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May 23, 2022

Patrick Flavin

Lucas Glover

Clair Peterson

Silvis, Illinois, USA

TPC Deere Run

Media Day Press Conference

CLAIR PETERSON: I'd like to introduce Pat Eikenberry, our 2022 volunteer chair, and give him a round of applause. This is the first time I've seen him without the harness. This is big right here.

PAT EIKENBERRY: If I grimace a little bit, you'll know that I probably should have left it on. For those of you who are counting, we are about 39 days out, so we're back. We're back strong. We're ready to go.

Good morning. On behalf of nearly 2,000 volunteers, the board of directors, the tournament staff, we thank you for being here today as we kick off the 2022 John Deere Classic. This will be our next 50 years.

A very special thanks to John May and John Deere for their 25 years of support at the John Deere Classic and their ongoing commitment. Our community is truly thankful to have such a title sponsor that's hung with us all the way.

We're proud to contribute $12.5 million to almost 470 charities in 2021 while still providing an 8 percent match from our bonus fund. That leadership, it was all Lee Garlach, board of directors, they did a fantastic job. Those of you that don't know, Lee was actually our chairman for two years in a row, and just come out with a stunning results, Lee, thank you.

Our amazing volunteers, the unsung heroes that are truly committed people, I feel blessed to have met them along the way. They're the heart and soul of our tournament. Our board of directors, our chairs, many of them are here today, all working all year long to give generously of their time, talent and resources. A dedicated and professional staff that understands under the leadership of Clair Peterson and now Andrew Lehman, our leading new initiative and helping us every year to grow and be the best on TOUR.

It takes TPC at Deere Run's team and a great grounds crew to put on a first-class event each and every year. Also it takes the support of our community, businesspeople small and large, who continue to partner with the tournament and help make us successful. Those of you that don't know it, the John Deere Foundation, one of our largest supporters, is committed to our partnership, which is key to the success of Birdies For Charity.

We also want to thank each of you in the media for helping us tell the stories and making them come to life, whether it's about volunteers, the players or our charities, we appreciate all of your work.

Here's a few stats on the tournament. The impact the tournament has continued to contribute over $144 million to charity since we began in 1971. The John Deere Classic ranks No. 1 per capita of events of this size. The tournament has received many awards over the years, including the tournament of the year award in 2016 and many awards for the most engaged community.

These results are a testament to a community coming together to improve the quality of life for all. I know I speak for the board and for the volunteers when I say we are each humbled and proud to be part of it. We look forward to seeing this tradition continue for another 50 years.

Lucas, we're very pleased that you're here today and excited. We know how busy you are, and welcome back to the John Deere Classic.

Last summer was so much fun. Let's relive the excitement.

CLAIR PETERSON: As some of you know, I do know all three verses to "King of the Road" if you'd like to hear that. (Laughter.)

I think we're going to give them a little more time to see that video, so in the interim, Patrick, Lucas, Barry, why don't you come up on stage. Again, we're so fortunate that Lucas is here and said yes. This doesn't happen all the time on the PGA TOUR when a champion makes the effort to come back. In addition to getting here at midnight last night, this afternoon he flies back to Dallas for The Colonial. Really cool.

Barry, you all know if you've been around the tournament -- you want to do it? Hey, cool.

(Video shown.)

CLAIR PETERSON: I forgot how wet it was on that Sunday. Without further ado, Barry Cronin is going to have a compelling conversation.

BARRY CRONIN: Thanks, Clair. I'm impressed that Matt Randazzo in the crew at WQAD had all those cameras out there following Lucas around when he was T12 going into that round. That was pretty good. I'm impressed.

Welcome, guys. I'll give a little background on both of you. Lucas obviously from South Carolina, went to Clemson, four-time winner on the PGA TOUR, including the 2009 U.S. Open, which was pretty good, and also won at Wells Fargo at Quail Hollow and beat his fellow Clemson alumni in a playoff, Jonathan Byrd, who also won the John Deere Classic in 2007. Pretty good. Last year obviously won the 50th John Deere Classic, so that was great.

