/ Golf

Stricker takes half-way John Deere lead

Updated: Monday, 12 Jul 2010 07:34

Steve Stricker is already 16 under with two rounds left to play
Steve Stricker is already 16 under with two rounds left to play

Steve Stricker leapfrogged Paul Goydos, despite his stunning first-round 59, to take a one-stroke lead over his fellow-American after Friday's second round of the John Deere Classic in Silvis, Illinois.

Defending champion Stricker followed up his own sizzling opening-round 60 with a five-under-par 66 to reach the halfway mark at the TPC Deere Run course at 16-under-par 126.

Goydos, who had 12 birdies on Thursday, had his bogey-free streak snapped after 31 holes when he bogeyed the 14th and 17th holes of the day to card a three-under 68 for a 127 total.

World number four Stricker said following up a great round with another good score can be a challenge.

‘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 today,’ Stricker told reporters after once again taking advantage of rain-softened course conditions.

Stricker gave away one shot when he missed a two-foot par putt on the ninth, his last hole, and settled for a bogey.

‘That doesn't sit with me very well right now,’ he said. ‘But all in all it was a good day and I'm in good position and good shape for the weekend.’

Tied for third place at 11-under-par 131 were Americans Jeff Maggert, George McNeill and Australian Matt Jones.

Another stroke back were Aaron Baddeley of Australia and Brendon de Jonge of Zimbabwe.

Stricker, who comes from nearby Wisconsin and attended the University of Illinois, wore the Illini orange during the second round and predicted the low scores could continue.

‘The course is, I think, just going to get better,’ he said. ‘We had perfect conditions today. The greens were perfect, smooth.

‘It's been soft and you can be very aggressive going into the greens. But I think it's great.’