Clark A Deere in the Spotlight


Michael Clark II is in a familiar position. Now hes hoping for a similar result.
Entering last years John Deere Classic, Clark had missed 11 cuts in 17 starts. However, he caught lightning in a bottle and won the tournament in a playoff over Kirk Triplett.
This year, hell need to do the same.
Once again Clark has failed to qualify for weekend play on 11 occasions heading to Silvas, Ill. In fact, hes missed six of his last seven cuts.
Hopefully, for his sake, the TPC at Deere Run will provide a sanctuary, of sorts.
A year ago, Clark led by two strokes entering the 72nd hole, but made bogey while Triplett sank an eight-foot birdie putt to force a playoff.
Both players finished their final rounds on Monday after rain extended play. The two men finished regulation at 19-under-par 265.
On the third hole of sudden death, Clarke made birdie on the par-5 17th, only to watch Triplett sink an 18-footer to extend the match to one more hole.
The two men went back to the par-4 18th, where Clarke nearly gave away the tournament an hour earlier. This time, he hit the green in two and made the birdie putt to earn his first career PGA Tour victory.
Its just an awesome feeling, Clark said after his triumph. Somebody just pointed out that I dont have to go to Q-School this year, so that definitely makes life pretty sweet.
In addition to earning a two-year Tour exemption, Clark was also named 2000 Rookie of the Year.
This years purse has been increased by $200,000 to $2.8 million, with $540,000 going to the winner.
The field will include Byron Nelson winner Robert Damron, Charles Howell III, Scott Verplank and Jeff Sluman.
Sluman is coming off his fifth career PGA Tour victory in last week's B.C. Open.
Sluman defeated Paul Gow, who is also scheduled to at the John Deere, on the second playoff hole at the En-Joie Golf Club. The win was his first in seven career PGA Tour playoff appearances.
Full field and tee times for the John Deere Classic