SILVIS, Ill. - Only seven PGA golfers have won the same tournament for three straight years. And Steve Stricker of Madison could join that list this weekend with a victory at the John Deere Classic.
Stricker won the tournament in 2009 - and he went 26-under in winning it last year. Tiger Woods is the only player since 1980 to win the same event three straight times - and he's done it in six different tournaments. The others with so-called "three-peats" are Tom Watson, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller, Billy Casper, and Gene Littler.
Stricker says a lot of things must fall into place to win the same event two straight times, let alone three. But he should be well-rested, since he hasn't played since the U.S. Open. A year ago at the John Deere, Paul Goydos tied a tour-record low score of 59 in the first round, and Stricker was just one stroke back at 60. Stricker had 31 birdies in that event - tied for the second-most ever on the PGA Tour.
Wisconsin golfers Jerry Kelly, Mark Wilson, and J.P. Hayes are also in the field for the John Deere Classic, which begins on Thursday.