Steve Wheatcroft leads the John Deere Classic after opening with a blistering 9-under 62. The journeyman Wheatcroft came into the week with conditional status on Tour and ranked 209th in the FedEx Cup in desperate need of a good week. Wheatie’s stellar round gives him a one-shot lead over Michael Kim and a two-shot cushion over Johnson Wagner, Whee Kim, Joel Dahmen and Nick Taylor. Full scores
Defending champion down
Last year's winner, Bryson DeChambeau, withdrew on Thursday with a shoulder injury. It was DeChambeau's first start since the USGA banned his use of a compass, and the rising star played 15 holes before calling it quits. DeChambeau plans to make the trip to Scotland and attempt to play next week's Open Championship.
The Hardy Boy
Former University of Illinois star Nick Hardy showed out on Thursday shooting a 5-under 66 to sit in a tie for 10th. The recent grad has made the cut in each of his three professional starts (2 Web, 1 PGA Tour) since turning pro. Hardy was the best of the John Deere high profile sponsor exemptions, followed by Illini teammate Dylan Meyer (-3), Norman Xiong (E) and Doug Ghim (+2).
Across the pond
An opening round of 63 gives Luke List the lead at the Scottish Open heading into Friday. The brawny American made nine birdies on his way to a one-shot lead across the pond. List has five top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour this season but is still looking for his first win. He is also looking to punch a ticket to Carnoustie next week. He leads a very compact leaderboard that includes Rick Fowler (64), Robert Rock (64), a resurgent Lee Westwood (64), Patrick Reed (65), and Tyrell Hatton (65). Full scores
The event of the week
The event drawing the most attention this week is the inaugural U.S. Senior Women's Open at Chicago Golf Club. Round one is in the books and Elaine Crosby leads at -3. The round of the day came from 79-year-old Hall of Famer JoAnne Carner, who managed to fire her age playing in the first group. The course played firm and fast, and watching low-running shots use the architectural contours was a refreshing change of pace.
FS1 will have coverage from Chicago Golf over the weekend, and to whet your appetite, check out our latest podcast with Chicago Golf historian John Moran and Superintendent Scott Bordner. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher and the website.
We will have a Chicago Golf Club video dropping this weekend, here's a teaser. Also check out our video with John Moran narrating the redan 7th and 12th punchbowl at Chicago Golf.
The other senior circuit
The Champions Tour is also in town at the Donald Ross-designed Exmoor Country Club for the Constellation Senior Players Championship. Leading the way are Kenny Perry and University of Illinois Head Coach Mike Small, who each shot 7-under. The pair holds a one-shot lead over Bart Bryant, Glen Day and Jeff Maggert. Full scores
Living the American Green
The latest post on the site is a profile on California Golf Club Superintendent Javier Campos. New contributor Trey R interviewed Campos and talked about Javier's distinct path to the Cal Club, life as a superintendent and much more. Full article.
Cameron Champ leads on the Web.com Tour after a ten-under 61.
The fifth hole at Augusta will be lengthened 30 yards and will now play 485 yards. Story
For anyone attending the Senior Women's Open today (Friday), I’ll be there. Come say hello at the 15th green at 2pm.