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March 8 2013

6:40 PM

Stricker content with shorter schedule

By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM

DORAL, Fla. -- Sometimes less is more, at least for Steve Stricker.

At the end of last year, Stricker thought about playing the 2013 opener in Maui, then hanging up his spikes for good.

Instead, he decided to simply cut back on his schedule, saying he'd limit himself to about 10 events this season. It seems to be paying dividends.

Stricker finished second at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, took six weeks off, then reached the quarterfinals of the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship before losing.

Going into the weekend at the WGC-Cadillac Championship, Stricker again finds himself in contention after a 67 in the second round.

He trails leader Tiger Woods, whom he helped with his putting earlier in the week, by three.

"I feel good about the decision that I've made," Stricker said. "I'm enjoying it and I can tell in my attitude out here. The biggest thing is I'm coming out here rested, refreshed, excited to play and it's showing in my game, too."

Through his first 36 holes at TPC Blue Monster, Stricker has made 11 birdies and just one bogey. He's also eighth in the field in greens hit and has taken just 53 total putts.

While Stricker doesn't expect the rest of his season to have as long of a break between starts as he did earlier this year, the time off has clearly helped the 46-year-old.

As for whether he regrets giving that putting lesson to the player he's now trying to catch?

"Yes and no," Stricker said. "Not really. It's good to see him putting well and playing well. It's good for us, it's good for the game."

Just like fewer starts have been for Stricker.

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