Tuesday, January 10

Steve Stricker Hangs 12 in Maui

Steve Stricker is a master at wedge play.
THE MAN WITH THE VELVET PUTTING stroke captured the season-opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions at the Plantation Course in Maui on Monday. That would be 44-year-old Steve Stricker, who cruised to a three-shot win over Martin Laird by closing with a 69 for a 23-under total of 269.

It was Stricker’s 12th PGA Tour title and his first island victory. A second-round 63 gave the veteran a lead that he was able to protect the rest of the way, although it was cut to a single shot on the back nine of the final round. Then he birdied two of the last three holes and that was that.

As PGATour.com’s Brian Wacker mentioned, Stricker is looking a bit like that poster child for post-40 success, Vijay Singh. Singh has collected 22 tour wins since turning 40, which helped put him into the World Golf Hall of Fame. Stricker, who turns 45 next month, has notched nine wins in his 40s, eight of them since May 2009.

“I just try to do my own thing,” said Stricker, who knows his game and personality are far from flashy. He tries not to compare his game to the other guys, which he said got him into a funk back in the mid 1990s.

So what does he do?

“I chip and putt well,” Stricks said. “I’m driving the ball well.”

That pretty much sums up how to score in golf. Is it any wonder that this aging Wisconsinite can still fill a trophy case?

“Everybody has got a little bit different game, and that’s the way I just kind of look at mine,” he added.

It looks good to me, Steve. Nine-wins-in-the-40s good.

Last night I got so bored watching LSU try to move the football on Alabama in the BCS title game that I switched to the Golf Channel replay of Stricker’s stroll to victory. I guess some of the putts break toward Molokai. I’ll have to remember that for the next time I’m in Kapalua.

−The Armchair Golfer

(Photo credit: Keith Allison, Flickr, Creative Commons license)


Golf New Orleans said...

“I chip and putt well,” Stricks said. That is the understatement of the decade! That guy can flat roll it! Heel up and all!

The Armchair Golfer said...

He can't help it. He's an understated kind of guy.

Golf in Ireland said...

Yes agree with you. he is best guy in golf.