Zach Johnson out to shine at John Deere Classic

Golf
Zach Johnson and his caddie
Zach Johnson and his caddie

Zach Johnson hopes to boost his chances of a fifth consecutive Ryder Cup appearance in the John Deere Classic, a tournament at which he has a truly remarkable record.

Johnson has recorded seven top-five finishes in the last nine years at TPC Deere Run in Illinois, including a victory in 2012 which was followed by back-to-back runners-up finishes.

The two-time major champion was also fifth 12 months ago but has managed just one top-10 finish on the PGA Tour in 2018, leaving him 21st in Ryder Cup qualifying ahead of this year's contest at Le Golf National in Paris.

"If I want to be brutally honest, the beginning of the year my number one goal was the Ryder Cup team," Johnson told a pre-tournament press conference. "I feel like if I get on the Ryder Cup team everything else kind of falls into place.

"But I do know getting on that Ryder Cup team requires me to be focused and highly competitive each and every week. I feel like I'm getting close to that. Making cuts is not my goal. Winning golf tournaments is my goal. Like I said, everything falls into place if you win.

"This is also the last year for the World Golf Championships in Akron [the tournament moves to Memphis next year]. I haven't missed one of those since I've been on tour. I really like that golf course."

Johnson, who will look to extend his streak of 37 consecutive rounds of par or better in the event, will partner Steve Stricker and Wesley Bryan in the first two rounds, with defending champion Bryson DeChambeau playing alongside Ryan Moore and former Ryder Cup captain Davis Love.

Italy's Francesco Molinari, who is among the tournament favourites following his dominant victory in the Quicken Loans National, has been drawn with the American duo of Austin Cook and Scott Piercy.

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