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PGA Tour
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 Classic.

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 tournament.

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 strokes.

"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 Championship.

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 weather.

07/11 18:20:15 ET

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