Patrick Flavin, who is from the suburbs of Chicago, is an aspiring PGA TOUR pro like Lucas who got a sponsor exemption in 2002. Patrick got one this year. He'll be playing with us. He won the Illinois Open and the Illinois Amateur, won eight times at Miami University, and four-time all-MAC player.

These two guys obviously are among Clair Peterson's great sponsor exemptions. I'll go through a few of them. Lucas, U.S. Open winner; Bryson DeChambeau, U.S. Open winner; Jordan Spieth, who has won three of the four majors already; Justin Thomas just won his second PGA yesterday; and Jon Rahm and Jason Day, Patrick Reed. Clair does a pretty good job picking sponsor exemptions.

Yesterday Lucas finished T23 at the PGA Championship at Southern Hills, so congratulations on that. Just a little bit about that, Lucas, obviously it was a tough weather week. You seem to do well in tough weather weeks. You won the U.S. Open in 2009 basically in the mud. You won here in the mud. The three rounds that you put together last week were really good rounds in the mud. What's with you? You grew up in South Carolina --

LUCAS GLOVER: What did we say, 39 days until the tournament? I hope it rains. No, I don't know. I don't know what it is. I guess just makes you concentrate a little more, grind a little harder. I'm not sure of the formula. But it seems to be a good formula for me.

BARRY CRONIN: You started out tied for 12st last year in the final round, and it's pouring rain and it's miserable, and at a point like that, you might say, well, let's just mail it in, let's just get through this. At what point did you think maybe you could win?

LUCAS GLOVER: Making the turn. I got off to the good start, as we saw there, birdied 1 and 2, and got off to a good start, and finished the front nine just solid. Then making the turn, took a long look at the scoreboard and noticed nobody was really going too low, and just said, well, a lot of birdie holes on the back, and if we can get a couple, make some noise, post a number, and I thought that number needed to be 20, just with the great players behind us and the couple of birdie holes on the back, drivable 14 and then the 17th, par-5, et cetera, et cetera. It's just the mindset of how do we stay aggressive and try to post a number. That was kind of what I did.

BARRY CRONIN: I know it had been a while since you had won before, but did the experience of having won before kind of come back to you and form the decisions you were making and give you the hope that you could win?

LUCAS GLOVER: Yeah, it was a little different situation being five groups ahead because you never think it's enough. If you're in the second to last group or the last group, it's almost like, oh, just hang on. It's more aggressive when you're ahead the leaders like that. So that might have played to my favor being the situation I was in.

Yeah, one of those where you just keep the pedal down. Putting well, so let's just get on the green as quick as they can because they look like they're all going in today type of situation.

BARRY CRONIN: Patrick, you're a sponsor exemption this year like Lucas was 20 years ago, so you guys are bookended in here. What does it mean for you to get a sponsor exemption this year to play in the tournament?

PATRICK FLAVIN: I'd say it's a dream come true. I mean, I think growing up in Illinois like the John Deere Classic to me was always a major. It was a really big deal. Kind of watching guys like Zach Johnson and Steve Stricker win, guys from the Midwest who aren't overpowering people and I'm kind of a small guy, it was really inspiring to me.

BARRY CRONIN: It was inspiring to me, too. It's not helping but it is inspiring.

PATRICK FLAVIN: And then also sitting here next to Lucas, who 20 years after getting a sponsor's invite has won a major, four times on the PGA TOUR. It's like, I want to sit in that seat in 20 years. I believe in myself. I know I can take advantage of the opportunity. But to be chosen for a spot is an honor and I'm really grateful for it. I'm in a position to change my life.

It's just really, really cool, so I'm thrilled. I know my family and friends are going to come watch and also just the support from the community is just second to none. Again, it's a dream come true.

BARRY CRONIN: Lucas, do you remember when Clair called you or do you remember that conversation at all when you got it, or what?

LUCAS GLOVER: I do. I remember being very excited. It was my third start on the PGA TOUR. In 2002 I had no status, so it was a pretty big deal. I remember shooting 66 the first two rounds and being in maybe the second-to-last group and then being 23 years old didn't have a very good weekend.

