Three-time John Deere Classic winner Steve Stricker the favorite at TPC Deere Run

  • Article by: LUKE MEREDITH , AP Sports Writer
  • Updated: July 11, 2013 - 8:06 AM
hide

Steve Stricker hits out of a bunker on the fourth hole during the fourth round of the U.S. Open golf tournament at Merion Golf Club, Sunday, June 16, 2013, in Ardmore, Pa.

Photo: Morry Gash, Associated Press - Ap

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

SILVIS, Ill. — Steve Stricker might be the only golfer on the PGA Tour who isn't peeking ahead to Muirfield and next week's British Open.

Stricker's single-minded focus on TPC Deere Run, combined with his recent dominance of the course, makes him the man to beat at this weekend's John Deere Classic.

Stricker, 46, is playing a reduced schedule this season — and he's skipping the Open Championship to celebrate his wedding anniversary with his wife Nicki in Wisconsin.

But Stricker won the John Deere Classic three times from 2009-11. He's not about to pass on a shot at a fourth title just down the road in Illinois.

"I owe a lot to this place. It's a special place for me," Stricker said.

Stricker and Zach Johnson, who grew up about 100 miles across the Mississippi River in nearby Cedar Rapids, Iowa, are the unquestioned headliners this week.

That's largely because most of the world's top golfers are already concentrating in Scotland.

There's no Tiger, Rory or Phil in this field. In fact, the only golfer ranked in the top 10 in the world that'll play Deere Run is Louis Oosthuizen — and he's 10th.

Just eight of the world's top 50, including Stricker, Keegan Bradley, Nick Watney and Johnson, have committed to the tournament. But what the field lacks in star power it should make up for somewhat in depth, as nearly half of the top 100 on FedEx Cup points list will tee off on Thursday.

"It doesn't matter where we're playing or what the field looks like. They're all good," said Johnson, who also serves as an executive board member for the tournament. "If you don't know the names, you're going to know them at some point because they're all too good."

Johnson broke Stricker's three-year winning streak here in 2012. But he enters his hometown event in a bit of a slump.

Johnson followed up a third-place finish at the Crowne Plaza Invitational in late May by shooting 13-over par at the Memorial Tournament and missing the cut at the U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club.

Johnson said that although his putting remains "up and down" — a worrisome sign because of how many birdie chances Deere Run presents — he's feeling more and more confident in his driver.

Johnson also notched top-5 finishes at Deere Run in 2009 and 2011 before beating Troy Matteson on the second hole of a playoff last year.

"My golf game is in a much better form than it was at the beginning of the year. I've said it a couple of times and I hate to admit it, but my golf game was not where it needed to be early on in the year," Johnson said. "That was just a process to kind of get where I am now."

But not even Johnson can approach the run that Stricker has had at Deere Run.

Stricker's reduced schedule also appears to be doing wonders for his game in 2013.

Stricker has four top-10s in seven events — including a memorable eighth at the U.S. Open.

"My attitude is fresher," Stricker said. "Just getting it right in my mind at the start of the year that this is what I wanted to do was a big step in my own mind, knowing that I am doing the right thing. And I feel good about what I'm doing. That helps me play the way I've been playing."

Bradley will be making his John Deere Classic debut and is seeking his first win of the year. Watney will also be looking for a breakthrough after missing three straight cuts from mid-May to Merion.

Jonas Blixt initially said he intended to return to his native Sweden after winning last week's Greenbrier Classic. But Blixt remains scheduled to tee off Thursday with Watney and Oosthuizen.

Perhaps no one in the field will have more fun this weekend than Oosthuizen.

The South African is a self-described "farm boy" with an affinity for John Deere equipment. Oosthuizen celebrated his 2010 British Open by buying a John Deere tractor, and he even brought family and friends to the Quad Cities this week so they could tour the company's facilities.

