By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- Steve Stricker hasn’t played golf since the U.S. lost the Ryder Cup two months ago outside Chicago.
“It still lingers,” Stricker said Tuesday from the World Challenge presented by Northwestern Financial. ”That wasn’t much fun the way it ended.”
None of it, at least inside the ropes, was fun for Stricker, who failed to earn a point in four matches, which included going 0-for-3 alongside Tiger Woods. Stricker said the loss hurt more than anything else in his 24 years on the PGA TOUR, including the years in which he lost his card.
“I feel a lot of responsibility for not winning a point,” Stricker said. “I still think about it a lot, and there are reminders all over the place. Every corner I take (at home), there’s a picture from the Ryder Cup or a present or something.”
Stricker added that he wouldn’t have changed anything about the experience -- other than the outcome.
He was so haunted by the defeat, he had trouble sleeping the first two weeks after the historic collapse.
“I think it still hurts a lot of us just because how it all played out,” said Stricker, who never had more than a 1-up lead in any of his matches and who trailed for much of them.
If there’s a moment that sticks out in particular, it came on the 17th hole on Sunday against Martin Kaymer.
Stricker hit his tee shot through the green on the par-3 and failed to get up and down to save par. Kaymer made his par to take a 1-up lead he would never relinquish.
“I haven’t watched it,” Stricker said of the matches. “I don’t plan on watching it.
“I feel a lot of responsibility there just because I didn’t do anything for the team.”
As for playing on the next team when he’ll be 47 years old, the wounds of this loss are still too fresh for Stricker to think that far ahead.
“Not right now,” he said. “I’ve had a good run with it. It’s been a lot of fun. Yeah, you know what, I don’t know. It still stings. It’s not a fair question at this time.”