BARRY CRONIN: You realized where you were on the leaderboard.

LUCAS GLOVER: Yeah, that whole thinking-about-it stuff. No, it was a great experience, and just at that point, similar to how Patrick, you're grateful for every opportunity, and thankful and just being able to do well to prove you belong and to prove you can play out here.

BARRY CRONIN: Like you said, you had no status, and Patrick really has no status. The PGA TOUR and the golf thing is very intricate, all these little rules and how you get to play and everything.

Patrick didn't get his Korn Ferry TOUR card last year, so he has to Monday qualify, which is go to these tournaments on Monday, which has got 120 guys who are really good players, many of them former PGA TOUR players, and he has done a pretty cool thing this year. He's Monday qualified three times and missed qualifying by one stroke on two other times, so he's really considered to be like a Monday qualifying God, kind of like Patrick Reed back in the day used to try to Monday qualify, and he Monday qualified six times. So doing it three times is really good.

Tell us a little bit about that, Patrick, not having any status, and how do you keep hope alive, I guess?

PATRICK FLAVIN: Well, it kind of started second stage of Q-school this past fall. I didn't get through, which was pretty demoralizing and definitely kind of a low place. Like Q-school is really tough. We were just talking about Lucas's Q-school story, birdieing the last hole to earn his PGA TOUR card. But yeah, that was kind of a tough spot.

I remember my dad reached out and he's like, hey, man, why don't you just go to the next Monday; if you make it through I'll come caddie for you, which was Bermuda. I actually Mondayed in, and he was out in Utah on vacation with my mom, so he had to find his way from Utah to Bermuda, and he came to caddie for me and I ended up doing really well, and that kind of put me on this path to doing these PGA TOUR Mondays.

I definitely didn't envision myself doing this, but yeah, I've done well in the Mondays. I think it's just kind of putting your head down and playing hard. I've always done a little bit better when the pressure is on, and the Mondays is kind of the ultimate high pressure because it's either you make it or you're going home empty handed.

BARRY CRONIN: What's your goal for this year? What do you have to do in order to -- why are you doing all this?

PATRICK FLAVIN: So if you get in the top 200 on the FedExCup points list you earn your spot in the Korn Ferry finals. So it's 126 through 200 on the PGA TOUR against 26 through 75 on the Korn Ferry for 25 more PGA TOUR cards.

BARRY CRONIN: You're doing all this to get into a tournament that you might lose, right, or not do well in, theoretically.

Well, Lucas, so you win last year, you've had great years when you haven't won, right. You make a lot of money, you finish top 10 a lot, and that's good. What's the difference between winning and just going out and having a good year on the TOUR? What are some of the perks and advantages of winning?

LUCAS GLOVER: Well, you get in the Masters. That's a perk. You get in the PGA, which we just finished yesterday. Two-year exemption, so fully exempt this year all the way through next season, and at least one week out of the year you get to look back and say, I beat all your behinds at the John Deere Classic last year.

I've always said the best feeling on the TOUR is the next week after you win. Every one of your peers congratulating you, whether they like you or you like them, everybody at least tells you congratulations, you and your caddie, and I think that's the coolest thing. Everybody you see the next week, hey, man, congrats, even if they were the biggest jerk on TOUR, they still say it.

BARRY CRONIN: There are jerks on the TOUR? That can't be.

LUCAS GLOVER: Yeah. Close the doors, turn off the camera.

I'm just kidding.

But I think that's the coolest thing about our profession is the next week everybody congratulates the winner. For Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday of the next week, everybody is jealous of the guy that won the week before. I don't know, it's just the way it is.

BARRY CRONIN: You played on the Nationwide Tour for a couple of years just like Patrick is trying to do. What's the difference between playing on a lower level tour and the PGA TOUR just as a younger guy?

LUCAS GLOVER: Nothing. Same game.

BARRY CRONIN: And same level of competition? How big is the difference between the level of competition?

