Each week, PGATOUR.COM will take a look at one of the FedExCup contenders in the field and break down his past performances at that week's event, FedExCup history, and potential for success in the 2013 FedExCup chase.
This is Steve Stricker’s week.
Since the start of the FedExCup competition in 2007, Stricker has been nothing short of incredible at the John Deere Classic racking up three victories in four starts with an aggregate score of 84 under.
That’s right, 84 under. He’s averaged 21 under every four rounds at TPC Deere Run in the last four seasons.
Stricker, not a defending champ here for the first time since 2009, enters the week at No. 20 in the FedExCup standings. Following each of his previous three victories at the John Deere, Stricker has moved to second in the FedExCup ranks but can climb no higher than sixth with a win this week.
Not to worry, though. Even with his limited schedule Stricker is still a virtual lock for an extended stay in the FedExCup Playoffs, should he opt to participate. Stricker is playing a part-time TOUR schedule this year and has said he is unsure of his plans to play past the PGA Championship.
Stricker said Wednesday that his participation in the Playoffs likely hinges on whether he makes the U.S. Presidents Cup team. The 10 automatic qualifiers are determined after the PGA concludes and Stricker currently ranks ninth.
"Of course, if I make the team, I may throw in a couple Playoff events," Stricker said. "I won't play them all."
The Wisconsin native has competed at every Playoff stop in the six-year history of the FedExCup and thrice finished inside the FedExCup top 10. His impressive showings in the Playoffs, which include two victories and nine top 10s, earned Stricker the nickname “Mr. September.” Long story short, any time he tees it up in the Playoffs, he’s a threat to win.
That thought seems to have extended into the PGA TOUR season this year, where Stricker has performed brilliantly in just seven starts. He’s made every cut, finished five times inside the top 25 and boasts a pair of runner-up finishes on the young year.
Stricker has already announced that he will not be competing in next week’s British Open but he will have opportunities to make big moves this week, at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational and at the PGA Championship. At the Bridgestone, Stricker boasts four consecutive top-15 finishes (three of which have been top 10s) while his recent form at the PGA has been nearly as good, going T18-T12-T7 in the last three seasons.
Stricker’s still searching for that first win of 2013, which would also be lucky No. 13 for his career. If there’s one place for him to pick it up, this would be it. If he is successful and moves into the FedExCup top 10, he becomes a legit contender for the FedExCup no matter how many events he competes in between now and the start of the Playoffs. If we see him in late August at The Barclays, he'll be dangerous.
|Stricker's FedExCup finishes|
|Stricker's John Deere results, FedExCup standings|