SOUTH BEND – Making the 240-mile drive around Lake Michigan with his wife on Monday night, Steve Stricker had plenty of time to think.
Stricker, 52, was able to flush the disappointment of losing a three-way playoff in a PGA Tour Champions event in his hometown of Madison, Wis. He was able to process the 8-foot birdie putt that wouldn’t drop on the final hole of regulation last Sunday and prepare himself mentally for his first U.S. Senior Open.
A good year was upgraded to a great year for Steve Stricker, who on Monday won the Regions Tradition, the first major championship win of his career.
Steve Stricker paid his dues to become a Ryder Cup captain, and it had nothing to do with winning a major.
Today, U.S. Team Captain Tiger Woods announced Fred Couples, Zach Johnson and Steve Stricker as three of his captain’s assistants for the 2019 Presidents Cup, which will return to The Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Melbourne, Australia, for a third time Dec. 9-15, 2019.
Steve Stricker does not yet play the PGA Tour Champions full time, for which those he is playing against surely are thankful.
Stricker, 51, won the inaugural Sanford International going away on Sunday, when he birdied three of the first four holes at Minnehaha Country Club in Sioux Falls, S.D., led by five at the turn and won by four.
Last year, he also advanced through sectional qualifying and went on to tie for 16th place at Erin Hills.
Stricker was the only Wisconsin golfer to make it through sectional qualifying this year. Amateur Matt Tolan of Eau Claire shot 71-70 in Springfield, Ohio, but missed the cut by three shots.
It used to be that golfers hit their prime on the PGA Tour once they hit 30. No more. Golf is a young man’s game.
Steve Stricker pulled away on the back nine Sunday at Fallen Oak to win the Rapiscan Systems Classic for his second straight PGA Tour Champions victory.
Five months after leading the 2017 U.S. Presidents Cup team to a blowout victory over the Internationals, Stricker has a win all his own.
Tiger Woods will be in Paris, though his job description hasn’t been finalized. His spot on the charter flight to this year’s Ryder Cup was made official Tuesday when U.S. captain Jim Furyk announced Woods and Steve Stricker as vice captains.