OTTUMWA – A strong showing and a nice payday were the results of former Indian Hills golfer Steven Ihm's professional debut at the John Deere Classic over the weekend.
Ihm, who played on IHCC's 2011 national tournament team, turned pro after completing his senior season at the University of Iowa this spring. Competing at the JDC after receiving a sponsor's exemption, the Peosta, Iowa, native had three consecutive under-par rounds and wound up tied for 27th place with a four-day total of 274. That netted Ihm $30,628 for his weekend's work.
"It was an awesome week," Ihm said. "Just a big thanks to the John Deere guys for allowing me to play this week and really showcase my game. It was a super fun week. I thought I played pretty well."
"You've got to make money somehow. If I can do it by playing golf, that's pretty fun."
Ihm opened with a two-over par 73 on the 7,268 yard TPC Deere Run course and then shot a blistering six-under 65 on Friday. He followed with back-to-back 68s to wind up in a ten-way tie for 27th.
A five-under par 30 on his second nine holes on Friday allowed Ihm to make the cut. He had six birdies in that nine-hole stretch and only needed 13 putts for the round.
There were only two scores better than Ihm's 65 in the second round – a 63 by Tim Clark, who finished in a tie for fifth, and defending champ Jordan Spieth's 64. Ihm played a practice round with Spieth early in the week.
Ihm also competed in the John Deere Classic last year, under a sponsor's exemption, and narrowly missed the cut after rounds of 71 and 69. Ihm plans to stay close to home for his next tournament.
"Next will be probably the Waterloo Open (this) week," Ihm said of his future plans. "Then I'll have some money for Web.coms maybe the two following weeks, and hopefully I'll be playing in those."
As for what he plans to do with the $30,628 check he received in his professional debut?
"I'll probably put it in the bank real quick," Ihm said.