For Chez Reavie, the mental aspect of overcoming knee surgery was tougher than the physical work of rehabilitation.
He didn’t get comfortable on the golf course again until he stopped thinking about his rebuilt right knee.
Reavie, who had surgery on June 1 last year for a torn ACL and meniscus, relied on near-flawless putting yesterday to shoot a 9-under-par 62 and claim a two-stroke lead at the John Deere Classic in Silvis, Ill.
“I knew if I just got it on the green somewhere, I really had a good chance of making a birdie,’’ he said.
It was a sharp contrast to the way he played early in the year, when he missed the cut in three of his first five tournaments. Reavie blamed those struggles on worrying too much about his knee and everything he missed while sitting out for eight months.
“At first I was kind of counting my starts and counting how much money [I wasn’t making] and I was so stressed about thinking about that I wasn’t thinking about golf so much,’’ he said. “So after about five or six tournaments at the beginning of the year, I just said, ‘To hell with this, I’m just going to go play and wherever I finish up, I finish up.’ Then I started playing better golf.’’
Reavie found the greens at TPC Deere Run to his liking while making an eagle and a succession of birdie putts, going 8 under during one nine-hole stretch. He went into the weekend at 14-under 128 in search of his first victory since the 2008 Canadian Open.
Steve Stricker shot 64 to finish 12 under in his bid for a third straight victory in the tournament. Steve Marino (66) also was 12 under.
Reavie was playing so well he had his sights on a 59 after he birdied his 16th hole of the day, the par-3 No. 7, to drop to 10 under for the round.
John Daly was on track to make the cut for the first time in seven appearances here after an eagle on his 11th hole of the day, the par-5 No. 2, left him 2 under for the tournament. But two holes later, he sent his tee shot into thick grass right of the fairway, hacked at the ball seven times while advancing it only a few feet on each try, finally took a drop and ended up with a 13. Daly finished with an 81 that left him 11 over.
European - Storms brought an early end to the second round at the Scottish Open in Inverness, with Graeme McDowell in a three-way share of the lead. McDowell shot an 8-under 64 in perfect conditions in the morning and was tied with Scott Jamieson and Peter Whiteford at 11-under 133.
Champions - Russ Cochran made six consecutive birdies and shot a 7-under 65 to take the first-round lead at the First Tee Open in Pebble Beach, Calif.
Canadian - Joel Dahmen, playing in his second tournament since finishing chemotherapy for testicular cancer, shot a 7-under 65 to take the lead at 12-under 132 after the second round of the Dakota Dunes Open in Saskatoon. Dahmen, 23, was diagnosed in March and had surgery in May.