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Stricker beats rivals by 3 shots to clinch Deere

AMERICAN Steve Stricker won the John Deere Classic in Silvis, Illinois, on Sunday, finishing three shots clear of his nearest rivals on 20 under-par after a gruelling 36-hole final day.

Compatriot Brett Quigley has the chance to play at the British Open after finishing tied for second place with Zach Johnson and Brandt Snedeker, who like Stricker already have places booked at Turnberry.

American Tim Petrovic had gone into the final hole two shots behind playing partner Stricker, but he found water on his second shot and ended with a disappointing double bogey which dropped him into a tie for fifth.

Stricker's victory was his second of the season following May's triumph at the Colonial Invitational.

The players had to play the third and fourth round successively after Friday's play was washed out by heavy rain.

Stricker made a 3-under 68 in his third round and was bogey free in his final round, eagling the par four sixth with a superb approach shot from 98 yards before he ended with a 7 under-par 64.

Stroke of luck

Stricker had a stroke of luck on the 17th when an aggressive putt, which could easily have raced past the hole, came out off the lip for a simple tap-in.

That allowed him a birdie which gave him a two-stroke cushion over Petrovic going into the final hole even before his compatriot self-destructed.

In Minnesota, Bernhard Langer chipped in for eagle on the 18th hole on Sunday to win the 3M Championship, his second straight win on the Champions Tour.

His 7-under 65 gave him a 16-under 200 for the tournament, one shot better than Andy Bean.

Standing about 10 feet off the back fringe, Langer softly chipped the ball on the edge of the green and watched it roll about 10 feet into the hole.

Langer turned and pointed to the crowd with both arms raised when the ball dropped in the hole.

It was his only eagle of the tournament.


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