"I've still got quite a bit of passion for golf. But John Deere and farming is not far off," Oosthuizen said.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Dallas 6:00 PM
Orlando
Sacramento 6:00 PM
Indiana
Toronto 6:00 PM
Washington
Houston 6:30 PM
Detroit
Philadelphia 6:30 PM
Atlanta
Cleveland 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Oklahoma City 7:00 PM
Memphis
Portland 7:30 PM
Milwaukee
LA Clippers 8:00 PM
San Antonio
Charlotte 8:00 PM
Denver
Phoenix 9:30 PM
Golden State
Washington 0 FINAL(OT)
Montreal 1
NY Islanders 1 FINAL
Detroit 4
Arizona 2 FINAL
Ottawa 7
Los Angeles 6:00 PM
Boston
Florida 6:00 PM
New Jersey
Carolina 6:00 PM
NY Rangers
Toronto 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Dallas 6:00 PM
Winnipeg
Columbus 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Edmonton 9:00 PM
Calgary
Chicago 9:30 PM
San Jose
Boston College 49 FINAL
Clemson 64
Western Mich 63 FINAL
Eastern Mich 69
NC State 81 FINAL
Georgia Tech 80
Wisconsin 74 FINAL
Iowa 63
Stony Brook 48 FINAL
New Hampshire 63
Notre Dame 72 FINAL
Pittsburgh 76
Providence 66 FINAL
St Johns 75
Davidson 70 FINAL
Saint Josephs 75
Xavier 82 FINAL
Seton Hall 90
Tulane 37 FINAL
Temple 55
Auburn 63 FINAL
Tennessee 71
Texas Tech 58 FINAL
West Virginia 77
Arkansas 56 FINAL
Florida 57
Penn State 58 FINAL
Illinois 60
Lipscomb 73 FINAL
Stetson 75
South Florida 71 FINAL
Tulsa 78
Bradley 58 FINAL
Indiana State 64
UMass Lowell 69 FINAL
Binghamton 76
Green Bay 62 FINAL
Cleveland State 76
Georgetown 67 FINAL
Creighton 40
Coll of Charleston 68 FINAL
Delaware 71
Villanova 68 FINAL
DePaul 55
Vermont 65 FINAL
Hartford 46
TCU 66 FINAL
Iowa State 83
Kennesaw St 51 FINAL
Jacksonville 50
Kansas State 57 FINAL
Kansas 68
Boston Univ 86 FINAL
Lehigh 89
Illinois State 48 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 45
Albany 77 FINAL
Maine 59
Butler 72 FINAL
Marquette 68
LSU 67 FINAL
Miss State 73
Mount St Marys 77 FINAL
Sacred Heart 71
Richmond 64 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 55
Virginia Tech 70 FINAL
Wake Forest 73
IUPU-Ft Wayne 75 FINAL
Nebraska Omaha 65
Arkansas State 43 FINAL
Georgia State 74
Loyola-Maryland 77 FINAL
Army 71
Tenn Tech 53 FINAL
Belmont 71
Bethune-Cookman 61 FINAL
Florida A&M 44
Valparaiso 70 FINAL
Ill-Chicago 65
UAB 65 FINAL
TX-San Antonio 57
Idaho State 69 FINAL
North Dakota 80
Evansville 65 FINAL
Drake 70
Rutgers 64 FINAL
Indiana 72
Ball State 73 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 79
Southern U 59 FINAL
Alcorn State 51
UNC-Wilmington 76 FINAL
Drexel 85
Coastal Carolina 64 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 66
Morgan State 48 FINAL
Howard 64
William & Mary 84 FINAL
James Madison 65
North Carolina 62 1st OT 3:13
Louisville 64
Coppin State 70 2nd Half 2:13
MD-Eastern Shore 83
Ole Miss 67 FINAL
Missouri 47
Wichita State 54 FINAL
Northern Iowa 70
Loyola Marymount 76 FINAL
Pacific 71
Winthrop 66 FINAL
Radford 73
George Washington 55 FINAL
Rhode Island 59
Bryant 71 FINAL
Robert Morris 68
Long Island 64 FINAL
St Francis-NY 81
Fair-Dickinson 63 FINAL
St Francis-PA 68
Massachusetts 60 FINAL
Saint Louis 56
Georgia 50 FINAL
South Carolina 67
Central Conn St 55 FINAL
Wagner 86
SIU Edwardsville 54 FINAL
Eastern Ill 57
Ohio 69 FINAL
Central Mich 74
Eastern Ky 56 2nd Half 2:56
Morehead State 50
Incarnate Word 69 FINAL
Nicholls 58
Campbell 59 2nd Half 2:12
UNC-Asheville 65
Vanderbilt 58 FINAL
Texas A&M 69
Western Carolina 50 2nd Half 11:35
UNC Greensboro 46
Detroit 40 2nd Half 16:55
Milwaukee 40
Idaho 70 2nd Half 8:10
Eastern Wash 55
