Madison’s Steve Stricker entered the final day with the lead and made the turn
at the John Deere Classic with a 5-stroke advantage. But instead of coasting to victory, Stricker made life interesting and pulled out a dramatic victory.
Stricker got some tough breaks and failed to make some shots, allowing rookie Kyle Stanley to take a 2-shot lead with 2-holes left to play. But when Stanley cooled off just a bit, Stricker birdied the final two holes for his 3rd straight John Deere Classic victory.
Stricker had to make some clutch shots to get to the winner’s circle. It was his 6-iron from a fairway bunker with an awkward stance to boot that left his ball on the fringe at 18, some 25-feet from the hole. After eyeing up the birdie putt, Stricker drained it for the win, his 3rd straight at the John Deere.
Stricker shot a final round 2-under par 69 to finish 22 under for the tournament, 1-shot better than Stanley.
The 44-year old Stricker has now won 11 times on the PGA Tour, including two times this year. Eight of his wins have come since he turned 40 years of age.
Stricker became just the eighth player since World War II to three-peat and moved up to No. 2 in the FedEx Cup point standings.
Stricker this week will play in golf’s third major, the British Open.