Rejuvenated Green takes lead at John Deere
BY Bruce Young | US PGA Tour | 2007 John Deere Classic | Round Two | 14 Jul 2007
A two putt birdie at the 17th hole of his second round at the John Deere Classic took a revitalised Nathan Green to a one shot lead over Carl Pettersen and Jason Dufner and a solid par at the last confirmed his lead as day two drew to a close.
Green returned to the PGA Tour after a three week break back in Australia where he spent time with family and friends and working on his house, which had received a little damage in the recent Newcastle storms.
“At the completion of the US Open and in fact during it, I had reached a point where I was really struggling with my concentration and focus. I tried to remain patient there but I was getting angry with myself with anything that went wrong and realised I was at a point where I needed a break,” said Nathan on his website www.greenygolf.com
Green hardly touched a club during his break and only began hitting balls late last week before flying back to play this week’s event. It is the second time Green has played this event, having finished 47th in 2006.
“I loved the event last year,” said Green after his round. “It’s just one of those really good, fun events that has a lot of local backing, and for one of the smaller places we go to, you get a lot of real good crowds. It’s a good fun golf course where it seems like you can make a lot of birdies and get rewarded for good golf. I know it was one of the first ones for me to come back to on the schedule this year. I love it up here. It’s good.”
Green’s eight under par round of 63 started with consecutive birdies at his opening holes, all but holing his approach at the first. A chip and a putt from just off the green at the second quickly had him at two under par. He continued to knock it close on many occasions throughout his round, the only time he appeared in trouble was at the par four 15th when his tee shot found the right rough but he was able to save par from well short of the green.
Green has opened up an opportunity to gain a late start at the Open Championship next week. The leading player inside the top ten in this event, not otherwise qualified for Carnoustie, will be gain a place in the Open Championship field.
First round, leader Neil Lancaster, is alone in fourth place.
Defending champion, John Senden, had a disappointing lead up to his visit to Carnoustie next week, missing the cut by nine shots.
The next best of the Australians is West Australian, Michael Sim, who produced a round of 67 to be in a share of 17th place at 6 under while Paul Gow, Steve Allan and Brisbane’s Bronson Lacassie are at 5 under and in 23rd place. La Cassie in his very first PGA Tour event was round in 66 today to easily make the cut in an impressive debut.