March 10 2013
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
DORAL, Fla. -- Steve Stricker decision to cut back on his schedule has paid big dividends.
In three starts this season, the 46-year-old has finished second, fifth and second.
Even though Stricker didn't win Sunday at the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship, he left TPC Blue Monster pleased.
"I'm happy the way I'm playing," said Stricker, who shot a final-round 68 to finish two strokes behind winner Tiger Woods. "It's been a good start to the year. Been on the short end a couple times but played some pretty solid golf and am putting the ball better."
Ironically, it was a putting lesson earlier i nthe week that Stricker gave to Woods that helped Woods to his fewest putts ever in a four-round tournament.
With Woods leading by four going into the final round, Stricker didn't exactly have a lot of faith in being able to catch him.
"You don't have a lot of ‑‑ what's the right word ‑‑ belief that he's going to come back to the field I guess," he said. "He's been so solid with 54‑hole leads over his career that you just don't think he's going to come back. And he didn't again."
And Stricker played some of his best golf again after arriving in South Florida rested.
"I just feel like there's little pressure on me out there," Stricker said. "I'm having really a lot of fun. I know deep down that I'm only playing 11 times, and that excites me. But I also get very pumped up and excited to play when I do come out. I work at it hard still at home but in the back of my mind, it's just coming out and having fun, trying to play good golf and see what happens."