MILAN – For the second time in five years, Brad Adamonis found himself in a playoff to get into the John Deere Classic.|
Unfortunately for the 2008 JDC runner-up, he was on the outside looking in during Monday's 4-spotter at Pinnacle Country Club. Adamonis was one of three golfers who shot 5-under par and tied for the fourth and final spot for the Classic that starts on Thursday at TPC Deere Run.
The heartbreak for Adamonis came after Chris Naegel eagled the first playoff hole, hole No. 1, with a gutsy second shot.
From 265 yards away, Naegel pulled out a 3-wood and hit his second shot to within 18 inches of the cup. He tapped in for eagle after both Adamonis and Matt Thompson tapped their birdies.
"That was one of the best golf shots I've ever seen," said Adamonis on the way back to the clubhouse. "How can you beat that?"
Both Adamonis and Thompson sat about 275 yards from the green that was guarded on both sides by sand traps. They each hit the ball about 25 yards from the green and easily chipped within two feet of the cup.
Naegel, hitting third, wasted no time addressing the ball and punching his ticket to his first PGA Tour event.
"The wind was coming from the left, so I just hit it to the bunker and it came in perfect," said Naegel, who has one career victory on the eGolf Tour in 2012.
Ironically, Naegel was in the same spot three years ago, playing off at Pinnacle for a spot. He went conservative, getting a par on the playoff hole while his competitors birdied.
"Last time I played conservative, and played for a birdie," Naegel said. "I knew I could get a 3-wood there."
Naegel now is going to tee off with the big dogs. The St. Louis resident who plays at Meadowbrook Country Club is excited about his PGA debut but also keeping expectations relatively low.
"I just want to go out there and compete," Naegel said.
Also competing will be Justin Peters of Stuart, Fla. who led the tournament with a round of 8-under par. John Kimbell of San Antonio and Connor Arendell of Cape Coral were one and two strokes off of Peters' pace.
For Adamonis, there won't be a repeat of 2008 in the tournament that he still remembers fondly.
"I have my best memories in golf there," Adamonis said. "I feel like I've been playing really well; I just haven't put a lot of good rounds together in a row."
This is the second straight week he's missed the weekend tournament and a chance for money by a stroke.