World number 114 Steve Stricker said he is hoping his love affair with TPC Deere Run can help him out of a slump.
Steve Stricker said he is hoping his phenomenal record at the John Deere Classic can help him rediscover some form on his slow return from injury.
Stricker is a three-time champion at TPC Deere Run, completing a hat-trick of titles in 2011 - and he has not finished worse than 11th in the three years since.
Now 48, Stricker's 2015 season has been limited after undergoing back surgery for a bulging disc in December - starting in just six stroke-play events since returning at the Masters.
Stricker said his rendezvous with the course in Silvis, Illinois could be just the tonic for the tournament aggregate and par score record holder.
"I came here last night and I played nine holes real late," Stricker told a news conference.
"I teed off maybe 17:30, 18:00. It was great to get out there, just my caddie and myself, and we got a lot of good work done. I hit the ball great.
"So it definitely puts a spring in my step when I come here, and I look forward to seeing if I can't get something going.
"I haven't done much this year, and I think I've played six times is all, so that's been a little bit of an issue, too.
"But it's always fun, and I get jacked up to come and play [here], and I look forward to teeing it up tomorrow."
Defending champion Brian Harman is back to defend his maiden success on the illustrious US tour, but said conditions were not as he hoped heading into round one.
"I went and played nine yesterday [Tuesday], and I was really surprised at how dry it was. We had so much rain on Monday," the 28-year-old said.
"But it looks like it's going to be in good shape and hopefully it'll firm up and get real fast this weekend."