The Norman Transcript

National Sports

July 13, 2013

Steady Johnson shares lead with pair of rookies at John Deere Classic

SILVIS, Ill. — Zach Johnson has evolved into one of the most consistent players the John Deere Classic has ever seen.

Johnson put together another steady round Friday, maintaining a share of the lead despite standout efforts from rookie Patrick Reed and Lucas Glover.

Johnson, the defending champion, shot a 5-under 66 to join Reed and Glover atop the leaderboard at 12-under 130 following second-round play.

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.

Reed shot a 63 in the morning session, just one year after missing the cut at TPC Deere Run — and Glover finished a shot better at 9 under on Friday.

Australia’s 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.

Consistency has been an issue this season for Glover, but he was just two feet from taking the lead outright heading into Saturday. He missed a 19-foot birdie putt on his final hole to join Johnson and Reed atop the leaderboard.

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.

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