Second Round Under Way
By RICK BROWN
John Deere Classic Correspondent
There’s a familiar name at the top of the leaderboard after the first round of the John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run.
Tom Gillis, who lost on the second hole of a sudden-playoff to Jordan Spieth here last year, shot an 8-under-par 64 and shares the lead with Andrew Loupe. First-round play was resumed at noon Friday after heavy rain overnight. Gillis had to complete two holes, and got to -7 with a birdie at the par-5 17th. Loupe was -8 and facing an 8-foot par putt on No. 15 when he stopped play Thursday. Loupe made the par putt Friday, but bogeyed the 17th to finish with his 64.
Three players who completed the first round on Thursday – Patrick Rodgers, Ryan Moore and Zach Johnson – are a shot back at 65.
Second-round play started Friday afternoon.
Gillis, who shot 66-65-69-64 last year, is 28 under par on his last five trips around TPC Deere Run.
“Yea, two 64s in a row on this course,” Gillis said. “I didn’t expect it because I haven’t done a whole lot this year to be quite honest with you. I don’t know, I feel really comfortable here, and I’ve got a lot of good feelings.”
Gillis has made just four cuts this year, and is playing for only the second time since the second week of June. Gillis tied for 35th at the Barbasol Championship, his best showing of the season, the second week of July.
Loupe has been on a rollercoaster of sorts this year. After a tie for fourth at the Wells Fargo Championship, his fourth Top 10 of the season, he tied for 82nd at the AT&T Byron Nelson in his next start and then missed seven consecutive cuts. The last one came a week ago at the Travelers Championship. He was tied for the lead after a 64 but missed the cut after a second-round 76.
“I’m really not thinking about the past or the future,” Loupe said. “I’m just trying to stay exactly where I am.” Taking two days to complete one round is something PGA Tour players are used to. “You just keep moving forward,” Loupe said. “I’m not going to back down from anything. Golf is hard. This is just one round. I’m trying to stay as level as I possibly can, keep doing the things that got me here, go through my practice routine, a couple drills that I like to do, and just tee it up.”