PGA Tour: Sepp Straka boosts Ryder Cup qualification hopes with two-shot win at John Deere Classic | Golf News

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Austria’s Sepp Straka boosted his Ryder Cup chances by claiming a second PGA Tour title in the John Deere Classic, despite falling short in his bid for a ’59 round’; Straka finished two strokes clear of Brendon Todd and Alex Smalley

Last Updated: 10/07/23 7:12am


Highlights from the final round of the PGA Tour's John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run in Illinois

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Highlights from the final round of the PGA Tour’s John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run in Illinois

Highlights from the final round of the PGA Tour’s John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run in Illinois

Sepp Straka missed out on PGA Tour history but enhanced his Ryder Cup hopes after securing an impressive victory at the John Deere Classic in Illinois.

The Austrian went into the final round four strokes off the pace but made the dream start at TPC Deere Run when he birdied the first and rolled in a 20-foot eagle at the par-five next, then made three birdies in a four-hole stretch from the fourth.

Straka holed from 40 feet at the ninth to reach the turn in 28 and added four straight birdies from the 11th to move him 11 under, leaving him needing to play the last four holes in two under to match Jim Furyk’s record-breaking ’58 round’ during the 2016 Travelers Championship.

Sepp Straka was outside the top 10 on the leaderboard going into the final day

Sepp Straka was outside the top 10 on the leaderboard going into the final day

The 30-year-old posted two-putt pars over his next two holes and failed to take advantage of the par-five 17th, missing his birdie effort from inside 10 feet, leaving him requiring a final-hole birdie to close a 59 and post the first sub-60 round on the PGA Tour since 2020.

Straka pulled his approach into the water left of the green and racked up a closing double-bogey, seeing him settle for a nine-under 62, although his total of 21 under was enough for a two-shot victory over Brendon Todd and Alex Smalley.

Straka's victory is his second PGA Tour title, following on from the 2022 Honda Classic

Straka’s victory is his second PGA Tour title, following on from the 2022 Honda Classic

“The 59 was nowhere in my head really,” Straka admitted after his win. “I knew I had a chance but in that situation the only thing that matters is trying to win the golf tournament.

“It was not a good shot [on 18]. I was really just trying to go middle of the green, pulled it early and the wind dragged it over to the water. It was unfortunate but the first bad shot I hit all day so I’ll give myself a bit of slack.”

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A birdie on the 14th took Todd to within a shot of the lead, only for the American to then three-putt the 16th and fail to birdie the par-five 17th, while Smalley carded a four-under 67 to join his compatriot in tied-second on 19 under.

Swedish rookie Ludvig Aberg posted the best finish of his PGA Tour career so far after claiming a share of fourth with Adam Schenk, having posted a eight-under 63 on the final day that contained an eagle and six birdies.

Ludvig Aberg only turned professional earlier this season

Ludvig Aberg only turned professional earlier this season

“I felt like I’ve been playing pretty well the last couple of weeks, but I haven’t really gotten together four rounds together, but luckily I was able to finish well [on Sunday] and ended up being a good tournament,” Aberg said.

Cameron Young, who led after two rounds, went 71-68 on the weekend and finished in a large tie for sixth at 16 under that also included 2022 champion JT Poston.

The PGA Tour has two events co-sanctioned with the DP World Tour this week, both live on Sky Sports. Featured Group coverage from the Genesis Scottish Open begins on Thursday at 8am, ahead of full coverage from 12.30pm, while the Barbasol Championship in Kentucky is live from 9pm on Sky Sports Golf.





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