a few short hours after Pro V1 loyalist Paul Goydos carded a course-record 12-under 59 at the par-71 TPC Deere Run, Titleist Brand Ambassador and
John Deere Classic defending champion Steve Stricker (Pro V1, 909D3 driver, 906F2 fairway metals, 909H hybrid, CB irons, Vokey Spin Milled Wedges) hit his 8-iron approach to the 18th hole to 2 feet for a tap-in birdie and an 11-under 60.
Actually, "it wasn't 2 feet. It was probably about a foot and a half," Stricker said.
Yep, that's right: Goydos shot 59 and only has a one-shot lead heading into Round 2.
After 18 holes, Goydos and Stricker were separated by 18 inches. Both now share a part of history, however: The 59 and 60 marked the two lowest scores ever posted in the same round on the PGA Tour.
And on a lighter note, both Goydos (5-foot-9) and Stricker (6-foot-0) also happened to shoot their heights, a tall order for most.
"My mindset was just to come out and
try to get into the mid to upper 60s, you know," said Stricker, who was eating lunch when Goydos dropped his 7-footer on the 18th green for 59. "I was thinking 5 or
6-under today. And I thought if I could shoot that, I at least wouldn't
be too far back –you know, keep chipping away at a 12-under score.
"So that was my mindset. And I got off to a good start, made a couple of
long putts on the front side and putted the ball really well today and
did a lot of good things, drove the ball well and gave myself a lot of
opportunities into the greens. So I'm very happy with what I did today."
Stricker’s 60 broke his previous career low of 61, which he shot in last year's second round at the Deere. Stricker, No. 4 in the world ranking, made 11 birdies and no bogeys, five birdies on the front nine and six on the back. Like Goydos, Stricker birdied his final three holes.
Hear what each player had to say about their rounds in the videos below: