’s tee locations with miniature John Deere tractors. They are very popular markers. Too popular. Those little tractors have been known to suddenly disappear, so a volunteer follows the final group each day and diligently collects those little tractors.
Casual conversation: David Hearn and Jerry Kelly were pleasantly engaged in conversation throughout the round. The topic of conversation: Hockey. Hearn is from Brampton, Ontario and loves hockey as does Kelly. Discussion of power plays and slap shots kept both diverted enough to enjoy the round without worrying about their totals. The conversation was good and so was the golf. Hearn shot 64 and Kelly carded a 66. Hearn leads the tournament in putts per green and yet was the last player on the practice putting green late Saturday evening.
Preshot: Zach Johnson is having one of his better putting weeks of the year and it’s because he’s “trying easier.” Johnson ranks seventh in strokes gained-putting this week but is 101st in that category for the season. Why the difference? Johnson says he had become too mechanical in his putting and is trying to be less technical and more athletic. That’s the same attitude Bill Hass had when he won AT&T National two weeks ago.
Fred Albers is a course reporter for SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio. For more information on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio, click here