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Chez Reavie Is Back From Injury & Ready To Play Golf

Joining the 59 Club would be nice, but Chez Reavie is happier to be in contention at the John Deere Classic.

On Friday, Reavie flirted with shooting a 59 at TPC Deere Run — a year after Paul Goydos did the trick in the opening round — but settled for a 9-under 62 that gave him the 36-hole lead at 14 under.

"I was joking with my caddie, picturing me holding the little ball like Goydos was," said Reavie about the prospects of going sub-60. "I saved some poor shots and made good par shots and hit some good shots and made birdies. So it's always fun when you do that."

Reavie, 29, the 2001 U.S. Amateur Public Links champion and 2008 RBC Canadian Open winner, is attempting to make up for lost time. In June 2010, Reavie underwent reconstructive surgery for a torn anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus in his right knee and that ended his competitive season.

"Obviously it was kind of gradual," said Reavie of the rehabilitation process. "I went three months without any swings at all, and then I'd hit 10 sand wedges and see how the knee would handle it. Then I'd hit 20. And I hit a couple 9-irons.

"I was a little more aggressive with it than my doctor told me I could be. But that's just kind of my nature. I didn't really tell him until after I did it and everything was fine. Then I told [the doctor] what I'd done."

As a result of being sidelined, Reavie's exempt status was put in jeopardy.

He began 2011 on a major medical exemption, needing to earn $673,983 in 13 starts to become fully exempt for the remainder of 2011. Right now, Reavie is playing in the top 126 to 150 money list category. A top-five finish this week would ease a lot of his concerns.

"At first I was kind of counting my starts and counting how much money, and I was so stressed about thinking about that I wasn't thinking about golf so much," said Reavie, whose best 2011 finish has been a tie for fifth at the Crowne Plaza Invitational. "So after about five or six tournaments at the beginning of the year I just said, 'To hell with this. I'm just going to go play and wherever I finish up, I finish up,' and then I started playing better golf."

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