No place like home: Four former Illini teeing off at John Deere Classic

No place like home: Four former Illini teeing off at John Deere Classic

Four former Illini tee off today at the John Deere Classic, the only PGA event in Illinois this year. Here's what you need to know before the action gets going in Silvis, courtesy N-G copy editor Joe Vozzelli

Steve Stricker

Today’s tee time: 8 a.m.

No. of JDC appearances: 17

Outlook: The 52-year-old Stricker has won this event in the Quad Cities three times before. Can he make it four? A few experts have him as a dark horse for the tournament, considering his track record at TPC Deere Run. Stricker has played well on the Champions Tour this season, as he currently ranks seventh on the money list despite only teeing it up in six events, with a pair of victories on the ledger. His best finish on the PGA Tour this year is a tie for 12th at the Valspar Championship in early March.

D.A. Points

Today’s tee time: 7:40 a.m.

No. of JDC appearances: 13

Outlook: Like Stricker, Points has been a regular at the event in the Quad Cities, as this will be his 10th consecutive appearance in Silvis. He hasn’t, however, had nearly the same run of success as Stricker with six straight missed cuts. His best-ever finish at the event came in 2011 when Points produced three rounds in the 60s to finish in a tie for 38th that year. Points’ best result of the 2018 campaign was 33rd at January’s Sentry Tournament of Champions but he has struggled since (14 straight missed cuts).

Dylan Meyer

Today’s tee time: 2:10 p.m.

No. of JDC appearances: 2

Outlook: The recent Illinois graduate could give himself a belated birthday gift with a strong finish in Silvis. Meyer — who turned 23 on Tuesday — already turned some heads with a top-20 result at last month’s U.S. Open at difficult Shinnecock Hills. Although he missed the cut the following week at the Travelers Championship, Meyer bounced back in his next event at the Quicken Loans National on another challenging course to register his second top-20 finish in three pro events this year. 

Nick Hardy

Today’s tee time: 9 a.m.

No. of JDC appearances: 2

Outlook: The 22-year-old Hardy fired a pair of rounds in the 60s in last year’s event en route to a tie for 55th. Hardy — who led the Illinois men’s golf team last season as a senior in stroke average at 70.61 — has made the cut in all three of his professional events this season, two of which came on the Tour, including 33rd at the Rust-Oleum Championship and 48th at the Lincoln Land Charity Championship. He placed 61st in his lone PGA Tour event at the Travelers Championship.

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