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Golf Australia Express : Issue2
THERE are now three things certain in life— death, taxes and Steve Stricker winning the John Deere Classic. The American did everything in his power to lose his overnight lead and a shot at his third straight title at TPC Deere Run, with his six final-round birdies almost eclipsed by two bogeys and a double-bogey disaster on the par-4 fifth. But a three-shot swing and a 25-foot putt from off the green with his final shot of the tournament was enough to see him join elite company as one of only a handful of men who’ve won the same tournament three years running. But only just. Countryman Kyle Stanley looked a likely thing midway through his round as he hunted his maiden PGA Tour win. He made seven birdies in 10 holes as Stricker continued to STRICK’S THREE find trouble, but lamented a dropped shot on the 18th that allowed the overnight leader to stick his foot back through the door. Double-bogey aside, Stricker still looked unbeatable after his front nine, carding four birdies and taking his lead to five strokes. But the buzzards started circling when Stanley rode a molten hot putter to five birdies between the 10th and 15th holes as Stricker started finding the sand. Faced with an impossible lie—embedded in the face of a greenside bunker—at 16, he took two shots to escape and made another bogey to drop two shots behind. After making birdie on the 17th he then beached himself again at 18, driving into a fairway bunker and seemingly ending any hope of a memorable win. But he fanned a tiny flame of hope when he found the fringe of the green out of the sand, minutes after Stanley had taken a five at the par-4. That was all the opportunity he needed, curling one in from 25 feet to finish at 22-under, one better than Stanley and five ahead of the rest. ‘ The rest’ included Matt McQuillan, who must have been wondering whether golf was the sport for him after missing the cut at his last 10 tournaments. But the Canadian took some much-needed cash and confidence from an equal third-place finish at 17 under after completing the round of the day—a seven under 64. Cameron Percy was the best placed Australian but dropped from fifth overnight to finish T7 at 15 under. OTG “I KEPT TELLING MYSELF THAT IT’S NOT A BIG DEAL AND IT REALLY WASN’T— UNTIL TODAY.” — Steve Stricker on becoming just the the 7th player in history to win an event three years in a row. WHAT JUST HAPPENED ON THE PGA TOUR FINAL STANDINGS 1 STEVE STRICKER USA -22 $ 810,000 2 KYLE STANLEY USA -21 $ 486,000 T3 ZACH JOHNSON USA -17 $ 261,000 T3 MATT MCQUILLAN CAN -17 $ 261,000 T5 CHARLES HOWELL III USA -16 $ 171,000 T5 CHEZ REAVIE USA -16 $ 171,000 T7 BRENDON DE JONGE ZIM -15 $ 145,125 T7 CAMERON PERC Y AUS -15 $ 145,125 T9 BRINY BAIRD USA -14 $ 121,500 T9 BRIAN GAY USA -14 $ 121,500 T9 CAMERON TRINGALE USA -14 $ 121,500 WRAP THE