Stricker repeats at John Deere Classic|
Silvis, IL (Sports Network) - He may not have set the PGA Tour scoring record,
but Steve Stricker did enough Sunday to repeat as champion of the John Deere
Stricker closed with a bogey at the last hole to scratch out a one-under 70
and beat Paul Goydos by two shots.
He earned his ninth tour title -- and second of the season -- with a 26-under
258, breaking the tournament scoring record by one shot.
It wasn't the only piece of history he made on a TPC Deere Run course that
yielded record scores throughout the week.
With three rounds of 66 or better, including a 60 on Thursday, Stricker set
the PGA Tour's 54-hole scoring mark on Saturday. He cooled off Sunday for his
worst round of the week and missed the tour's 72-hole record by four shots.
Stricker, who also won the Northern Trust Open in February. became the fourth
two-time champion of the season after Ernie Els, Jim Furyk and Justin Rose.
As for Goydos? He became just the second player in PGA Tour history to shoot a
59 and lose the tournament. He gave Stricker a run in the final round, but hit
into the water at the 18th and closed with a bogey to end two strokes back
after a 66.
Goydos, who finished at 24-under 260, became the fourth player in tour history
to shoot a 59 on Thursday. Chip Beck was the only PGA Tour player to shoot a
59 and lose, tying for third place at the 1991 Las Vegas Invitational.
The consolation prize for Goydos came in the form of a spot in next week's
British Open. He earned the exemption as the top finisher not already
qualified for the field.
Stricker was exempt prior to this week's tournament.
Jeff Maggert (70) finished six shots back at 20-under 264 despite making an
early run Sunday, while Shaun Micheel (67) took fourth place at 19-under 265.
How good was the 43-year-old Stricker this week? Sunday was his worst round by
four shots, but he still picked up four more birdies to give him 31 for the
That was just one birdie shy of the all-time tour record for a 72-hole event.
Stricker ranked second in total putts with 107, ending a sure-handed week that
saw him make only five bogeys.
"I did a lot of good things this week. I putted great, I hit the ball great
for three days. Today was a little spotty at times but I'm excited for (the
British Open) next week," said Stricker.
His opening-round 60 was a career-best on the PGA Tour, but it was only good
for second place behind Goydos' 59. It was the first time in tour history that
two players scored that low in a single round.
The tables turned on Friday when Stricker had a 66 to take a one-shot lead.
Stricker had a 62 on Saturday to extend that advantage to six strokes.
Things got dicey for him on Sunday even after he birdied the first two holes
for the second day in a row. Stricker made a bogey from the rough at No. 4 to
cut his lead to five shots.
His next birdie didn't come until the 10th, where he knocked his approach to
three feet. But Goydos was within four by then, remaining that close with a
six-footer for birdie on the same hole.
Stricker knocked his second shot into a bunker at the 11th and made bogey and
Goydos rolled in an eight-footer for birdie at the 13th to get within two
"When you see your lead dwindling, it gets to you," said Stricker.
But he managed to get past that.
Both players birdied the 17th -- Stricker from 13 feet and Goydos from six --
and the tournament was all but decided on the last hole when Goydos knocked
his approach into the water.
Stricker hit the rough for the second day in a row and closed with a bogey,
but it was enough for the win and a $792,000 paycheck.
Goydos finished the day with seven birdies and two bogeys for his best score
of the week since the 59 on Thursday. He earned $475,200 for second place, his
biggest payday since he tied for second place at last year's Travelers
Maggert had three birdies in his first eight holes and drew within four shots,
but he went two-over par the rest of the way and settled for third. It marked
his best finish since he won the St. Jude Classic in 2006.
NOTES: Stricker moved from No. 14 to No. 2 in the FedEx Cup standings behind
Els...Stricker successfully defended a title for the first time in his
career...David Frost held the previous 72-hole tournament scoring record of
259 set in 1993...Final round tee times were moved up to avoid expected bad
07/11 18:20:15 ET