LUCAS GLOVER: Not that big anymore. It was bigger when I was his age. But there's so many good players now, the competition isn't that different. It's just a bigger stage, more money on Sundays and different courses.

BARRY CRONIN: Maybe the proof of that is Mito Pereira, who almost won the PGA yesterday, won three Korn Ferry events, got a battlefield promotion, and his first tournament was the John Deere Classic. Then he almost won the PGA yesterday.

I know, Patrick, that you know Mito. He's a pretty good friend of yours. This is another part of the whole underbelly of the PGA TOUR. Patrick, a couple years ago you qualified for the Latinoamerica Tour and that's where you met Mito.


BARRY CRONIN: You didn't have a Latin American Tour, right?

LUCAS GLOVER: Oh, I did that also. But it wasn't affiliated with the TOUR then. I did the Q-school but never actually went down and played.

BARRY CRONIN: You've got to work on your Spanish. You could get there someday. Tell us about Mito.

PATRICK FLAVIN: So I met Mito actually at the Chilean Open. That was the first time I had played with him, and he's like the nicest guy in the world.

I played that Latin America Tour and got to travel the world, which was really cool. Yeah, I played with Mito a few times. Really, really nice guy and I think a really cool part of the PGA was seeing a lot of guys my age that were contending to win a major. I was rooting really hard for Mito. He's a good dude, but he handled it with such class, and I think that's something that's really, really hard to do.

I think he'll be back, but in terms of good people on the PGA TOUR, he is one, and yeah, I really valued that experience getting to see the world, getting to meet people from different cultures.

BARRY CRONIN: Speaking of meeting people, Lucas, you've played in a lot of pro-ams, as have you, Patrick. Do you have any memories about pro-ams, people you've met, bad golf that has been played or any little stories? Not that anybody here would be included in that group; you're all great golfers in the Quad Cities.

LUCAS GLOVER: I had a great experience at the Honda Classic this year. I got paired with an astronaut. Not joking. He got home like 30 days before I played with him. Robert - I'm going to butcher his last name - Lumbala (phonetic), I think. He's the longest tenured astronaut that still goes up into space.

We were talking earlier, it was the nine-and-nine pro-am format where you only get to play nine holes and I was the first guy and I was actually mad for the first time I didn't get to play all 18 because I had just started getting him out of his shell a little bit, and he captained a SpaceX mission and then he had just come back from a whole country mission.

So recently that was my favorite memory. And then he showed up at the Masters and followed me around a little bit. Just a super guy, and he told me some stuff you never think about like when you come back from space everybody gets two inches shorter.

BARRY CRONIN: Really? I thought it was just getting older.

LUCAS GLOVER: Yeah, well, me too. But when you go into space there's no gravity pushing down on your spine, so you actually grow two inches, and when you come home it compacts again because of gravity. He said the lower back pain and the compacting of the spine can last up to like two months. So he was just interesting to talk to.

But never met an astronaut. I thought it was a cool thing. It was like I was eight: I'm going to do that!

Yeah, but you meet tons of great people. Golf is different than any other sport because you get to see everybody's face, you get to see everybody's facial expressions, not football where you're hiding behind a helmet or baseball where you go in the dugout and yell and scream. It's a cool sport in that regard that you get to meet people and really get to know people and kind of learn how to read people, too, so it's pretty cool. We're blessed in that way that every Wednesday we meet three or four new people that are supporting the same thing we're supporting, whether it's a local community or a sponsor like the First Tee or the many charities we help out with. Very cool.

BARRY CRONIN: Did you ever play with any bad golfers?

LUCAS GLOVER: Yeah, a bunch.

BARRY CRONIN: Tell us about a few bad ones. This makes the audience fell better, that people are worse than they are.

LUCAS GLOVER: If you watched me Thursday you wouldn't be asking me about other people.

BARRY CRONIN: That wasn't the pro-am, either. But it wasn't the mud. You only play good in bad weather.

LUCAS GLOVER: Yeah, it should be the other way around.

