So for the past two season on the PGA Tour, Steve Stricker has dominated one event. The tour stop at TPC Deere Run has become a favorite of Stricker's and it shows as he pulled off back to back wins in '09 and '10. The main question coming into this weeks John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run was can Steve Stricker pull off the trifecta?
I must say that after 3 rounds of the tournament in looked like it was Stricker's to lose and with two holes to go on Sunday it looked as if Stricker had lost it. Through the first three rounds this week Stricker had a total of 1 bogey, but on Sunday he had 2 bogeys and a double bogey. As Stricker walked off the 16th green that he had just bogeyed he found himself two shots back of Kyle Stanley who had played exceptional golf all week long.
What Stricker did on 17 and 18 were the things you would come to expect of the World's 5th best player. Stricker went on to birdie the 17th to bring him within one of the Stanley who pared the 17th. As Stricker was finishing up on 17, Stanley had found himself in a slight predicament. Stanley was able to get over the trees on his approach, but fund himself in the right green side bunker on the down slope. While, Kyle Stanley was able to make an incredible shot out of the bunker he was unable to knock in the par putt. As Stanley was playing out the 18th, Stricker's hopes did not look the best as he hit his tee shot in the left fairway bunker, leaving himself an awkward stance and 182 yards to the hole over the water. The next two shots from Stricker were two of the best I have seen in a while. Stricker's 6 iron from the bunker wasn't stuck to within two feet, but the lie that he had would have made most pros crumble. Then the 25 putt from off the green would seal the third consecutive title for Stricker.
If you are wondering...Yes, Steve did get a little teary eyed during the post round interview with David Feherty, but I like to see a player that is humble and appreciative of where he is and what he has achieved; and you get that every time Steve Stricker wins. This marks the 8th consecutive start for Stricker that he has finished within Top 20 in an event. So far, I would say this has been another impressive season for Sticker with two wins already. I feel that he is due for the major championship that has avoided him during his career as he is too good and too consistent to not win a major within the next few season.
Congrats Steve! Keep up the great play!
Hit 'em Straight