Harman grabs lead in John Deere Classic

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 12, 2014 at 6:33 pm •  Published: July 12, 2014
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SILVIS, Ill. (AP) — Brian Harman is going to play in the final pairing of a PGA Tour stop for the first time. His playing partner is one accomplished part-timer.

Harman had two eagles in a 6-under 65 on Saturday that gave him a one-stroke lead after three rounds of the John Deere Classic.

Harman's solid performance got him to 17-under 196 at TPC Deere Run. His partner on Sunday will be three-time Deere winner Steve Stricker, who is all alone in second, one stroke better than Scott Brown.

"I pay attention to what Steve's doing but don't base my game on his," said Harman, who was grouped with Stricker and Johnson Wagner in the third round. "He's had a lot of success here."

Stricker, who shot a 7-under 64 for a three-round total of 197, is 116 under par in his last 23 rounds at TPC Deere Run, including victories in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Brown is third after a 10-under 61, matching the best round on the PGA Tour in 2014.

Second round co-leaders Zach Johnson and William McGirt are at 199, along with Tim Clark and Jerry Kelly.

Two years ago, Harman was paired with eventual winner Johnson, though not in the final twosome.

"I watched Zach win this golf tournament, and learned a lot," Harman said.

Stricker, making his ninth start of the year, isn't making room for another Deere trophy just yet.

"So many guys are in this thing," Stricker said. "Guys can get off to hot starts here, but you can answer them also."

There are 10 players within four shots of the lead and 13 within five. But of those players, only Stricker and Johnson, tied for fourth at 14 under, have won on the course.

"It will still be difficult for me tomorrow," Stricker said. "I'm not in that final group a lot out here, especially now. I'll want to take advantage because I'm not playing very much. To get back into the winner's circle would mean a lot."

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