Marshall 28 1st Half 0:47
Louisiana Tech 42
Jackson State 29 2nd Half
Miss Valley St 44
Houston Baptist 17 1st Half 3:20
Sam Houston St 29
Louisiana 31 1st Half 4:53
Texas State 19
Denver 23 2nd Half
South Dakota St 32
Oral Roberts 29 2nd Half
South Dakota 39
South Alabama 18 2nd Half
ULM 32
Texas 9 1st Half 10:21
Baylor 23
Citadel 14 1st Half 8:18
Chattanooga 23
Fresno State 11 1st Half 9:30
Colorado State 20
Yale 18 1st Half 7:33
Cornell 16
Ark-Pine Bluff 2 1st Half 18:30
Grambling St 2
Nebraska 14 1st Half 7:04
Minnesota 14
Purdue 14 1st Half 9:03
Northwestern 14
Alabama A&M 5:00 PM
Prairie View
Dartmouth 11 1st Half 7:47
Princeton 20
Pepperdine 11 1st Half 10:26
St Marys-CA 16
Delaware State 0 1st Half 20:00
SC State 0
Western Ky 22 1st Half 8:13
Southern Miss 16
Nevada 14 1st Half 8:57
Wyoming 15
Hampton 5:20 PM
Norfolk State
NC A&T 5:20 PM
Savannah State
Akron 6:00 PM
Bowling Green
Colgate 6:00 PM
Bucknell
FIU 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Brown 6:00 PM
Columbia
George Mason 6:00 PM
Duquesne
NC Central 6:00 PM
East Tenn St
Saint Peters 6:00 PM
Iona
Alabama 6:00 PM
Kentucky
Abilene Christian 6:00 PM
Lamar
Char Southern 6:00 PM
Liberty
Hawaii 6:00 PM
Long Beach State
New Orleans 6:00 PM
McNeese State
Lafayette 6:00 PM
Navy
Elon 6:00 PM
Northeastern
Fla Atlantic 6:00 PM
Old Dominion
Harvard 6:00 PM
Penn
La Salle 6:00 PM
St Bonaventure
Furman 6:00 PM
Samford
TX A&M-CC 6:00 PM
Stephen F Austin
Duke 6:00 PM
Virginia
Mercer 6:00 PM
Wofford
Northern Ky 6:00 PM
Fla Gulf Coast
USC Upstate 6:00 PM
North Florida
Longwood 6:00 PM
Presbyterian
Ark-Little Rock 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
SE Missouri St 7:00 PM
Austin Peay
CS-Northridge 7:00 PM
UC Riverside
Towson 7:00 PM
Hofstra
UT Martin 7:00 PM
Murray State
San Jose St 7:00 PM
New Mexico
Rice 7:00 PM
North Texas
Toledo 7:00 PM
Northern Ill
Oklahoma 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
San Francisco 7:00 PM
San Diego
Utah State 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Northwestern St 7:00 PM
SE Louisiana
UCF 7:00 PM
SMU
Southern Ill 7:05 PM
Missouri State
Troy 7:15 PM
Texas-Arlington
Jacksonville St 7:30 PM
Tennessee St
Alabama State 7:30 PM
Texas Southern
Stanford 7:30 PM
Washington St
Santa Clara 8:00 PM
BYU
TX-Pan American 8:00 PM
New Mexico St
Northern Ariz 8:00 PM
Southern Utah
Middle Tennessee 8:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Weber State 8:00 PM
Northern Colorado
Chicago State 8:00 PM
Grand Canyon
UC Santa Barbara 9:00 PM
UC Irvine
Memphis 9:00 PM
Gonzaga
Air Force 9:00 PM
UNLV
Cal Poly 9:00 PM
UC Davis
Seattle 9:00 PM
CS-Bakersfield
Montana State 9:05 PM
Portland State
Montana 9:05 PM
Sacramento St
Colorado 9:30 PM
UCLA
UMKC 9:30 PM
Utah Valley U
Mount St Marys 64 FINAL
Sacred Heart 71
Texas-El Paso 53 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 74
Arkansas State 61 FINAL
Georgia State 47
Bryant 84 FINAL
Robert Morris 87
Central Conn St 83 FINAL
Wagner 67
Fairleigh Dickinson 78 FINAL
St Francis-PA 60
Long Island 53 FINAL
St Francis-NY 62
Bethune-Cookman 70 FINAL
Florida A&M 57
Longwood 56 FINAL
Campbell 68
Charleston Southern 40 FINAL
Winthrop 77
Louisiana Tech 68 FINAL
Marshall 67
Ohio U 74 FINAL
Central Michigan 66
Western Mich 61 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 53
Coppin State 58 FINAL
MD-Eastern Shore 66
Incarnate Word 34 FINAL
Nicholls 67
Samford 46 FINAL
East Tenn St 48
Western Carolina 72 FINAL
Furman 84
Gardner-Webb 71 FINAL
Coastal Carolina 65
Liberty 58 FINAL
High Point 41
Presbyterian 46 FINAL
