What they said: Steve Strickertext sizeJuly 13, 2012
PGA TOUR staff
MORE: John Deere Classic transcript archive THE MODERATOR: Steve, another solid round today. Talk about the difference between yesterday and today's round going out in the morning today, and then we'll take a few questions.
STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, it was fairly solid. I made a couple birdies probably that I shouldn't have, and then missed a couple opportunities that I should have taken advantage of. So I guess it kind of evened out.
I think I actually hit the ball a little bit better today. Hit more fairways, hit more greens, so it was a good round. Wish I could have gotten a couple more out of it, but overall I'm in a good position heading into the weekend.
Q. Troy Matteson was talking about playing with you in Houston. He thought it was 2006. He remembers you birdieing the last hole and pretty close to the cut. You just took off from there. Your comeback really was geared by that. Do you remember that at all??
STEVE STRICKER: I recall Houston in 2006, yeah. I don't recall the putt. I ended up finishing fourth there that week.
Really that was kind of the jump start to my comeback I think, was the Houston Open. I gained quite a bit of confidence there and went on to have a pretty good summer. I contended in the U.S. Open there for a while at Winged Foot. I had a pretty solid year coming off three bad ones.
He's right, from that point on really I gained a lot of confidence from the Houston Open. Kind of slowly kept gaining confidence over the years to where I am today, I guess. Yeah, he's right.
Q. Was it the putter or the entire game that you got confidence in??
STEVE STRICKER: No, it was the entire game. Yeah, entire game. I was driving it poorly and had very little confidence. Wasn't sure what I was doing.
That was in '03, '04, '05 seasons. Just went to work at the end of '05 and started slowly doing things better.
Q. Was it one thing that clicked in down there or just a combination??
STEVE STRICKER: No, I was still struggling there with confidence and shot shapes and stuff like that. But just the result, you know, finishing fourth I think was big. I gained a lot confidence from that. I could tell that I hit better shots. I was a little bit more under control, so things looked up from that point on.
Like I said, it was a steppingstone really. I kept working on the same things I still work on today, but I could see signs at the Houston Open that things were about to change or that were changing.
But it's been a slow progression all the way six years ago.
Q. (No microphone. )
STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, that's what I was thinking. (Laughter.) With black hair. Yeah, all the logos are right. I was eating Chipotle with Johnny Vegas last night. I said, When did you get a bobble head doll? It looks more like Johnny Vegas than it does me. He chuckled a little bit.
But anyway, yeah, it was nice. I hate it rip on the bobble head, but it's a nice gesture.
Q. I looked on eBay. I can get one for $49.99?
STEVE STRICKER: Really? You should snap up a couple. Don't waste your money. (Laughter.)
Q. You said after the round you're going to need a low score this weekend. How low is low??
STEVE STRICKER: You know, I don't know. I'm three back right now; that could change I suppose by the end of the day.
But the scores are low. 13-under is leading. You got to believe it could be somewhere around that 20 mark, so that means I've got to shoot 10 more under on the weekend. So that's a couple good rounds again, or more. You know, all depends what these guys do.
So it always tends to slow down a little bit come Sunday. Yeah, I would like to get a nice couple good rounds in. I'm in a good spot. I'm three back right now and in a good spot.
Q. Your golf today once again in double figures.
STEVE STRICKER: Well, you know, I was trying to get as many as I could. Really I wish I had a couple more. I made the turn, hit it in there to about five feet at 1 and missed it. Hit a good putt, too.
Had a 6-iron in my hand on No. 2 and block it out to the right and don't get it up and down. Didn't really have a chance of getting it up and down.
Yeah, these two shots I wish I had a couple more sitting here right now. That's all right. We'll try to get 'em this weekend. Just makes it a little bit harder. I need a couple good ones.
Q. Do you go back out to the putting green after the rounds??
STEVE STRICKER: I been working hard on my putting. It's getting better. I hit better putts last week; hitting some better putts this week. Feel like some of my confidence so coming back. I'm standing up over putts thinking that I got a good opportunity to make 'em. Even from 20 to 30 feet I feel like I can make one.
So that's good sign. Moving in the right direction and just continue to go to the putting green and work on the things I been working on.
Q. On media day they showed a bunch of highlights of you making a ton of putts.
STEVE STRICKER: Yeah.
Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE STRICKER: Well, the video was a culmination of a lot of years. It's getting better. I'm not really comfortable standing over it yet, but I do see improvement. I do see like my attitude about putting is changing and I feel like I'm putting more positive strokes on there instead of kind of wishy� washy ones like I'd been doing.
I feel like I'm moving in the right direction.
Q. Being in in your position now and your success the last three years an advantage for you on this course on the weekend??
STEVE STRICKER: No. I mean, I feel good here. That's all I can say. I enjoy going around here. I feel like I understand the course, and, you know, it suits my game well. I have a lot confidence here, I guess.
You know, it's just so hard. There are so many players that can jump up and take the lead or they can shoot a 61 tomorrow from 6-, 7-, 8-under, and all of a sudden they got the lead. It's going to be tough.
I like the spot I'm in. I'm behind. I would rather kind of be there I think at this point. See if I can't get a little bit closer to the lead tomorrow.
Q. (Question regarding low-scoring tournaments.)
STEVE STRICKER: I really don't. That's what's exciting for me. I feel like I can go to any venue that we play and have the opportunity to winor at least have a good tournament and be in contention, whatever.
No, I don't feel like one style suits me better. Like you said, I had it super low at Bob Hope before and not playing well the last day. I shot low here. Hawaii I've shot low. I've put some low numbers up.
And then I've also had some good U.S. Opens on courses that are very tough where par is a good score. And that's exciting, being able to come to a place and feel like it doesn't really matter. I feel that way, that I can adapt to the style or the course that we're playing.