What they said: Steve Stricker

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September 20, 2012
PGA TOUR staff

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Q. Steve, a clean card out here at East Lake. That's always a nice accomplishment.

STEVE STRICKER: Thanks. I played pretty solid today. Managed my game well, got it around nice. Drove it okay, not great. I've got to improve on that a little bit. I only hit about half the fairways, and maybe I hit a few first cuts, which is just like hitting the fairway out here. They're pretty narrow.

And I just scored well, putted well, just took advantage of some good shots and got it up?and?down when I had to.

Q. We have you 8 of 14 fairways. I'm always impressed with your patience on the golf course. You par the first 8 holes and you take advantage of a par?5 ninth. Is it hard to remain patient and rip off par after par while you see people posting big numbers?

STEVE STRICKER: I know to be patient here because it is a tough course. No one's really going to go crazy low here, I don't think. It's playing difficult. It's playing long. It is still a test of patience, because I had a couple of early birdie putts that I didn't make, and lipped one out at number 8, and so, yeah, it tests your patience. I know you have to be patient. Just keep going along, got a birdie, and got a par, and kept going from there.

Q. Payne Stewart Award winner. What's that mean to you??

STEVE STRICKER: It means a lot. I'm very honored and humbled by the award, for sure. It's probably my biggest accomplishment in golf, to tell you the truth. It means a lot and speaks of a guy's character, and to be put on that list with Payne's name on it and the group of guys that are on that list, winners here means a lot. Very honored to have it.

Q. Can you tell us about your round today??

STEVE STRICKER: It was a solid round. No bogies, which any time you can do that going around here is a good feat. Just played smart, played patient, took advantage of a couple of good shots and got it up?and?down when I had to, when I missed the greens. Made a couple of good par saves too in there where I actually hit it on the green and hit putts pretty far past the hole.

I was downhill, and they're extremely fast downhill. I whacked one by almost 15 feet on one hole, and another probably 8 to 10 feet on another, and made those come back. So had a couple of par saves that way too.

Q. Do you know the permutation it's will take for you to win the FedExCup??

STEVE STRICKER: I need to win the tournament. I mean, that's my objective is to win. Then obviously there are other scenarios that have to play out for me to win. Rory has to finish 7th or lower, however you look at it. And then Tiger and all those guys 2 through 5 have to finish third or higher.

Q. Talk about being grouped up here at the first round, being near the lead??

STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, it's just day one. Nobody's going to run away with it here. The course is playing long. It's playing tough. The greens are extremely fast. You get on the wrong side of it, and you're just putting defensively around here.

So it's a tough track. You know, it's tough to get on the fairway. The fairways aren't that wide. It's a tough set?up, so you need to have a lot of patience and just keep plugging along. Take one day and one shot at a time.

Q. Was that a new driver today??

STEVE STRICKER: No, same one.

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