Yeah, there's several bad ones, more than not. The worst ones are the ones that want to be a pro that think they're -- they want to play the back tees with you, what are we playing for. We're all actually a team. No, no, me and you, what are we playing for. No, bud, I'm not playing you for anything. If that was the case you would be up there with a group of amateurs like me, but you're back here with me, so I'm not playing you for anything.

Yeah, you see some interesting stuff, matching outfits, and -- yeah, don't do that.

BARRY CRONIN: You mean all four in the group?

LUCAS GLOVER: Yeah. Don't do that. Wear your own John Deere shirt with your own color, and no matching.

You're setting me up to really hurt some feelings here.

BARRY CRONIN: I know, I'm working on it. We're trying to draw the best out of you.

LUCAS GLOVER: I left all my honesty over there.

BARRY CRONIN: Patrick, you've played all over the world in Latin America and different countries, Chile, Peru, Panama. How do you work that out? Who plays in those pro-ams?

PATRICK FLAVIN: I mean, you meet all sorts of people, like you said. It's a really cool experience to get to travel the world. Fortunately I speak Spanish. I grew up in a dual language program, which I thought was kind of silly until I played the Latin America Tour and then it became super valuable.

Actually a good story was this December I was in Argentina, and I met this guy and he invited me over to an asado at his house, which I thought was like a dinner. It's like a dinner get-together. It turned out to be like 200 people and they were out until like 2:00 in the morning the night before the first round, and he was my ride home.

BARRY CRONIN: You mean they didn't have Uber?

PATRICK FLAVIN: There was no Uber. We were in the middle of nowhere. I've gotten to meet so many people, and everybody is so generous in South America. People are so friendly and so excited to introduce us to their culture. Got to meet a lot of really cool people, and yeah, that was quite the night out.

BARRY CRONIN: Is there a South American golf trail like they have in Alabama, like Robert Trent Jones trail or anything like that?


BARRY CRONIN: Do you have any favorite courses down there?

PATRICK FLAVIN: Yeah, my favorite course that I've ever played was the Olympic course in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. We had gotten a lot of bad press of that course. It was actually my first big trip out of the country was to Brazil, and it was amazing. We stayed right in the Olympic Village. Golf course was incredible, and I won the tournament, so it was all good.

LUCAS GLOVER: That always helps.

BARRY CRONIN: I think most people out here probably think, wow, I'd love to be a golf pro. You get to play golf every day. It's great; who wouldn't want to play golf every day, make a lot of money, travel around, people are nice to you, you get to play in these great pro-ams, meet people. That's the glamorous side of it, but Lucas, it's not easy. No job is that easy. Tell us some of the harder things about golf, how much you have to practice and the travel and everything.

LUCAS GLOVER: Well, Thursday is a great example. I got to the golf course at 5:15 and left at 6:15, 13-hour day, so it's not that great when you don't play well. Yeah, typical day on the road is you're out there eight, nine hours and then typical day at home for me is drop the kids at school and go to work out, go to the golf course and pick them up at 3:00, and then dad for the afternoon. Different situation, different challenges, different balances, but it's a job.

BARRY CRONIN: How much do you practice? How many hours a day? Kind of tell us about that.

LUCAS GLOVER: Five, six hours a day, five hours a day if I don't play. That's at home. On the road, it could be more, could be less. Tomorrow, for instance, play nine holes, practice, work out, so I'll pull probably six hours. Then if you're on the road a couple weeks, laundry and maintenance and toiletries and -- Clair calls us road warriors, and that's kind of what we are. It's a traveling circus and you've got to have -- unlike other sports we take care of our own expenses and there's no players' union to fight for us to get a private flight and stuff like that. It's a different beast. Yeah, typical practice day at home, five or six hours and then a workout, and then on the road about the same, maybe more.

BARRY CRONIN: When you practice at home for five hours, what are you doing? Is it an hour putting or is it -- how do you prioritize the things that you do?

