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Stricker stays the course and wins

July 13, 2009|Associated Press

All around him, players were making runs at the lead.

Steve Stricker didn't flinch. He simply outlasted them.

Stricker followed the lowest round of his career with 36 solid holes Sunday to win the John Deere Classic at Silvis, Ill., by three strokes.

Stricker, who tied the course record Saturday, fired a seven-under-par 64 in the fourth round after starting the day with a third-round 68, and finished at 264 for the tournament. That was good enough to give him his second PGA Tour win this year and sixth in all, not to mention a heavy dose of momentum heading into the British Open to go with the $774,000 winnner's check.

"I've just given myself a lot of chances to win," said Stricker, now second behind Tiger Woods in the FedEx Cup standings. "Some didn't go my way and some have."

This one did because he showed the poise and buried enough shots to hold off a tightly bunched field.

Local favorite Zach Johnson (64, 66), Brandt Snedeker (68, 65) and Brett Quigley (62, 67) all tied for second at 17 under.

Stricker's biggest challenge, though, came from Tim Petrovic, who was in his group and was two strokes off the lead heading into the 36th and final hole of the day. But he hit the pond at No. 18 and double-bogeyed the hole, leaving him at 16 under along with Matt Jones (63, 69) and J.J. Henry (66, 68). Second-round leader Darron Stiles (70, 71) finished at 14 under.

A Wisconsin native and Illinois graduate, Stricker began the day three shots off the lead after he leaped into second place Saturday with a 61 that tied 2002 champion J.P. Hayes' course record and matched the lowest round of his career.

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Champions Tour

Bernhard Langer chipped in for eagle on the 18th hole to win the 3M Championship at Blaine, Minn., his second straight win on the Champions Tour.

His seven-under 65 gave him a 16-under 200 for the tournament, one shot better than Andy Bean.

Standing about three feet off the back fringe, Langer put the ball on the edge of the green and watched it roll about 15 feet into the hole.

Langer turned and pointed to the crowd with both arms raised when the ball dropped in for his fourth victory of the season.

Scott Hoch (66) finished two shots back. Tom Kite shot his second 67 at the TPC Twin Cities to finish fourth. Nick Price, the leader after the second round, shot a one-under 71 to finish five back.

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Scottish Open

Martin Kaymer won for the second week in a row, closing with a two-under 69 in the rain and sunshine at Loch Lomond in Luss for a two-shot victory.

The 24-year-old German became the first player since Ian Woosnam in 1990 to win the two European Tour events before the British Open, which starts Thursday at Turnberry.

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