A July 4th celebration that ended in the wee hours of the morning and a nightmarish day of travel finally caught up with Cam Davis.
Just four days after winning the Rocket Mortgage Classic, his first PGA Tour title, in a five-hole playoff against Troy Merritt, the 26-year-old Australian dominated the rain-soft TPC Deere Run in the first round of the John Deere Classic on Thursday in Silvis, Illinois. With four birdies and an eagle through his first 11 holes, Davis led two strokes before his game turned sour.
Which is not surprising given that he stayed up until 2am on Monday, celebrating his Rocket Mortgage win with Five Guys burgers and a shake, and watching a replay of the finals. He would have recovered from this but crashed into a broken down plane the next day and had to drive more than 400 miles to get to the John Deere Classic. A couple of light days on the course on Tuesday and Wednesday charged the batteries a little.
While others stormed home – Chez Reavie and Camillo Villegas set the pace with bogey-free 7-under-par 64s and 2016 John Deere Champion Ryan Moore with 65 shots – Davis made two sloppy bogeys on his final five holes to 67 to shoot.
“The first 11 holes were pretty much just cruising like I did last week,” said Davis. “It was a bit scratchy towards the end, but the swing didn’t feel much different, only hit the ball in a few rough spots.
“I’m definitely a little more tired than after the first lap last week, so I’ll just take it easy this afternoon. I have a late start tomorrow, plenty of time to relax and hopefully I’ll be back to 100 percent by tomorrow and ready to go. “
Davis will have plenty of rest and relaxation next week. He was the first substitute for the British Open and would have entered the oldest championship in golf when Kevin Na retired, but he cannot leave the country.
“I got married in September last year and decided to start the green card process to make traveling in and out of the country so much easier,” said Davis. “But unfortunately I can’t leave the States while this is being processed. That means I can’t go next week, but I look forward to seeing my family and partying again in Seattle and recharging a little because this week is a bit of a chore.
“I’m pretty tired. It will be nice to relax. I really didn’t have any expectations for today. I wasn’t sure if I would continue to play well or if there would be a little lull after all, but I’m happy very much that it will continue like this. “
Reavie started with a new putter.
“I made it a little longer and lofted a little more and it looked a lot better to me on the floor,” said Reavie. “I think it was a little too lofty before, looked a bit to the left to me, so when it started to look better I putted really well.
“You definitely have to shoot deep. You’re going to have to do birdies. The biggest thing is just not doing bogeys. It’s easy to build bogeys when you hit it in the rough and if you don’t build bogeys you have many birdie options.
Villegas is in a good mood at the TPC Deere Run; He took his first PGA Tour paycheck here in 2004 and won $ 8,284.
“I remember tying the ninth hole to make the cut,” he said. “There are great people in this city. They put on a great show, they put on a great tournament. I love this place. I love this place.
“Every time you play you look back and say, ‘Man, I could have done this or that,’ but you could have done bogey here or there. They’ll never complain about a 7-under start, so I didn’t do bogeys, I gave myself chances and did a couple of putts here and there, and a solid start. “