Johnson maintains share of John Deere lead


With conditions once again ideal for low scores at TPC Deere Run, birdie roars were heard early and often across the course in Silvis, Ill. Here's how things look heading into the third round of the John Deere Classic, where defending champion and overnight co-leader Zach Johnson is among three that share the 36-hole lead:

Leaderboard: Zach Johnson (-12), Patrick Reed (-12), Lucas Glover (-12), Matt Jones (-11), Kevin Streelman (-10), David Hearn (-10), Troy Matteson (-10), Jerry Kelly (-10)

What it means: Reed held the lead for much of the day after an 8-under 63 in the morning wave, but was caught late in the day by both Johnson and Glover. A winner at TPC Deere Run in a playoff a year ago, Johnson has now carded rounds of 64 and 66 and has yet to make a bogey through 36 holes in defense of his title.

Round of the day: Chez Reavie opened with a 1-over 72 Thursday, and after three straight pars to begin his second round appeared in danger of missing the cut. That changed in a hurry, though, as the veteran played the next 15 holes in 10 under to shoot a 10-under 61, the day’s low round. Four birdies in a six-hole stretch from Nos. 13-18 were followed by an eagle at the par-5 second, and Reavie concluded his round with another barrage of four birdies across holes 5-9.

Best of the rest: A former winner of the U.S. Open, Glover fired a bogey-free, 9-under 62 to grab a share of the overnight lead. The former Clemson standout started on the back nine, opening with birdies on two of his first three holes en route to an outward 4-under 32. He added five birdies across the first seven holes of his inward nine, and now heads into the third round as a co-leader, seeking his first PGA Tour win since the 2011 Wells Fargo Championship.

Biggest disappointment: The highest-ranked player in this week’s field, Louis Oosthuizen was never able to get much going at TPC Deere Run and as a result will miss the cut. The South African was able to card four birdies Friday en-route to a 1-under 70, but it was not enough to overcome an opening 72 that included a triple bogey at No. 11 and a double bogey on the home hole. At even-par 142, Oosthuizen fell three shots short of the projected cut line.

Main storyline heading into Saturday: While three share the lead, most of the attention will be on Johnson, halfway toward defending his John Deere title. Still looming just three shots off the pace, though, is fan favorite and three-time winner Steve Stricker, who made just one bogey during his second-round 66. Whoever emerges from the pack Saturday will need an abundance of birdies to do so, as red numbers are expected all weekend long.

Shot of the day: A runner-up to Johnson in a playoff last year, Matteson sparked his round with a hole-in-one at the par-3 second Friday. Though the hole can be stretched to 178 yards, it was playing only 132 yards long during the second round; the ace helped Matteson to a 7-under 64 and he will begin the weekend just two shots off the pace. It was the seventh career ace for Matteson, but the first since he aced the seventh hole at TPC Deere Run during this event in 2010.

Quote of the day: 'You're going to have to shoot another 10 under on the weekend to have a chance.' – Jones, who enters the third round in fourth place, one week after tying for second at The Greenbrier Classic.