Maverick McNealy (L) and Nick Hardy
SILVIS, IL (July 15, 2017) - Finishing T44 will pay your travel expenses, and then some. So as Maverick McNealy wrestles with a decision to turn pro (if he's still deciding) at least he knows he can compete at a mainstream PGA Tour event.
Today, playing with fellow amateur Nick Hardy of University of Illinois, McNealy posted 69 for a tournament total of 9-under. Both players started the day at 7-under and were tied through 10 holes. But Hardy bogeyed Nos. 11-13, while McNealy birdied No. 13 to play those same holes at 1-under. McNealy posted 69 for a tournament total of 9-under (T44) while Hardy shot even-par 71 to finish T56. Those finishes may not look fantastic, but both would have earned a paycheck,
which is more than former World No. 1 and 2016 U.S. Amateur champ Curtis Luck achieved this week -- he posted 1-under and missed the cut.
Both players are doing everything they can to stay in top form for the Walker Cup (to be played in September at Los Angeles Country Club) while gaining valuable PGA Tour experience. McNealy's spot on the USA team is secure, while Hardy is a top contender but needs a good summer to lock in his spot.
SILVIS, IL (July 15, 2017) - The two amateurs that made the cut at this week's PGA Tour John Deere Classic -- Maverick McNealy and Nick Hardy -- were tied after 36 holes. They played together in a threesome with former Georgia Tech star Richy Werenski on Saturday. On Sunday, they will play together again, this time in a twosome.
There isn't a silver medal for low amateur like the U.S. Open (which McNealy competed in this year and Hardy in 2015, 2016) but you can bet that these guys will be grinding.
both turned in solid rounds of 69 on Saturday, moving them to 7-under for the tournament. But as often happens on the second tier PGA Tour events (nothing personal John Deere Classic) rounds of 69 aren't good enough to make up ground. In fact both players slid from T29 to T44.
Still, getting a taste of a Sunday round and gallery on the PGA Tour is a great experience for both players, regardless of what McNealy's future professional plans are. Let's hope they can make some noise on Sunday.
SILVIS, IL (July 14, 2017) - Two of the three amateurs in the field will play all 72 holes at the PGA Tour's John Deere Classic.
and Nick Hardy
both turned in good rounds on Friday, moving them to five under for the tournament, good for T29 with two rounds to go.
McNealy, a recent Stanford graduate who will tee it up in the British Open at Royal Birkdale next week, added a solid three-under 68 to his opening 69 on the par-71 TPC Deere Run.
McNealy played the first 30 holes of the tournament bogey-free and got to six under before making a couple of bogeys and a birdie coming in.
Hardy started the day at even par but turned in a five-under 66, the sixth best score of the day. The key to his tournament may have actually come in the first round, when he birdied the last two holes to get to even par and salvage his round.
His University of Illinois teammate wasn't as fortunate. Dylan Meyer, who came into the tournament #2 in the Golfweek/AmateurGolf.com World Rankings
, started the day at one under par, but could never get any momentum, making three bogeys against two birdies and finishing with a 72 for an even-par 142 total, missing the cut by two shots.
McNealy and Hardy will play in the same group for Saturday's round three, alongside tour professional Richy Werenski. The three go off the tenth hole at 9:30am.