Unheralded PGA Tour rookie Patrick Reed found himself in major-winning company on Friday after charging into a three-way tie for the lead in the second round of the John Deere Classic in Silvis, Illinois.
In pursuit of a maiden victory on the circuit, Reed fired a sizzling eight-under-par 63 on a day of low scoring at the TPC Deere Run to finish at 12-under 130, level with former major winners Zach Johnson (66) and Lucas Glover (62).
Australian Matt Jones carded a 65 to post an 11-under total, ending the day a stroke in front of the US’ Kevin Streelman (66), Jerry Kelly (64), Daniel Summerhays (67) and Troy Matteson (64), and Canadian David Hearn (66).
“It was just one of those days,” the 22-year-old Reed told reporters after mixing an eagle at the par-five 17th with seven birdies and a lone bogey to surge to the top of the leaderboard.
“I have been hitting the ball well this week and I am hitting a lot of good putts. Unfortunately I am still missing a couple of short ones, but I am saving myself by making the putts that I need to and also by making some long ones. The driver is a little inconsistent right now ... but besides that I can’t complain about any other part of my game,” said Reed, who earned his PGA Tour card for this year by tying for 22nd at last year’s qualifying school.
Johnson, the 2007 Masters champion who won last year’s John Deere Classic in a sudden-death playoff with Matteson, maintained his bid for a 10th PGA Tour victory with a gritty and flawless display as he recorded five birdies.
“Today was a hard 66,” said Johnson, co-leader overnight with Colombia’s Camilo Villegas. “Yesterday was a much easier 64. I didn’t drive it very well, but the positive side is I know I can play here if I don’t drive it. My short game was tremendous. I putted great and I chipped it even better.”
Glover, who clinched his only major title at the 2009 US Open, also went bogey-free as he piled up nine birdies to rocket into contention.
“I’ve been struggling,” Glover said. “I was ecstatic to shoot three-under yesterday. You can imagine how I feel today.”
Matteson sparked his move up the leaderboard with an ace at the par-three third and went on to mix six birdies with one bogey before ending the round two strokes off the pace.
The cut fell at four-under 138, with former Major winners Louis Oosthuizen, Trevor Immelman and Shaun Micheel among those missing out.