FootJoy ambassador Steve Stricker closed with a final round 1-under 70 to narrowly defend his title at the John Deere Classic. Stricker, who wore custom DryJoys through the MyJoys program and a Pure Touch Limited glove, saw his six shot overnight lead wilt to just two but was able to hold on and defeat fellow FJ player Paul Goydos (FJ ICON style #52062, SciFlex). Inclusive of Stricker and Goydos, 13 of the top 14 players on the leaderboard trusted FJ. Playing without the same razor sharp precision that had allowed him to record the lowest 54--hole total in PGA Tour history, Stricker played safe most of the day. However, he came through with a clutch birdie after driving into the trees on No. 17 and finished with a 26-under 258 total - a new record for the tournament.“You don’t want to give shots away and then you end up playing a little safer than you normally do and it leads to tougher birdie putts,” Stricker said. “Then they creep in closer because they were playing some good golf.”Goydos, who dazzled the golf world with his 59 in the opening round, shot a solid 66 but still fell short of dethroning Stricker, who won for the ninth time in his career. Both players boarded a plane Sunday night for Scotland and will compete in the Open Championship at St. Andrews this week. “Strick was hard to catch,” Goydos said. “I tried and kept pushing and chipping and grinding and biting at him and doing what I could. But in the end, the putt he made on 17 was a world-class putt. That’s what top five players do, that’s what Ryder Cup players do.”
For the fifth consecutive week, a FootJoy player claimed victory on the PGA TOUR as Steve Stricker (SYNR-G style #53883, PureTouch Limited glove) closed with a 1-under 70 Sunday for a two-shot victory over fellow FJ player Luke Donald (FJ ICON MyJoys) at the Northern Trust Open.Stricker finished with a 16-under 268 total and won for the eighth time in his career and the fourth time in his last 15 starts. He also moved up to No. 2 in the world golf rankings for the second time in his career. Stricker didn’t make it easy on himself, having to grind for pars as Donald kept pouring in birdies. But after Donald missed two short birdie attempts, Stricker fired off two straight birdies to restore a comfortable margin. “It was hard today,” Stricker said. “I aged a lot out there. It was a grind from the get-go.”Stricker seemed to struggle all day, missing several greens to the left but he had five consecutive one-putt greens and continued to get himself out of minor jams.Half of Stricker’s eight career victories have come in the last eight months dating to his playoff win at Colonial. He turns 43 later this month, and shows no sign of letting up.