Preview: The John Deere Classic

The John Deere Classic tees off in Illinois on Thursday and is the last US tour date before the British Open next week in England.

Steve Stricker won this tournament last year and he will be joined by the likes of Australian Jason Day, the 23 year-old who has been the runner up in both the Masters and US Open this year.

Stricker is paired up with David Toms, who won the Crowne Plaza Invitational in Texas in May, and Mark Wilson, the winner of the Hawaiian and Phoenix Opens after a storming start to 2011 back in January and February respectively.

The world no. 5 Stricker won this tournament in style in 2009 and 2010 after he finished on a hugely impressive and record breaking 26-under par last year; shooting a 60 on day one and a 62 on day three.

Paul Goydos came second last year and even his score of 24-under par couldn’t catch Stricker at the top, despite carding a 59 on the first day, and the man from Wisconsin will be looking to make it three years in a row winning the John Deere title.

Goydos’ 59 on the first round made him only the fourth player in PGA tour history to achieve such a score, but it was still only one shot better than Stricker’s 60.

But Stricker’s dominance of this golf course over the past two years isn’t the only reason he’s the favourite for the tournament; his 2011 record has been good so far with nine top 20 finishes in 11 starts.

The TPC Deere Run in Silvis Illinois has a reputation for being a “birdiefest” and last year’s leaderboard reflects that with Stricker, Goydos and Jeff Maggert all over or on the 20-under mark.

Last year’s Open Championship winner Louis Oosthuizen will tee off with Jason Day and Stewart Cink, the man who won the Open the previous year.

The Irish stars of the US tour will not take part in the John Deere Classic as the get set to take part in the Open next week at Royal St George’s in Kent. will have live score updates on all GAA Championship matches over the summer.


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