Former Hawkeye Golfer Ihm Has Big Week At John Deere Classic

By Mike Hlas, The Gazette

SILVIS, Ill. — Steven Ihm surely learned a lot of valuable lessons in his golf tournament as a professional, but the most valuable was this:

If you play well enough, they give you money.

Ihm’s final-round 68 gave him a 72-hole score of 10-under-par 274 at the PGA Tour’s John Deere Classic, and left him in a tie for 27th place. That put the newly minted pro from the University of Iowa a tie for 27th place, good for a payoff of for $30,628.

“Probably put it in the bank real quick,” was Ihm’s answer when asked what he’d do with the 30 grand.

That answer was as sound as his game here. It was quite the opening splash in pro golf after twice being a first-team All-Big Ten player and five times being the Big Ten’s Golfer of the Week.

Ihm not only shrugged off an opening-round 73 to come back with a 65 on Friday to make the 36-hole cut, but strung together a pair of 68s on the weekend to move up the scoreboard.

For the second-straight year, he got into the JDC on a sponsor’s exemption. Based on how well he played and how many fans he helped bring to the tournament, he earned his berth.

“It was an awesome week,” Peosta’s Ihm said. “Just a big thanks to the John Deere guys for allowing me to play this week and really showcase my game. It was a super-fun week. I thought I played pretty well.”

Now comes the world that nearly all golfers face after turning pro out of college. That involves trying to find places to play. There won’t be any other PGA Tour events offering Ihm exemptions.

“Next will be probably the Waterloo Open next week,” he said, “and then I’ll have some Monday (qualifiers) for the Web.com (Tour), and hopefully I’ll be playing in those.”

Ihm said the Greater Cedar Rapids Open on July 24-26 is a possible tourney for him if he doesn’t Monday-qualify for that week’s Web.com Tour event in Overland Park, Kan.

l Comments: (319) 368-8840; mike.hlas@sourcemedia.net

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