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Archive for Sunday, July 30, 2000

Triplett atop John Deere

Golfer ties course record, vaults to lead

July 30, 2000

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— After playing well for the first two rounds of the John Deere Classic, Kirk Triplett had an encore in his golf bag.

He tied a record Saturday on the tournament's new course to surge from a fourth-place tie to the top of the leaderboard.

Triplett had a 9-under-par 62, and finished the round 18-under at 195. Four of his seven birdies were made on hole Nos. 8-11.

The great round came despite breezes at the Tournament Players Club at Deere Run, and Triplett said they made club selection harder.

"It was a little windier, playing longer in some spots and shorter in other spots," he said.

Still, he said, the young course continued to make low scores possible.

"You've got to get greedy," he said, and didn't fail when he tried.

Triplett picked up two more strokes on the par-5 17th, where he hit a 3-wood within 5 feet of the hole, then drained the putt for an eagle. Rain caught up to him on the 18th, however, and Triplett scrambled to save par after his drive drifted right into the fairway treeline.

David Frost, a two-time former tournament champion who established the course record Friday when he took the second-round lead, struggled to a 70 to trail by two shots.

After picking up an early birdie, Frost double-bogeyed No. 5 after firing his approach shot into a bunker to the left of the green, then missing a putt. He later bogeyed No. 16.

Michael Clark II had a 63 that left him 15-under. He also had an eagle, his coming on the par-4 18th, where he holed a pitching wedge from 140 yards out. Tour rookie Charles Howell III, playing in his third PGA event after deciding in June to forego his last season at Oklahoma State, was another two shots back after a 68 left in a four-way tie at 200.

This is the second year Moline-based Deere & Co. has sponsored the tournament, which has also been played as the Miller Classic, Quad Cities Open, Hardee's Classic and Quad Cities Classic. It is the first year it has been played at Deere Run, which was built specifically to host the tournament.

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