SILVIS, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — Walking past the players he sees on TV every week, David Perkins is starting to realize the moment is here.
The East Peoria High School grad is playing in a PGA Tour event.
“You’re warming up, people saying ‘good luck.’ You can definitely feel it setting in a little bit,” Perkins said during his practice round at the John Deere Classic Tuesday. “I’m sure Thursday will bring a different feeling I haven’t had before.”
After an All-American season at Illinois State, Perkins is playing in his first PGA Tournament, just months after he turned professional. The 23-year-old, who received a sponsor exemption to play in the tournament, is trying to balance the excitement of being alongside the best players in the world while trying to prove he belongs here.
“It’s a really cool experience. Just being here, like on 18 green where the stands are, you can envision people, that’s where it’s like ‘Wow, this is pretty cool.’ At the same time, you’re focused on getting your prep done and make sure you’re ready,” said Perkins.
He has a 2:11 p.m. tee time in Thursday’s opening round and an 8:46 a.m. tee time Friday.
For years Perkins came to the Quad Cities to watch the John Deere Classic with his parents and friends. This week his parents and friends will be watching him play in the tournament.
And he says that’s still hard to believe.
Its going to be cool to look around and see them out there but to also focus on what I’m doing. Having them (around), hopefully a little noise can help me feel comfortable. It should be cool to see,” Perkins said. “Could be a decent little crowd so if you’re coming, don’t be afraid to say hi.”
And don’t be afraid to pull for a guy who’s having the biggest week of his golf life.