Stricker sets 54-hole PGA record at Deere Classic

By Associated PressJuly 11, 2010, 2:23 am

2006 John Deere Classic

SILVIS, Ill. – Steve Stricker continued his sizzling play at the John Deere Classic on Saturday, pulling away from the field with a 9-under 62 for six-shot lead heading into the final round.

Stricker’s mastery of the TPC Deere Run course left at 25-under 188 for the tournament, the best 54-hole score in PGA Tour history. With a 65 Sunday, he’d break the 72-hole record of 254.

So dominant was Stricker that Jeff Maggert shot a 63 and lost ground. Paul Goydos, golf’s latest Mr. 59 after a magical round on Thursday, played well enough to keep pace in most tournaments, just not this one.

It would be hard for anyone to keep up with Stricker the way he’s playing.

The 43-year-old from Madison, Wis., hit accurate approaches to give himself short putts for birdies in most cases and he deftly extricated himself the only two times he got in trouble.

As well as he played, Stricker’s round was just his second best of the tournament. He opened with a 60 and followed that with a 66.

So just what’s going on here?

“If I knew, I would bottle this,” Stricker said. “I don’t know what’s going on.”

Maggert, who started the day five shots behind Stricker, was at 19-under 194 and tied with Goydos, who trailed Stricker by just one stroke going into the round. Playing in the last group with Stricker, Goydos saw his deficit grow steadily as his partner drilled one birdie putt after another on the back nine.

Former PGA Champion Shaun Micheel also shot a 63 – and found himself 10 strokes off the lead. Rocco Mediate made a hole-in-one and an eagle en route to a 64 but trailed by 14. Matt Jones wriggled into fourth place with a 66 that left him 16 under.

“Stricker’s nine in front of me, so you’d have to have something miraculous happened to him,” Jones said. “That’s not going to happen the way he’s playing, so my goal now is to play for second.”

Still, Stricker remained wary. He had a six-stroke lead on the final day of the Northern Trust Open earlier this year and ended up winning by two.

“This course yields low scores, so you gotta be cautious that somebody can come from behind and post a low one and catch you,” he said. “So that’s going to be my mindset – play my own game and try to make as many birdies as I can.”

Mediate’s early score and those of Vaughn Taylor (64), Kenny Perry (65) and Gary Woodland (65) indicated that the course – the greens in particular – again was ripe for scoring.

“They would hold anything you threw in there,” the 49-year-old Perry said of the greens. “It’s definitely a birdie fest out there right now.”

It certainly was for Stricker.

He has 27 birdies for the tournament, giving him a shot at the Tour record of 32 for a 72-hole event, a mark shared by Mark Calcavecchia and Paul Gow.

Stricker broke the 54-hole record of 189 shared by Calcavecchia, John Cook and Tommy Armour III. Armour also holds the 72-hole record, in the 2003 Texas Open at The Resort at LaCantera, a par 70 course.

“Anytime you set a record it’s a nice thing to do,” Stricker said. “It’s cool and something you can reflect on later in life.”

For now, his thoughts are on maintaining his lead, which ballooned after he and Goydos matched each other shot-for-shot through nine – three birdies and five pars. A tense duel of accurate shot-making and crisp putting was going to come down to who faltered first.

It turned out to be Goydos, who missed an 8-foot birdie putt on No. 10. Stricker then birdied four of the next five holes, including a 31-footer on No. 12, to distance himself.

He drilled a 23-footer on 15 to go 24-under, but his approaches to the greens were so accurate that his seven other birdie putts all came from inside 10 feet. That included an easy 15-incher on No. 11 after he stuck an 8-iron from 170 yards.

“I’ve been putting the ball really well and I just try to get it on there in a good spot so I have a birdie putt,” Stricker said. “And I’ve given myself a lot of opportunities.”

Stricker didn’t get into any trouble until the last two holes.

He drove into the rough on the par-5 17th, then hit his second shot into a green side bunker.

Stymied?

Hardly. He blasted out to 4 feet and birdied the hole.

On 18, Stricker drove into a stand of trees and punched out into the fairway, his ball landing in a divot, 100 yards from pin. He had left the course with a sour feeling Friday after a missing a 2-foot par putt on 18 and was staring at another disappointing finish.

But his wedge from 100 yards stopped 7 inches short of the hole and he closed out his round with a tap-in.

“You never want to end with a bogey,” he said. “After I hit my poor drive, I played the hole smart. I just wanted to give myself 10 feet or under and get a putt at it. It was a good way to finish.”

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.


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Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.


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