Golf: Novotny brothers get a good look at John Deere Classic

Serve as ‘Honorary Inside the Ropes Observers’

Brothers Colten (left) and Wyatt Novotny brothers got to serve as “Honorary Inside the Ropes Observers" at the John Deere Classic.

Colton and Wyatt Novotny have played and seen their share of golf in their golf careers.

They got a real good view during the John Deere Classic.

The Novotny brothers got to serve as “Honorary Inside the Ropes Observers,” or “HIROs” for short, for Friday’s round. They received their own personal introductions.

They followed Ryan Palmer, Garrick Higgo and Tyler Duncan with Palmer making the final cut.

Wyatt, who will be a junior for the Bureau Valley golf team, said it was a great experience to share with his brother.

“It was just really inviting. A lot of nice people on that staff. They knew we were new and wouldn’t know anything and gave us advice. It was really fun,” he said.

Novotny used it as a learning experience to watch the pro’s game closely.

“It was a great experiences seeing the pros and just seeing them hit golf balls is really inspiring,” he said. “We dissected all their shots and process and stuff like that. I was really paying attention to their short game mostly, just seeing what kind of shots they played in different situations. And how they set up to the ball.”

Davis Thompson won the championship with a record -28 under 256 for a four-stroke victory to cash a cool $1.44 million prize.

“The field was way better than it was last year,” Wyatt Novotny said

The younger Novotny, 16, has been busy playing himself this summer, fine-tuning his game for this fall.

His first tournament was the Fyre Invitational at Fyre Lake in Sherrard, where his brother just happens to be in a field of mostly college kids.

“There were 60 college kids and I was the only high schooler in that, I believe. That was a really fun experience. Really a tough golf course the toughest I’ve ever played. But it was really fun.”

Most recently, he played at the Junior Nationals in Florida which he qualified for in his Under Armour Spring League in Chicago.

“I was there for two, 18-holes day. That was pretty fun as well,” he said.

Next up on the tee blocks, Novotny will be competing in the Illinois Valley Men’s Golf Championship on July 27-28 at Deer Park Golf Club and Mendota Golf Club.

Novotny finds his toughest golf right at home against his brother, who played at Maryville (Tenn.) College and just graduated. Colton Novotny was the 2017 BCR Golfer of the Year.

“Every summer we try to play at least 15 matches, just keep each other in check, making sure we’re getting better and it’s good competition,” he said.

So far, big brother knows best when it comes to their family matches.

“I’ve yet to beat him. So far he has my number,” Wyatt Novotny said. “So most of the matches we just do nine holes, some of them we do 18. But the two 18s we did last year, I beat him on the front 9, but he got me on the back. We have a couple more coming up, so hopefully I can catch him.”

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