U.S. Senior Open: Steve Stricker goes wire to wire in South Bend

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.

Steve Stricker wins inaugural Sanford International, third PGA Tour Champions victory in seven starts this year

Third PGA Tour Champions victory in seven starts this year

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.