by Jeff Skinner
Yesterday was a day when nice guys finished first or at least close to it. At the John Deere Classic Steve Stricker hung on to win with a tournament record 26 under par.Stricker is the PGA Tour’s for Mr. Nice Guy. He is one of the few golfers that haven’t moved to a warm golf friendly climate. He still lives in Wisconsin and spends winters hitting balls from a heated shed. He is one of the most well liked players on the tour and is just as popular with the fans. He is a soft spoken man that has hit his stride in recent years and risen to number four in the world. Stricker holds a record that isn’t likely to be broken. He was voted Comeback Player of the Year in back to back years. Stricker usually cries during his interviews when he wins. He must be getting jaded with all these wins. He held back the tears this time.
Finishing second at the John Deere was another “nice” guy and the tour’s resident wise guy, Paul Goydos, or as they call him this week, Mr. 59. Goydos played well but Stricker’s six stroke lead was too much to overcome. The good news is that Goydos will be jetting across the pond to The Open Championship. Even second place has its perks.
On the European Tour Edoardo Molinari pulled away from Darren Clarke to win the Scottish Open. It was Molinari’s first Euro Tour win and he joins his brother, Francesco as a winner on The European Tour. It also moves both the brothers inside the top ten on the European Tour’s World Points list for the Ryder Cup.
Sentimental favorite, Clarke faltered to a 76 under difficult conditions and finished in second place three strokes back. Clarke has been rounding into form and has made it clear his goal is to make the Ryder Cup Team this year. He’ll get to add more Ryder Cup points to his total this week as he now qualifies for The Open Championship. Clarke smiled his way around The Loch Lomond Golf Course all week. It will be great to see him walking the links at St. Andrews.