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Stricker sets record for 54 holes

SILVIS, Ill. — Steve Stricker is making it look easy.

He insists it's not, even after posting stunningly low scores.

Stricker already has broken a couple of PGA Tour records at the John Deere Classic and has more in sight after opening a six-stroke lead with 9-under-par 62 Saturday.

That followed rounds of 60 and 66 at the TPC Deere Run course, which has stood no chance against the assault Stricker and his fellow players have launched.

"It's never easy going out there," Stricker, 43, said. "It wasn't easy to start the round today. Coming to the course I felt like I'd never been in this position. I was nervous. I didn't feel like doing anything. I just wanted to get out there and (start) playing."

Stricker's masterful round left the tournament's defending champion at 25-under 188, the best 54-hole score in PGA Tour history. He also has the best three-round score in relation to par. With 65 today, he'd break the 72-hole record of 254.

So dominant was Stricker that Jeff Maggert shot 63 and lost ground. Paul Goydos, golf's latest Mr. 59 after a magical round Thursday, played well enough to keep pace in most tournaments, just not this one.

Maggert, who started the day five shots behind Stricker, was at 19-under 194 and tied with Goydos, who trailed Stricker by one going into the round. Playing in the last group with Stricker, Goydos saw his deficit grow steadily as his partner drilled birdie putts on seven of the last 11 holes.

Former PGA champion Shaun Micheel also shot 63 — and found himself 10 strokes off the lead. Rocco Mediate made hole-in-one and eagle en route to 64 but trailed by 14. Matt Jones wriggled into fourth place with 66 that left him nine strokes back.

European: Edoardo Molinari shot 8-under 63 to take a one-stroke lead over Darren Clarke going into the final day of the Scottish Open at Loch Lomond in Luss. Molinari was at 15-under 198 after a round that included eagle and seven birdies.

Stricker sets record for 54 holes 07/10/10 [Last modified: Saturday, July 10, 2010 10:10pm]
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