Interview footage courtesy of WCIA Sports in Champaign, IL.
"Last year I was just playing with a sponsor's exemption. With those, you know if you have an opportunity you better seize it and you better play well, so there's a pressure with that, and you had to get it,"
There was no sponsor's exemption necessary for Luke Guthrie this time around. After earning his PGA tour card for 2013, he's taking a new approach in his second John Deere Classic.
"Its not like a celebration where you just get your card and drop a ball out here - you want to come out here ready to play and ready to get after it, not only to keep my card for next year but keep getting better and hopefully get a win and I still haven't got one yet,"
Luke has been all over the country this season, taking those opportunities to build towards his first win. He and his brother/caddie Zach have the gas receipts to prove it.
"We drove to the Congressional out in Washington two weeks ago, and then to Greenbriar and then back here so that was a pretty big loop, maybe 12 or 14 hours. Its not really that bad when you've got two drivers, you just take 3 shifts, you knock it out and we're there,"
Even with a pair of top 10 finishes this season, Luke admits he hasn't quite met his own expectations to this point. But a weekend in Silvis might help change that.
"I haven't had that awesome week or really good stretch of golf that I was hoping for, but this is traditionally the time of year that I've played well in the past, July through September, so I'm excited to get this stretch underway,"
That's not to say he hasn't made strides in his first full year on tour. Luke hopes the gains he's made since tying for 5th at last year's Classic will give him that opportunity to win it all on multiple Sundays.
"I've been proud of the way I've been consistent with the mental side of things and staying in it, staying in the process and being ready to play every day, so that's been positive. I've only been around the lead twice and I crave that. Its been a little unfortunate so I want to get up there again,"