(Reuters) - Former Masters champion Zach Johnson shot a four-under 67 to share a one-stroke lead with William McGirt after the second round of the John Deere Classic in Silvis, Illinois on Friday.
Johnson, 2007 winner at Augusta, and McGirt were 12-under for a total of 130, a stroke ahead of fellow Americans Johnson Wagner and Brian Harman, and Australian Steven Bowditch at TPC Deere Run.
Johnson’s round was his 22nd in the 60s in succession on a course less than 100 miles from his birth place across the Mississippi River in Iowa.
“I can plot my way around here,” said 2012 winner Johnson, who is not a long hitter.
“I don’t feel like you have to kill it. There is some strategic golf involved. I could pick this round apart but it was a really good day.”
Steve Stricker moved into contention, ending the day in a group tied for sixth at nine-under, including South African Rory Sabbatini.
The 47-year-old American stormed home with five birdies on his inward half for a 65.
“At times I didn’t think it was going to happen and then the second nine I really started to do some nice things,” Stricker told Golf Channel.
“There were a couple of nice saves that kept the momentum going too.”
World number 19 Stricker considers himself a part-time golfer these days. He is playing only his ninth tournament of the year, and has pulled out of next week’s British Open, the second successive year he will skip the major.
“I’m cutting back,” said the 12-time PGA Tour winner. “My expectations are still high and yet I’m much more casual about the game and I’m having more fun with it and I think that helps me in some ways but I still want to play well and I expect to play well.”
Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina,; Editing by Gene Cherry