Golf: birdie feast for Jeff Maggert

JEFF Maggert sank nine birdies in his second round to move within a shot of leader Troy Matteson, while Steve Stricker stayed firmly in contention for his fourth straight John Deere Classic title in Silvis, Illinois.

Matteson, who went 10 under for his first round, could only manage three under on Friday, with four birdies and a bogey at the 15th, but that was could enough to keep him at the head of the field on 13 under overall.

Maggert, meanwhile, came close to emulating Matteson’s first-round fireworks as his nine-under 62 put him a shot back off the leader alongside Brian Harman, himself six under. Behind them was a group of four men – England’s Gary Christian as well as Americans Ricky Barnes, Robert Garrigus and JJ Henry – on 11 under.

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Stricker, champion in each of the past three years, recovered from a bogey on his second hole – the 11th – to card a four-under round and stand out in a group of players tied for seventh which also included Tommy Biershenk and Lee Janzen. Winning again would enable Stricker to fly to The Open this week having equalled the feat achieved by Young Tom Morris at Prestwick in 1968-72 and also by Walter Hagen at the USPGA Championship, Gene Sarazen in the Miami Open and Tiger Woods at both Bay Hill and the Buick Invitational.

With 109 players under par, the cut was made at four under. Despite a six-under second round, England’s Brian Davis missed out on three under overall, with Scotland’s Russell Knox one over.

McLEARY has swiss win in his sights

Jamie McLeary will enter the final day of the Credit Suisse Challenge with the title in his sights after a one-under-par third round of 70 left him just four shots off the lead.

The 31-year-old played steady in tough conditions, with the wind howling across Golf Sempachersee all day, and a single birdie and eight pars on the front nine kept him right in the chase before another birdie at the tenth put him within touching distance of the lead.

A bogey at the 15th meant he finished the day in eighth place on six under and he was looking forward to the challenge of vying for the title in Switzerland.

“I don’t think I hit one shot that I would consider bad out there,” he said. “I hit 15 greens and one on the fringe and the other ones weren’t in danger either, just off the green.”

“I just have to go out there and play my best and see what happens. If the weather stays like this the guys might struggle on a Sunday where they might not on a Saturday so I’d almost prefer if the wind was up,” he added.

Andrea Perrino continued a fine 
day for Italian golf as the Livorno 
man moved into a three-way tie for 
the lead going into the final day, alongside Finland’s Janne Mommo 
and Frenchman Gary Stal. With his friend Francesco Molinari on stunning form at the Scottish Open, Perrino carded four birdies and just one bogey at on the way to a three under par 68, moving to ten under for the tournament.