Illini's Meyer ready for first PGA Tour round

Illinois senior Dylan Meyer one of five current/former Illini in the field

SILVIS -- Just a few short weeks ago, Dylan Meyer made the cut in his first career professional event at the Lincoln Land Charity Championship. This week is a little different though. The John Deere Classic is the first PGA Tour event for Meyer, who is playing on a sponsor exemption against some of the top players in the world.

"Yeah there's nerves but I expect to be here," Meyer said. "This is kind of the moments I've looked forward to. I'm excited to be in this position. You just can't look at it too much as, 'Wow this is a PGA event.' You just got to prepare for it like it's another tournament and go out and do the best you can."

Although the nerves are obviously there, that's not taking away from Meyer going for it all this weekend. 

"Final group, you know," the Evansville, Indiana native said. "Everyone is going to laugh but it's kind of a dream that I want to have, it's not really a dream but I feel like if I play well I can be in that position."

While the results haven't been up to his expectations this summer, his play is close, saying he just needs to tweak a few things before the results show up. 

"I got a couple weeks off where I was able to get some good practice in," he said. "(I) spent a couple days in Champaign before this. Getting to work at the facility is kind of nice to get in my own little world before I could come here. And I'm feeling pretty good about my game."

There are four other Illini in the field this week, including Myers' teammate Nick Hardy.  Illinois head coach Mike Small said he told the guys to focus on playing well but to also have fun.

"I say embrace it," Small said. "You just enjoy it, compete, do what you've learned here. Don't get outside who you are, don't try to be somebody you're not. Take what you've learned and see where you stack up and you might just surprise yourself, I think they might."

Other former Illini in the field include Brian Campbell, DA Points and Steve Stricker. Round one tees off on Thursday morning, with Meyer on the first tee at 8:50 a.m. Hardy follows 10 minutes later. Campbell starts his play on No. 10 at 8:50 a.m., Points follows on the 10th later at 1 p.m. Stricker is set to play in a feature group alongside Bubba Watson and Kevin Kisner at 1:10 p.m. on the first hole.


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