UNC-Asheville 59
Kent State 67 FINAL
Akron 74
Northern Ill 65 FINAL
Ball State 62
Houston 66 FINAL
Cincinnati 69
SIU-Edwardsville 65 FINAL
Eastern Illinois 48
Eastern Kentucky 58 FINAL
Morehead St 76
Holy Cross 67 FINAL
American Univ 61
Army 62 FINAL
Loyola-Maryland 53
Niagara 53 FINAL
Manhattan 46
Lehigh 78 FINAL
Boston U 71
Navy 65 FINAL
Lafayette 60
Saint Josephs 57 FINAL
Davidson 52
Duquesne 56 FINAL
Fordham 46
George Washington 87 FINAL
George Mason 52
St Bonaventure 77 FINAL
Massachusetts 57
Milwaukee 64 FINAL
Youngstown St 87
Jacksonville 78 FINAL
Kennesaw St 64
North Florida 49 FINAL
USC Upstate 61
St Marys-CA 53 FINAL
Pepperdine 49
Nebraska Omaha 49 FINAL
IUPUI 68
Houston Baptist 67 FINAL
Sam Houston St 74
Mercer 59 FINAL
(25) Chattanooga 71
No Dakota State 52 FINAL
South Dakota St 82
Oral Roberts 70 FINAL
South Dakota 93
Southern Miss 63 FINAL
Western Ky 61
TX-San Antonio 57 FINAL
UAB 73
East Carolina 67 FINAL
Tulane 63
South Florida 57 FINAL
Memphis 53
Buffalo 75 FINAL
Eastern Michigan 53
New Mexico St 74 FINAL
TX-Pan American 71
Utah Valley U 58 FINAL
UMKC 61
Jackson State 71 FINAL
Miss Valley St 74
Louisiana 83 FINAL
Texas State 81
South Alabama 53 FINAL
ULM 55
Saint Louis 72 FINAL
Dayton 87
Cleveland State 72 FINAL
Oakland 64
Grand Canyon 76 FINAL
Chicago State 51
UCLA 65 FINAL
Oregon 67
Washington St 56 FINAL
(12) Stanford 75
Kansas State 41 FINAL
Texas Tech 38
UNLV 91 FINAL
Air Force 79
UCF 61 FINAL
Tulsa 70
UNC Greensboro 64 FINAL
Wofford 77
Delaware State 62 FINAL
SC State 64
San Diego State 70 FINAL
Utah State 59
Sacramento St 86 FINAL
Montana 94
Northern Colorado 52 FINAL
Weber State 59
Hampton 66 FINAL
Norfolk State 71
NC A&T 53 FINAL
Savannah State 48
Alabama A&M 64 FINAL
Prairie View 81
Toledo 64 FINAL
Bowling Green 48
Ark-Pine Bluff 56 FINAL
Grambling 75
Marist 63 FINAL
Iona 58
Bucknell 41 FINAL
Colgate 54
North Dakota 69 FINAL
Idaho State 75
Southern U 46 2nd Half 6:09
Alcorn State 45
Ark-Little Rock 58 FINAL
Georgia Southern 44
BYU 35 2nd Half 11:39
Santa Clara 40
Gonzaga 64 2nd Half 7:57
Portland 50
Pacific 57 2nd Half 14:33
Loyola Marymount 33
Abilene Christian 41 2nd Half
Lamar 35
Colorado State 32 2nd Half 13:15
Fresno State 32
New Mexico 40 2nd Half 14:05
San Jose St 42
UC Davis 30 2nd Half 13:03
UC Santa Barbara 35
San Diego 46 2nd Half 12:54
San Francisco 51
New Orleans 40 2nd Half 11:00
McNeese State 65
TX A&M-CC 36 2nd Half 7:04
Stephen F Austin 50
Old Dominion 41 2nd Half 18:37
Florida Atlantic 21
Tenn Tech 31 2nd Half 12:28
Belmont 35
Eastern Washington 64 2nd Half 10:19
Idaho 63
Stetson 64 2nd Half 11:35
Lipscomb 48
Washington 26 2nd Half
California 36
USC 15 2nd Half
(7) Oregon State 27
IUPU-Ft Wayne 30 2nd Half
Western Ill 27
Northwestern St 29 2nd Half
SE Louisiana 33
SE Missouri St 30 2nd Half
Austin Peay 34
Portland State 5:00 PM
Montana State
Morgan State 77 FINAL
Howard 64
Columbia 23 1st Half 7:24
Brown 26
Charlotte 25 1st Half 7:04
FIU 15
(19) Princeton 25 1st Half 7:47
Dartmouth 18
Penn 20 1st Half 9:28
Harvard 15
UT Martin 29 1st Half 6:46
Murray State 20
Troy 11 1st Half 9:28
TX-Arlington 18
Alabama State 5:30 PM
Texas Southern
Jacksonville St 5:30 PM
Tennessee St
Wyoming 6:00 PM
Nevada
Oklahoma St 6:00 PM
Iowa State
CS-Bakersfield 6:00 PM
Seattle
La Salle 6:00 PM
VA Commonwealth
Cal-Irvine 6:00 PM
Cal Poly
Fla Gulf Coast 6:00 PM
Northern Ky
Southern Utah 7:00 PM
Northern Ariz
Green Bay 7:00 PM
Illinois-Chicago
Cal State Fullerton 9:00 PM
Long Beach St
CS-Northridge 9:00 PM
Hawaii
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close