SILVIS, Ill. — As he chatted about his day at the John Deere Classic, Steve Stricker was reminded that he now held the tournament's 36-hole record.
"So far," he said, smiling.
Stricker had good reason to be cautious. Paul Goydos, who had sent a buzz through the golf world Thursday by shooting the fourth 59 in PGA Tour history, was just starting his round.
But the deft putting touch that had put Goydos in golf's most exclusive club deserted him Friday as he settled for 68, leaving him one stroke behind Stricker, the defending champion.
"Reality kicked in (Friday)," Goydos said.
Stricker, who shot 60 Thursday to almost match Goydos, came back with a solid 5-under 66 for a two-day 16-under 126 at the TPC Deere Run. The old 36-hole record was 127 by David Frost in 2000, the first year the tournament was played at Deere Run.
Showing no ill effects from a shoulder injury that sidelined him for six weeks this year, Stricker overcame a bogey on his fifth hole with accurate approaches that left him with makeable birdie putts.
"It's always tough to follow up a good round with another good round, and for whatever reason, I thought I did a pretty good job of that," Stricker said.
Goydos appeared to be on his way to another sizzling round when he birdied his 11th hole, the par-5 No. 2, to go 17 under and move ahead of Stricker by a stroke. Then his game unraveled.
He failed to break par on any of the last seven holes and bogeyed two of them. After needing only 22 putts Thursday, he slogged through this round with 32, essentially the difference in his scores.
"(Thursday) was one of the greatest putting rounds maybe of all time, and (Friday) was not," Goydos said. "But that's not — I think they call it the Sports Illustrated jinx. It's just a reversion to the norm. Things tend to want to work their way to the center."
Still, he said: "I hit some pretty squirrelly short putts coming in."
Rain suspends Open
OAKMONT, Pa. — Rain that began with 100 of the 156 golfers still to begin or finish the second round caused play to be suspended at the U.S. Women's Open.
Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. today at Oakmont Country Club, with the third round to begin with threesomes teeing off at 2:30 p.m.
Normally, golfers play in pairs the final two rounds.
Sophie Gustafson was the leader on the course at par when play was halted, but she had completed one hole, which she birdied, of the second round.
Cristie Kerr and first-round leader Brittany Lang were the clubhouse leaders at 1-over 143. Kerr shot par 71, and Lang followed her opening-round 69 with 3-over 74. Seminole's Brittany Lincicome, who opened with 2-over 73, played three holes and was 3 over for the tournament.
European: Darren Clarke was nearly flawless in miserable conditions in the Scottish Open, opening a four-shot lead at Loch Lomond in Luss.
Clarke chipped in for birdie on the tough 16th and holed a series of 20-foot birdie putts on the front nine for 4-under 67 to move to 10-under 132.
He has played cleanly in conditions that caused Phil Mickelson to take quintuple bogey on the 18th hole and Ernie Els to make consecutive double bogeys as he was trying to finish.
Mickelson and Els missed the cut.