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Steve Stricker throws one down Saturday

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Gazette staff and wire services
September 14, 2013

Slam dunks are not common on the PGA Tour.

Steve Stricker used one to leap into contention at the BMW Championship on Saturday.

Stricker’s shot from 99 yards out on No. 15 drilled into the cup on the fly, giving Stricker an eagle en route to a 64. The Edgerton native starts today’s final round just one shot behind leader Jim Furyk, who followed up his 59 on Friday with a 69 and leads the third playoff event at 13-under.

Second-round co-leader Brandt Snedeker stands two shots back and Zach Johnson is three shots behind.

Stricker’s solid round was highlighted by the eagle.

“I cannot remember I ever had a pitch that far that went right in the jar,” Stricker said. “I mean, I've holed out a few wedges over my career, but I don't know if any of them slam dunked in like that.

“The line obviously looked good, but distance-wise, you never know where it's going to really come down, and to see it just disappear and hear the clank of the pin is kind of a shock."

Stricker followed his magic with a mistake. Holing out from 99 yards on the fly for an eagle on No. 15, Stricker then airmailed a 4-iron off the grandstand at the par-3 17th.

“I tried to draw it in there and just overcooked it and it going with the wind,” Stricker said.

Stricker offset that bogey with a birdie on the par-5 18th to close his stellar 64. That’s one shot off the number Stricker had in mind to catch the second-round leaders. Talk about prescience.

Still, Stricker, like most golfers this week, talked about the dangers Conway Farms presents.

“The wind was a little bit down compared to Friday for sure,” Stricker said. “It’s still difficult if you don’t put yourself in the proper spots, especially off the tee. The greens are really firm in some spots and receptive in others. And you don’t know where those spots are. It makes picking the right club difficult.”

Those decisions could become even more problematic should the rain forecasted for today arrive with any intensity.



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