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July 14 2012

4:45 PM

Saturday setup: Time to go low

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The weekend forecast at TPC Deere Run calls for lots of birdies.
The leaders are about to start their third rounds at the John Deere Classic and fittingly, they’re all seeing green lights. The average winning score in the last 10 years at TPC Deere Run has been 19 under, so 36-hole leader Troy Matteson knows he can’t rest on his laurels after posting a 13-under mark to this point. “On a course like this you just got to try to keep shooting 5 , 6 , 7 under a day as best you can,” he said. “You really don't know what's going to happen. A guy could shoot 59 the last day and you shoot 6 under and you get lapped. You can't really plan for that.” Joining Matteson in this afternoon’s 1:42 p.m. ET final pairing is 48-year-old three-time TOUR winner Jeff Maggert, whose 9-under 62 was Friday’s best score. “I feel like I need another really good score, too,” Maggert said. “Feel like I need a 7 or 8 under the next Saturday or Sunday to keep myself in position. You don't expect to come out and shoot 9 under par every day, but I feel like I'm going to need one more really good round and then another round that's solid.” Maggert’s last TOUR victory came in 2006 at the FedEx St. Jude Classic. Matteson’s two TOUR victories came at two different tournaments called the Frys.com Open -- the first at TPC Summerlin in what is now the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. Playing ahead of the final pairing are Brian Harman (-12) and J.J. Henry (-11). Gary Christian (-11) and Ricky Barnes (-11) are another group ahead while Robert Garrigus (-11) is joined by a three-time champion here who has more TOUR wins than the other seven players mentioned combined. Steve Stricker, a 12-time TOUR winner seeking the “Stricker Slam” this week at TPC Deere Run enters today’s action just three back of the lead. Stricker’s last two third rounds at the John Deere Classic have been a 62 and a 63, both leaving him with the 54-hole lead. “There is a lot of good players and a long ways to go, so I just have to keep doing my thing,” Stricker said. “I need a low round. That's what it's going to take. One of these two rounds on Saturday or Sunday I'm going to have to put up a real low one and get right in there.” Long story short, don’t expect anyone to slow the torrid scoring pace they’ve been on in the early going. “It's a shootout,” Matteson said. “These tournaments where you got to shoot 20 plus under to win are really fun because we get to make a lot birdies and see how the chips fall at the end of the day. It will be a very interesting finish.”
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