Steve Stricker, defending champion, will obtain a two-shot guide into the last round of the John Deere standard in Illinois after one more inspiring round. Stricker, the highest-ranked American in the world at No. 5, is planning for a third straight title in the occasion, and repaired round-two manager Chez Reavie to put him in extremity pose to do so.
Having signed his intentions with a monster 75-foot putt on the first gap for birdie, Stricker carded a round of 63 to leave him at 20 under for the week.
He had four more birdies ahead of the turn, and three more following it, and he will unite with Tiger Woods as the only American to succeed a PGA Tour occasion three years in a row in 30 years if he can hold on to his lead on Sunday.
Zimbabwean Brendon de Jonge is his next contender, who matched Stricker stride for stride with a 63 of his own. Reavie is one shot further back – three off the speed – after an unsatisfactory 68, with Kyle Stanley fourth on 16 under, three plain of Cameron Percy of Australia.
Englishman Brian Davis was assisted by a back nine that treated five birdies to stop the round on 10 under. He is one of 14 men on that score, among them Steve Marino, who saw his title confront deteriorate with a two-over 73.
Australian Jason Day sits underneath the leader board on two under – barely perfect training for a man looking to build on two second-place major terminates at next week’s launch at Sandwich.
The 44-year-old Stricker said afterwards, “I don’t know what it is about this place, I feel very comfortable here. I feel relaxed out there. It has been a great ride the last couple years and I’m having a lot of fun out there.”