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The Tour Report

July 12 2012

4:56 PM

Ferentz roots on Johnson

Live Report Image
Cohen/Getty Images
Zach Johnson carded a 31 on his inward nine en route to a 3-under 68 on Thursday.
Zach Johnson has always had incredible fan support at the John Deere Classic. On Thursday, the Iowa native enjoyed it even more. That's because one of the fans following Johnson was Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz. "Well, it's awesome," Johnson said after carded a first-round, 3-under 68 at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Ill. "He's been obviously a big fan. He writes me letters every now and then. I've said it many times: I was born in Iowa City, so it's in my blood." Johnson, who has never won his home event, only wished he could have got a few more birdies to drop. He started slow, making two bogeys on his first nine (back nine) before picking things up on his inward half. With his swing coach Mike Bender serving as his caddie this week, Johnson birdied Nos. 2, 5, 7 and 8 to cap a 31 -- which including a chip-in birdie on the fifth. Overall, Johnson just couldn't get on a roll on the greens. "Yeah, I hit a couple good shots in there and hit a couple bad putts, one in particular that wasn't great," said Johnson, who tied for second here in 2009 and was T3 last year. "Then I hit some really, really good putts and maybe misread 'em and just didn't put 'em in the right place. I mean, I made some, too." His faithful supporters -- including Ferentz -- hope he makes more, too. "For him to come out here and watch my business is pretty special," Johnson said. "Wish I could have had a few more birdies, but whatever. It's golf. It's not football, so he was probably ready to hit me with shoulder pads at some point our there."