Nick Watney shakes hands with his caddie, Moline's Tony Navarro, after Sunday's final round of the John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run in Silvis.

The potential John Deere Classic storybook finish just couldn't be written Sunday afternoon at TPC Deere Run in Silvis.

PGA Tour pro Nick Watney — with Moline's Tony Navarro as his caddie — came into the final round of the $6 million event just two strokes off the lead and in position to potentially win his sixth Tour title.

Instead, his three-birdie, one-bogey round left him in a four-way tie for sixth place behind winner Dylan Frittelli.

“Pretty solid,” said Watney, who cashed $194,200. “Obviously not as well as yesterday (when he shot a 7-under 64), but I’m happy with the showing. I feel like I’m improving every day so I’m really looking forward to my next event.”

That will be in two weeks in Reno, but the Barracuda Championship (an opposite event of the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Classic) will have a totally different feel to it for the pair as they spent this past week at Navarro's Moline home.

Being able to host was a thrill for Navarro.

“It was a wonderful week, just couldn't ask for better,” he said. “We loved it and had a great time together. That was a lot of fun, and we had a good time.”

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So did Watney, who jumped from 107 to 87 in the FedExCup standings and solidified his status for the upcoming playoffs as well as job security for next year.

“As always, it’s a great event,” said Watney. “The community definitely supports it, and the golf course was pristine this year. It was a really fun week, and I look forward to the next time.”

And continuing a budding relationship with the veteran looper who got his start in his hometown back in the 1980s.

“He’s great. We’re really vibing right now,” said Watney. “It’s one thing to play when you’re 30th, but it’s another thing when you have a chance to win. We didn’t end up with a chance to win, but we started the day with a chance to win, and that’s when he really shines. Just need to get him back there again.”

And maybe back home a time or two more.


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