Steve Stricker successfully defended his John Deere Classic title for the second straight year with a 25-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole to win by one shot over PGA Tour rookie Kyle Stanley (FJ ICON #52315 & StaSof).
Stricker (DryJoys Tour #53635 ,Pure Touch Limited, & ProDry Lisle Shirt #32963), already a winner this year at the Memorial, began the day with a 2-stroke lead. By the time Stricker made the turn he had a five shot advantage. Stanley, playing like a seasoned veteran, mounted a raucous back nine charge that included birdies on five of his first six holes to take the lead.
Not to be outdone, Stricker birdied 17 to pull within one of the PGA Tour rookie. Stanley then bogeyed the 18th leaving Stricker on the last hole with a chance to win for the third consecutive year. After missing the fairway Stricker hit a solid recovery shot from an awkward stance 25 feet from the pin. Stricker struck his putt and erupted with emotion as the ball gently fell in the left side of the cup securing his victory.
This is Stricker's 11th career victory making him the only player to have multiple victories in each of the past three seasons on the PGA Tour. Stanley's runner up finished earn him a spot in next week's Open Championship.
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