Harman finishes strong: From barely making the cut, to flirting with the leaders, Brian Harman had an up-and-down weekend at the John Deere Classic.
The 2014 JDC champion closed out at 14-under par and a 67 for the final 18 holes, one day after firing an 8-under 63.
Harman’s Sunday started off with a bang as he birdied the first hole and got an eagle on the second. He later followed with birdies on Nos. 5, 8 and 13.
Then, the lefty went backwards with back-to-back bogeys on Nos. 9 and 10.
“I hit a really good putt on nine and it wobbled a bit and missed,” Harman said. “Hit a loose shot on 10, that cost me the golf tournament there. If I could’ve birdied one of those two holes, maybe one more on the back, could’ve been good enough.”
Harman two-putted two of the last five holes as he played par the rest of the way. It marks the first time since his triumph three years ago that he placed in the top-10.
“I’m looking forward to coming back every year,” he said.
Ex-champs prosper: Harman’s effort was part of a huge day for former JDC champions.
Four of them finished in the top 10 on the final leaderboard. Steve Stricker (2009, 2010, 2011), Zach Johnson (2012) and Jonathan Byrd (2007) tied for fifth place at 15-under.
The only other former champion in the field, Sean O’Hair, tied for 77th.
Birdies for charity: The final total number of birdies for the Birdies for Charity program was 1,918.
That included 113 in the Wednesday pro-am, 548 in the first round, 575 in the second, 383 in the third and 299 in the final round.
No bogeys: There was a total of 29 bogey-free rounds played by 26 different players in the tournament, but only four of them came in Sunday’s final round.
The only players who had more than one bogey-free round were K.C. Choi (first and fourth), Kevin Kisner (first and second) and Scott Stallings (second and third).
Longest putt: Daniel Berger, who finished in a tie for fifth, sank a 56-foot, 6-inch putt during Sunday’s final round, but it fell short of being the longest putt of the tournament. John Merrick drained one from 60 feet, 8 inches during the opening round.
Captain knows his place: Steve Stricker made a strong weekend run, shooting 65-64 and riding that to a tie for fifth place at 15-under. While most players on the PGA Tour would see that as a good sign for his game and potentially moving into consideration for a spot on this fall's Presidents Cup team, the three-time JDC champ had another view of his golf game.
The Presidents Cup captain is not even thinking of a dual role as a player.
''No, no, I know where my seat is on that bus,'' Stricker said. "I'm excited to be a part of that. I think it's important for them to see me still playing, I really do. I think deep down they see me playing and competing and still getting in there at times, and I think that's important for them to see that as well.''
No record for qualifier: Sam Horsfield, of Davenport, Florida, had a shot at some JDC history, but came up just short on Sunday.
Horsfield got into the JDC field by being one of the top four in last Monday's JDC Qualifier at Pinnacle Country Club. Of all such qualifiers in the 18-year history of TPC Deere Run, the highest a qualifier had finished was 44th, in the first year of the Silvis course, 2000.
Horsfield shot an even-par 71 on Sunday, after rounds of 66-73-67. That left him in a tie for 55th place. It was his first PGA Tour paycheck, receiving $12,824.
Youth served: Bryson DeChambeau's victory continued a trend on the PGA Tour — the youngsters are dominating.
The 23-year-old's first Tour victory moves the total of players under 30 winning tournaments to 22 in the 36 events. Those 22 victories have been accomplished by 18 players with Justin Thomas winning three and Jordan Spieth and Hideki Matsuyama each winning twice.
That was easy: The second hole was statistically the easiest hole of the tournament, averaging -.539 shots under par for the tournament. For the tourney, there were 241 birdies and 20 eagles, both highs for any hole at Deere Run. On Sunday, it yielded the most birdies (35) and eagles (five).
Not so easy: The par-4 No. 14 was the only other hole with more than 200 birdies, with 202. It also finished with eight eagles, second to No. 2 as well. Behind that was the par 5 No. 17 with seven eagles and 144 birdies. Unfortunately for tournament runner-up Patrick Rodgers, those were the toughest in his final round as he bogeyed both.
"Obviously, you look on the back nine," Rodgers said, "and making bogeys on 14 and 17, that's where I lost the golf tournament; two simple holes."
Finishing tough: The hardest hole of the tournament was No. 18, resulting in .197 shots over par for the tournament. The hole resulted in the third-fewest birdies with 53 and the most double-bogeys (22), twice as many as any other hole. Holes No. 3 (43) and No. 9 (40) were the only holes with fewer birdies.
What a drive: Brandon Hagy (T50 after a final round 71) had the longest drive of the tournament in the fourth-round — a 396-yard blast off the 15th tee that led to a rare birdie on the fourth-toughest hole on the course.
Good looking cards: Brian Campbell (69-67-66-69), Greg Chalmers (69-68-69-67), J.J. Henry (69-64-68-69), Patton Kizzire (68-69-69-67), Maverick McNealy (69-68-69-69), Cameron Percy (69-69-66-67), Sam Saunders (69-69-67-68) and Camilo Villegas (67-69-68-68) all carded below 70 during all four rounds of the tournament.
Ten of the 11 players to finish among the top 10 placers (with a tie) all had rounds in the 70s on their cards this week, including champ Bryson DeChambeau's Saturday 1-under 70.
— Lee News Network