Steve Stricker overcame a late surge from Kyle Stanley on day four of the John Deere Classic in Illinois to win the tournament for the third year in a row, with a score of 22-under par for the championship.
Stricker birdied the last two holes to claim the prize money in superb style, with some excellent recovery shots after losing the lead to Stanley who finished the day on 6-under and ended one stroke behind Stricker on 21-under for the championship.
Stanley found himself in the lead by two shots at the 16th put a par on the 17th and a bogey on the 18th gave Stricker the chance to come back into it, playing one hole behind Stanley.
It looked bad for Stricker on the 16th when a terrible lie in the bunker seemed to have doomed his hopes of claiming the John Deere title for a third consecutive year, after bogeying the 15th hole and double-bogeying the 5th.
Stricker pulled himself together however, and his recovery shot from the bunker limited the damage to another bogey.
The world number five then managed to birdie the 17th and after an absolutely brilliant shot from the bunker on the 18th, rolled in an up and down putt from just off the edge of the green to avoid a play-off and win the tournament in 72 holes.
Stricker got off to a good start in the first round of the John Deere Classic when he carded a 66 but it was Kris Blanks who set the pace on the first day with a superb eight-under par 63, after holing 10 birdies to leave him a shot ahead of the chasing pack, with Steve McQuillan, Davis Love III and Steve Marino all one shot behind.
Blanks was unable to follow up on his excellent first round score and finished the second day with on even par, while Chaz Reavie stormed to the lead after going one better than Blanks’ first round score, and shooting a 62 to top the leaderboard at 14-under; Stricker was not far behind him after carding a seven-under 64 and remaining two shot behind Reavie at the top.
Stricker showed why he loved playing at the TPC at the Deere Run on the third day when he took the lead with a score of 62, after shooting eight birdies and without dropping a shot all day, to leave him on 20-under par for the championship and two shots clear of Brendon de Jonge on 18-under.
By the end of the third day Kyle Stanley was on 16-under for the championship and his surge forward into the lead on the final day four consecutive birdies on the back 9.
He couldn’t quite hold his nerve however and allowed Steve Stricker to clinch the title for the third time in a row.
Sportsnewsireland.com will have live score updates on all GAA Championship matches over the summer.