SILVIS, Ill. — Former Augusta State All-American Patrick Reed is tied for the lead in the John Deere Classic, thanks in large part to his caddie/wife Justine, the PGA Tour rookie said.
“She helps me with everything,” said Reed, who shot 8-under-par 63 on Friday and is tied for the lead with Zach Johnson and Lucas Glover.
“I never check wind,” Reed said. “She tells me what the wind is. She’s always right on that. Most of the time she helps me pick most of my clubs. She seems to know my distances better than I do. She’s great at reading putts, so I kind of have the full package. It’s definitely not an ‘I,’ it’s definitely a ‘we’ for us.”
Reed, 22, said the partnership on the golf course with his wife is not a temporary thing.
“You’re going to see us basically forever,” he said. “Or until we decide to have a family, and at that point she’ll be off the bag I’d say for three or four months, and then she’ll be back on.”
“I like the way he thinks, but when that happens, we’ll just stay in the moment,” Justine said.
Reed, who has two top-10 finishes in 20 events this season, highlighted his round with a 37-yard chip for eagle on the 17th hole.
While Reed missed the cut in this tournament last year while playing on a sponsor exemption, Johnson is going for his second victory here and 10th of his career.
He has evolved into one of the most consistent players the tournament has ever seen. Johnson, the defending champion, shot 66 to join Reed and Glover (62) atop the leaderboard at 12-under 130.
It “was a day of just hanging in there and letting things come. But I like the fact that I don’t have to be perfect and I can still play here,” Johnson said.
Matt Jones is a shot back at 11-under. Troy Matteson leads a pack at 10-under, while three-time winner Steve Stricker is among those contending at 9-under.
Given how well Johnson has played this course of late, it could take a spectacular weekend to beat him.
Johnson has shot 18 consecutive rounds in the 60s at Deere Run – largely by avoiding big mistakes and scrambling out of small ones – and his ninth bogey-free round Friday was a tournament record.
“I’m just comfortable. I’m comfortable with every tee shot. I’m comfortable with every wind, and clearly I’m comfortable on the greens,” Johnson said.
Glover said he ditched plans to take this weekend off and head to Scotland early for the British Open after playing poorly last week. So far, it looks as though a few extra rounds have helped Glover find his game.
“I was ecstatic (Thursday) after 3 under … so you can imagine how I feel,” said Glover, who is a former Clemson golfer. “But I’m not dumb enough to think it’s over.”
Matteson’s round on Friday was punctuated by an ace from 132 yards out.
He used a wedge to notch the tournament’s first hole-in-one in three years.
“I just said, ‘You know what? Let’s just try to hit a good shot, kind of get some spin on it, bring it back down the hill and leave ourselves a good putt,” Matteson said. “It started coming back down the hill and it just disappeared, and the guys behind the green went crazy.”
Darron Stiles also aced No. 7, marking the first time in nine years that a pair of hole-in-ones was recorded on the same day at Deere Run.
Chez Reavie shot Friday’s low round, coming in at 61 to tie the best second-round score in tournament history.
There could be more stellar performances like that in the final two rounds, given the shape of the course and forecasts of more ideal conditions on Saturday and Sunday.
“You’ll see low scores from the beginning of the field through the middle and all the way to the end. You know, it’s there for the taking,” Glover said.