As she placed her ball on the first tee at TPC Deere Run—with 2019 John Deere Classic champion Dylan Frittelli and John Deere chairman and CEO John May looking on—Allison Farrell took a deep breath and lined up her shot. If she was nervous—and she was, a little—you couldn’t tell.
"I just had to keep cool," she said, "and take a couple of deep breaths."
Farrell, a module leader at John Deere Cylinder Works, won the company's first ever Take the Tee for Me contest, which was open to Deere employees in the Quad Cities, and golfed in May's place at the John Deere Classic Pro-Am Wednesday. It was, for her, a dream come true.
And how did that first shot turn out? It was, without question, a gorgeous drive—one that landed right in the middle of a perfectly manicured TPC Deere Run fairway.
"We (her foursome) ended up using my first shot off the tee," Farrell recalled. "I'm very happy with that."
So was the gallery, which included a large contingent of her family, friends and members of the Geneseo (Illinois) High School girls golf team, which Farrell coaches.
"It's so cool! I have a great support system, I've always known that, but it's awesome to see them here today," Farrell said.
May, whose advice for Farrell was "hit 'em long and strong," came away impressed.
"I set out to help pick the right club and offer sound advice—but she didn't need any from me!" May said. "Before we teed off, she shared she hoped young girls would see her on the course and be inspired. I can certainly attest we all were, Allison."
Farrell's favorite moment of the day was, ironically, her very first moment of the day.
"It would have to be back at the first tee, getting announced on the tee box with all of my friends, family, and golf team there," she recalled. "It was all much more than I ever could have imagined. I had such a great time with all of our customers and with John.
"It was incredible."