Three-time champion Stricker fires opening-round 70 at John Deere Classic

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Associated Press
Thursday, August 11, 2016

Steve Stricker has won the John Deer Classic three times.

If the Edgerton native is going to make it four times he will have to do better than he did in Thursday's first round.

Stricker shot a first-round 70. The 49-year-old Stricker, a former University of Illinois player, trails behind leader Andrew Loupe by seven shots in the suspended first round.  Loupe will resume play today with a 6-foot par putt on the par-4 15th hole.

Zach Johnson, Patrick Rodgers and Ryan Moore completed their round by five strokes in the tournament.

“Even after the rain, the inch of rain we got, the conditions were pretty good,” Stricker said. “I just didn't play that sharply.”

Stricker knows that shooting one-under par rounds isn't going to win this tournament. He admitted being a bit perturbed during his round.

“A little frustrating that I only shot 1-under,” Stricker said. “I wasn't very sharp today. I didn't take advantage of a couple opportunities. Bogeyed the two par-3s on the back side, and then I bogeyed No. 3 on the front, which is another par-3. I short-sided myself every time.”

That put some pressure on him to produce a low score today.

“You can't get too far behind here,” he said. “It can run away from you. The leaders can run away. I've got a lot of work to do.”

Stricker ranks 98th in the FedEx Cup points list going into the tournament and is guaranteed a spot in the FedEx Cup playoffs. The event begins in two weeks at The Black Course at Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale, New York.

Stricker is getting prepared for that.

“You never know what can happen,” he said. “You could have a high finish right away at Barclays and move right up into the top 30 and all of a sudden another good week and you're in the TOUR Championship.

“I've had some success over the years in those playoffs. I didn't think I was going to be there, but excited to be there.”

Stricker is paired with Johnson and Brian Harman. The threesome is set to tee off at 1:30 p.m. The Golf Channel will televise the action starting at 4 p.m.                                                                                      —ASAP Sports contributed to this story

Last updated: 10:28 pm Thursday, August 11, 2016

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