Defending champion Steve Stricker and opening-day hero Paul Goydos were matching each other shot for shot as the leaders made the turn in the third round of the John Deere Classic in Illinois today.
Goydos shot only the fourth 59 in PGA Tour history on Thursday with Stricker carding an 11-under 60 before the tables were turned in the second round. World number four Stricker shot a 66 to Goydos’ 68 to leave Stricker with a one-shot lead at 16 under at the halfway stage at TPC Deere Run.
Today, the leaders continued their duel in Silvis, both making birdies at the first, second and eighth holes to leave Stricker a stroke ahead after nine holes having moved to 19 under par.
Goydos’s fellow 46-year-old Jeff Maggert was four strokes behind Stricker in third place, four under for his round after nine holes, with Matt Jones at 14 under, three under for the day having also played nine.
There were some big moves being made behind the leading quartet with former US PGA champion Shaun Micheel six under for his round after 15 holes at 13 under and Vaughn Taylor on 12 under thanks to a third-round 64, where he was joined by Australia’s John Senden (65).
Rocco Mediate celebrated a hole in one at the 226-yard, par-three seventh en route to a 64 that left him at 11 under, alongside fellow Americans Garrett Willis (65) and Marco Dawson (66) as well as Zimbabwe’s Brendon de Jonge, who was one under for the day after 10 holes.
Another veteran American, Kenny Perry, found some form with a 65 to move to 10 under, the same mark as Players champion Tim Clark of South Africa, who shot a 66.
Of the small European contingent at TPC Deere Run, Norway’s Henrik Bjornstad was best placed at eight under following a 68, while Brian Davis of England finished his third round at seven under after a 69.
Andres Romero of Argentina shot 70 to reach five under, while Sweden’s Daniel Chopra posted a one-over 72 to also end the day at five under and fellow Swede Richard S Johnson will start the final round at two under after a 74.