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Lancaster Alone Atop Leaderboard After First

Neal Lancaster has jumped out to a 7-under 64 to lead at the John Deere Classic in Silvis, Ill on Thursday. Five players are just one stroke back at 65.

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AP Photo/Charles Rex ArbogasNeal Lancaster stands alone at the top after firing a 7-under 64 Thursday at the John Deere Classic. Lancaster made just one bogey on the day and shot just 31 for his front nine while hitting 88% of GIRS and averaging just 1.5 putts per hole.

Today was a day of shining veterans as Duffy Waldorf and Kenny Perry are lurking just one stroke back after shooting matching 65’s. Also one stroke back are Scott Gutchewski, Paul Stankowski, and Jason Duffner. "I drove the ball well most of the time, and I hit good iron shots most of the time, and I made a lot of good putts and I missed some putts," said Duffy Waldorf. "So all in all, I did everything well, and that’s what you need to do. I made mistakes with everything, but my good shots — I did more good shots with everything."

 Neal Lancaster has been a touring pro for the past 19 years; however he has made just three starts this year on TOUR. He has made cuts in two, and his best finish was a T-24 at the AT&T Classic in May. "I think this is my — I played seven times on the Nationwide, might have been eight, I’m not sure, and I played three TOUR events. I’m playing in the Past Champions category, which has been kind of tough to get in this year, into tournaments. I’ve been second in all of them, about four of the last five tournaments I can get in, which is actually not a bad thing because I enjoy being home a lot."

Zach Johnson has been in very high demand after winning The Masters, but he has had to learn to say no. He turned down appearance money in Germany to attend the John Deere Classic simply due to its proximity to home. Hailing from just one hour away in Cedar Rapids, IA Johnson said that this tournament feels like a borderline major. Today he shot one under par, but felt as though everything was clicking for a good tournament.

"I’m very encouraged. I shot 1-under par on a golf course that’s been lengthened and is a great test, especially with the wind. I feel I’m in a good position. It’s only Thursday. I’m certainly not out of the golf tournament, and tomorrow is Friday and I’ll play tomorrow for one day." said Johnson. "That’s how it feels, and that’s great. I love that. I love playing in front of friendly faces. But I think every draw is pretty good out here. It doesn’t really matter when we play or where we play. Everybody is good."

Since 1999, five of seven John Deere Classics have been won by first time winners. Just make sure no one tells the veterans that before Monday…

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GolfWRX AUA (Ask Us Anything): TaylorMade fitters are answering YOUR questions!

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With the downtime, #teamtaylormade are ready to talk golf!

Go to the link below to ask any TM specific questions you may have. TaylorMade fitters from across the US will be diving in the forums to answer questions, talk golf and get you dialed. Take this opportunity to go TM crazy.

Team TaylorMade fitters that will be participating:

  • Chris Clegg, Georgia
  • John Junkin, Pennsylvania
  • Lewis Schnauble, Maryland
  • John Tabor, Michigan
  • Freddy Villarta, California
  • Matt Zerishnek, Pennsylvania
  • James Albright, Arizona

Join the discussion here.

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Report: 2020 U.S. Open to be rescheduled due to Coronavirus pandemic

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@sport

This year’s U.S. Open will not go ahead as planned in June and will be rescheduled for a later date, according to a report from the New York Post.

Per the report, the plan is for the tournament to be played “later in the summer”, with the location of the event remaining at Winged Foot Golf Club.

Earlier this week, it was announced that Winged Foot Golf Club would be closing its doors indefinitely. The news came after New York governor Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order telling non-essential businesses to suspend trading immediately due to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. 

The New York area currently has 37,200 confirmed cases of Coronavirus as of Thursday 26 March.

Both The Masters and the PGA Championship have already been postponed due to the Coronavirus pandemic with plans in place to play both majors at a later date.

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Change my mind: The summer of ’06 was Tiger’s best ever

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The 2006 season was a tale of severe ups and downs for Tiger Woods. It started as a lot of seasons do for him, with a win at Torrey Pines and another at Doral. All things as we would expect from TW in the first run of the season.

Then, life happened in a brutal way that would affect all of us severely: on May 3, 2006, his father passed away. Earl Woods was not only Tiger’s dad but his best friend, most trusted confidant, and Tiger’s security blanket. The passing itself was not a sudden shock per se but regardless it was a hit to the heart and soul of a young man who was on the verge of becoming a father himself.

Leading up to his passing, Tiger had top 25s at Bay Hill and The Players and a T3 at Augusta. Not bad by any measure, but in comparison to the rest of his year, a downtick. Looking back it’s to be expected, and by normal human measures, his play was pretty solid.

In the aftermath of Earl’s passing, Tiger had his first missed cut in a major at the U.S. Open. Not shocking at all, considering how tough the course played and the long layoff leading in for TW. It would be like not swinging a bat for two months and your first at-bat is against Randy Johnson. I don’t care who you are, but the odds are stacked against you in a major way.

It’s at this point that Tiger started a run that I believe was the greatest of his career, maybe even in history.

The Cialis Western Open was his first tournament back, roughly a month after his missed cut at the U.S. Open. It was simply a warmup for TW with a T2 and some signs that his ball-striking was rounding into form.

It was at the 2006 Open Championship that every part of Tiger’s game rounded into form. Some say his performance at Royal Liverpool was his best ball-striking performance ever.

This is what his coach at the time Hank Haney had to say:

“Many consider that the best ball-striking tournament of Tiger’s career but given the fact that he didn’t hit woods I probably wouldn’t go that far but he was nearly flawless with the irons, he hit all the shots, high and low, left to right and right to left.”

The win at The Open that year was monumental even beyond the ball striking. The moment the final putt dropped for a five-stroke victory Tiger Woods, the man who had been a stoic brick house since day one, broke down in tears. Exhausted physically and emotionally, Woods melted into caddie Steve Willams’ shoulder and let it all go. It was a beautiful moment.

The five tournaments after the open were a display of play that I think will go unmatched…ever.

Just look at the results: These are consecutive starts mind you. Keep in mind that winning any tournament is exhausting, two in a row, Herculean…What is six in a row? Not of this planet. And four of them were against the best fields in the world.

If you do the math, he was a combined 109 under par for a tournament average of 18 under. Also, keep in mind that this run included two majors and two WGC championships. Just one of those wins designates a great year. Tiger had four in the span of six weeks.

His final tallies were

Staggering performance, given the fact that he missed a good portion of the year dealing with the death of his father, which changes people in so many ways.

I’ll get pushback on this, especially from those who say the 2000 run was the pinnacle, but I disagree.

But of course, I’m a reasonable man. So I say: Bring it on. Change my mind.

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