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December 16 2013

10:45 AM

No. 15 player to watch: Steve Stricker

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With the PGA TOUR set to resume its 2013-14 season the first week of January, PGATOUR.COM is previewing the top 30 players to watch heading into the new year. We'll count down one a day in December until we unveil our No. 1 player to watch on Dec. 30, the Monday of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions.

Check out this preview of No. 15 Steve Stricker and join the discussion below on how you think he'll perform in 2014. Click here for more on the top 30 players to watch in 2014.


NO. 15 PLAYER TO WATCH: STEVE STRICKER

2014 OUTLOOK: Steve Stricker's grand experiment was a rousing success -- on the golf course as well as off. So you can expect the 46-year-old to continue to play another scaled-back schedule in 2014 to spend more time with his wife and two daughters. And why not? Quality over quantity clearly worked for the soft-spoken man from Wisconsin last year. In just 13 starts Stricker managed to finish third in the FedExCup and win more than $4.4 million. He was runner-up on four occasions -- including at the season-ending TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola, famously forsaking an elk-hunting trip with his buddies to make a bid for the $10 million bonus -- and finished 13th or better in all but three starts. The 12-time PGA TOUR champion's window of opportunity to shed the best-player-never-to-have-won-a-major label may be dwindling but don't ever doubt he has some fine golf left to play. -- Helen Ross

THUS FAR THIS SEASON: Stricker has yet to make a start during the 2013-2014 PGA TOUR season.

EXPERT VIEWS
FANTASY OUTLOOK
The modern-day Bruce Lietzke not only has remained fantasy dominant with a reduced schedule, but he's living the fantasy lifestyle of which so many dream. That he's so likable checks both of the boxes during your draft; that is, you can invest with your head and your heart. -- Rob Bolton
ON THE MARK
Steve Stricker has copious amounts of everything you need to be a great scorer. He possesses a simple and efficient swing which affords him accuracy off the tee and into the greens. It also lends to his incredible ability with a wedge in his hands. It doesn’t end there, though. On the greens his ability with the putter rivals anyone. The only question I have about Steve, given the limited schedule he is playing, is how much he enjoys the sacrifice that is life on the road and then how much he really desires the big titles. -- Mark Immelman
COURSE PREFERENCE
Nobody understands or manages his game better than Steve Stricker, and the John Deere Classic is like his private annuity. I can’t really explain why he plays so well at TPC Deere Run but it is close to both his alma mater at the University of Illinois and his hometown in Madison. Steve has told me in the past the course fits his eye and he feels comfortable there. -- Fred Albers
INSIDE THE NUMBERS 
Playing a limited schedule in 2013, Stricker achieved statistical excellence. He had the best season of his career on TOUR in driving accuracy (70.65 percent, 3rd), greens in regulation (71.16 percent, 2nd) and scoring average (68.945, 1st). Also had his third-best strokes gained-putting mark of .727, which ranked second on TOUR. -- Bill Cooney

VIDEO VAULT

Super Slo-Mo Drive: Steve Stricker

The drive of multiple PGA TOUR winner, Steve Stricker, captured at The Barclays 2012, is analyzed by four -time PGA TOUR winner and Emmy-winning broadcaster Billy Kratzert.
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