It’s always fun to look at the line-up for any given PGA Tour golf tournament in any given week, and it is something almost everyone here at Pro Golf Now has gotten involved in. As luck would have it, Zach Johnson was on my Fantasy Pick list this week for the John Deere Classic, and obviously, was at the top of a lot of Fantasy lists around the world of sports.
In fact, at 56.34%, Zach lead defending champ, Jordan Spieth, and three-time winner of this event at TPC Deere Run, Steve Stricker. The 20-year old Spieth garnered 56.31% and Stricker was in at 44.49%.
Spieth beat Zach Johnson last year in a playoff that validated the 2013 Rookie of the Year’s season, and gave him his Tour card along with sending him off to Muirfield to compete in his first major at the Open Championship.
With a 66.30 stroke average, Zach won the John Deere Classic in 2012, and has finished in the top three in four of five starts at the event.
Since beating Tiger Woods at Sherman Oaks with a 110 yard pitch-in, and winning the Hyundai Tournament of Champions back in January, hasn’t done much. But even though he hasn’t finished in the top 40 in his last four starts on the PGA Tour, he still comes to Silvis, Illinois as the favorite.
And not to disappoint, the 38 year-old from just down the road at Iowa City flirted with a 59 on Thursday, and at this writing sits in a three-way tie for the lead after the first round.
Johnson got on the par train after starting the front nine with a couple of birdies, and finished his day at 8-under par 63. In an interview after his round, he admitted thinking about the 59, and indicated he maybe left a few on the golf course. But also said he was very satisfied with his round, and position going into the Friday’s play.
Starting his day early, and on the back, Johnson put six birdies on his card with a run of three in a row starting at the 12th hole. The good news here is, he went bogey-free on the day, and will play tomorrow afternoon from the first tee.
The 2008 Masters Champ shares the one-shot lead with Aussie, Rory Sabbatini, and Brian Harman.