Steve Stricker is a long-time veteran of the PGA Tour. He has 12 wins to his credit, including three at the John Deere Classic. His most recent triumph came in 2012 at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, where he bested Martin Laird by three strokes. Stricker has been ranked as high as third and found himself in the top 10 in the World Golf Rankings for much of the last decade, including 57 straight weeks from 2007 to 2008 and 157 straight weeks from 2009 to 2012. He is currently ranked 130th in the world.
Stricker grew up in Wisconsin and played his collegiate golf at the University of Illinois, achieving All-American honors in 1988 and 1989. Upon graduation in 1990, he joined the Canadian Professional Golf Tour (now PGA Tour Canada). His success continued, with a win that year at the Victoria Open (now the Bayview Place Island Savings Open) and three years later at the Canadian PGA Championship.
He jumped to the PGA Tour in 1994 and began to see some success within a couple of years. Stricker won the Kemper Open (now the Booz Allen Classic) in 1996, his first Tour win, and the Motorola Western Open a month and a half later. Strong showings in many tournaments that year pushed him to fourth on the PGA Tour money list.
Stricker has never won a major, despite good play in the U.S. Open over the years. His best finish came at the 1998 PGA Championship, where Vijay Singh bested him by two strokes. He did win the 2001 WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, which came with a $1 million prize. Other notable wins include the 2009 Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, the 2009 Deutsche Bank Championship and the 2010 Northern Trust Open.
The Tour veteran’s recent appearance at the PGA Championship, played at Wisconsin’s Whistling Straits in front of a home crowd, may prove to be his last major. While Stricker will continue playing golf, he is not currently exempt to play in any majors next year.
CBS Local Sports caught up with Stricker recently to chat about golf courses and his golf game.
CBS Local Sports: What’s your favorite golf course and why?
Stricker: Towne Country Club in Edgerton, Wisconsin, because it reminds me of all the good times I had there playing as a kid.
CBS Local Sports: What golf course do you most want to play that you haven’t yet and why?
Stricker: Pine Valley. I’ve heard so many good things about it.
CBS Local Sports: What is your go-to club on the golf course and why?
Stricker: Any of my short irons. [I] feel like it’s my best part of my game and have the most confidence in them.
CBS Local Sports: What first got you interested in golf?
Stricker: My dad and older brother played, so it was a family thing, and wanted to be with them.
CBS Local Sports: What is your most memorable moment on the golf course?
Stricker: My first win at the Kemper Open with (wife) Nicki on the bag.