LUCAS GLOVER: Yeah, it's pretty routine really. It's about an hour and a half of everything, and then add 20 or 30 minutes on top, you're struggling with it. But I'm 42 and my golf swing isn't going to change that much anymore, so it's more short game focused for me now. I don't have as many full swings in me. Got to save those for the road. But short game can't ever be too short, so work on that more than full swing now. But yeah, that's kind of the breakdown for me.

BARRY CRONIN: Patrick, you seem to be moving around a lot more, right. Lucas is settled, he's got his place and his exemption and you're probably just like, what am I doing next. How do you plan your life? That's the hard part of this, right?

PATRICK FLAVIN: Yeah, that kind of wears on you. You don't know where you're going to be and when. Basically planning on being at every Monday qualifier and then change your plans when you make it. If you top 10 you're into the next week. I also have some status on the Latin America Tour and the Canadian Tour. I'm playing this week on the Korn Ferry and I know I'm playing the John Deere, which is a big deal in my schedule, to have something on the schedule. Other than that, I have no idea where I'm going to be between this month.

BARRY CRONIN: How do you work out your practice then? Where do you go when you're on the road?

PATRICK FLAVIN: Yeah, you just kind of wing it. It's really nice when you get into these events because you appreciate so much how there's so many volunteers and people out there that are there to do everything for you, and it's definitely not like when you're playing a Monday qualifier or playing those developmental tours in general.

I think it's given me a great appreciation for when I do get into these events, and my plan is to go out and earn my full PGA TOUR card and just continue to appreciate how well you're treated when you're on the PGA TOUR.

I think sometimes you get treated so well, you stop to notice all the things that people are doing for you to be there, but it definitely weighs on you a little bit not knowing where you're going to be, but it's not easy to make the PGA TOUR, and those are sacrifices you have to be willing to make for sure.

BARRY CRONIN: We've mentioned the Korn Ferry TOUR, how good the players are out there, and you're going to play an event this week, right, the MV5 Invitational basically out of Chicago. Two of the last three winners, Scottie Scheffler and Cameron Young, obviously playing pretty well, and the guy who finished second two years ago was Will Zalatoris, so that's the event you're going to play. Good luck with that.

PATRICK FLAVIN: I appreciate it.

BARRY CRONIN: That will be a challenge, obviously.

PATRICK FLAVIN: Yeah, all the travel, a couple events in Illinois the next month is like a dream come true.

BARRY CRONIN: Right, because you've got a club in Illinois where you practice and you're able to go out and spend time like Lucas does, five, six hours and not have to be looking for the next plane out of town. Very good.

Anybody else have any questions? I'm running out.

You not only went to Miami, Patrick majored in quantitative economics. I don't know what that is. Maybe we should talk about that. Lucas, any ideas?

LUCAS GLOVER: I don't know. Make that four times bigger.

BARRY CRONIN: That's the deal. That's a good backup plan.

LUCAS GLOVER: Better than my communications degree, I can tell you that.

BARRY CRONIN: Yeah, me too.

Well, good, guys. Thank you very much. It was great talking to you. Thank you for being at the John Deere Classic, and we'll see you in 39 days.

LUCAS GLOVER: I hope it rains. (Laughter.)

CLAIR PETERSON: So we have a long history at John Deere Classic of -- we call it the oral history of the John Deere Classic, and there's stories that people tell and retell, and the latest is I have this horrible habit of forgetting to introduce people. It's legendary. It goes back -- it's not just because I've been doing this 20 years. It's legendary.

So Sarah thinks that I forgot to introduce her, but she's just the newest member of our staff. She feels like she's been there 10 years already, ladies and gentlemen, Sarah Hill. Stand up! It's such a better story now. Such a better story. I think it is time to retire. (Laughter.)

Anyway, thanks so much to Lucas and Patrick and Barry. Just so much fun to listen to you guys chat, get some insights.

For the media here, you'll have an opportunity to do one-on-ones. We're going to do that in the back room. For everyone else, feel free to stick around. There are hats and 50th anniversary books over here if you didn't grab one. Lucas is going to be here for a while if you want him to sign it, he'd be happy to do that. He's got a very elegant autograph. It's very cool.

Thanks, and thanks again, Lucas.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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