Stricker Wins John Deere Classic

Steve Stricker has won back to back John Deere Classics today holding off a late charge from Paul Goydos.

Stricker finished the event on a very impressive 26-under which saw off challenges from Paul Goydos and sees the first time Stricker has successfully defending a tour title. His low score also took him joint second in the record books for the most birdies in a 72 hole tournament with 31. In 2001 both Paul Gow and Mark Calcavecchia managed 32 birdies at Phoenix and B.C respectively.

“It’s a position you want to be in, with a big lead, but you know you have everything to lose,” Stricker said. “This is the exactly the same way I felt at Northern Trust. It was difficult. It’s a hard round to play.”

Goydos had made a late surge on the final day by reducing Strickers lead to just two strokes but was unable to capitalise when Stricker carded a bogey on the 17th as he found the water on the 18th.

The American finished the day with a 66 for an impressive tournament finish of second on 24-under. Stricker’s nervy last day of 70 ensured that he took the title but was in retrospect disappointing after record breaking rounds over 54 holes.

The rest of the top included Jeff Maggert who finished the day third six strokes off the pace after equalling Strickers round of 70, former PGA champion Shaun Micheel who finished the day with a 67 finishing fourth and the highest non American Matt Jones rounds up the five.

As well as the title the John Deere Classic offered the highest non exempt St Andrews Open player the chance for a late qualification at the home of golf. Second place Paul Goydos is rewarded for his exceptional 59 on the opening day to earn the spot.