Zach Johnson thinks he has a chance at winning the John Deere Classic title two years in a row. The Cedar Rapids native was at TPC Deere Run Tuesday for a practice round on the course, before the tournament gets underway on Thursday.
Johnson says he's confident going into the competition, and has seen his game improve.
"My golf game is in a much better form than it was at the beginning of the year," said Johnson. "I've said it a couple time, and I hate to admit it, my golf game was not where it needed to be early on in the year. And that was kind of just a process to get where I am now. I was off fundamentally more than I care to admit. I'm confident, and I'm playing decent golf."
The defending champion did a run-through of the course on Tuesday with fellow Iowan Steven Ihm. Ihm will be a senior at the University of Iowa, and received a sponsor exemption for this year's Classic.
Johnson says Ihm is a better golfer than he was at that age.
"The similarity was that we got sponsor exemptions, but that would probably be about it," said Johnson. "My resume as an amateur was pale in comparison to where his is already. That's where the similarities stop. I mean, he's already won a massive amateur event in Pennsylvania, and he's exempt for this, he's exempt for that. He's not even a senior in college yet."
If Johnson wins it all this weekend, he will be the fourth player in history to win the John Deere Classic in consecutive years. But with seven other top 50 competitors, and up-and-comers like Steven Ihm (I'm), the competition is sure to be a challenge.