- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 7, 2010

SILVIS, ILL. (AP) - Steve Stricker is well rested, pain free and ready to defend his title at the John Deere Classic.

Stricker, fourth in the world golf rankings, took six weeks off in April and May to rest an aching right shoulder. He has played in only two tournaments since returning to the tour.

But he’s healthy and feels confident coming back to the Illinois course where he’s had success. Stricker tied the tournament record with a 61 in last year’s second round and ended up winning by three strokes.

While most of the big names are getting ready for next week’s British Open, the Deere Classic still has attracted a solid field that includes Players Championship winner Tim Clark, Byron Nelson champion Jason Day and Colonial champion Zach Johnson, who tied for second in last year’s tournament.

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