December 16 2013
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
NAPLES, Fla. -- A year ago at this time Steve Stricker was contemplating retirement; he’d play the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, where he was the defending champion, then ride off into the sunset.
“What if I went to Kapalua to defend and didn't play again the rest of the year?” Stricker thought at the time.
It was an odd question given that he was coming off a four-year period that included eight wins and arguably the best golf of his career.
With the resumption of the PGA TOUR season a few weeks away, Stricker has no such thoughts of hanging up his spikes. But he does plan to again keep a limited schedule.
“It worked well last year,” said Stricker, who had eight top 10s in 13 starts on the PGA TOUR in 2013, including four runner-up finishes. “I wanted to be fresh and ready at every tournament I played, and I was.”
The only thing Stricker didn’t do in 2013 was win, so he’ll instead open his 2013-14 campaign at the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship in late February instead of the winners-only tournament in Maui.
With his last competitive start having come over this past weekend at the Franklin Templeton Shootout, Stricker will now retreat to Wisconsin for the next 10 weeks.
When he does resume playing, he’ll play mostly the same tournaments -- four majors and “six-to-eight” other tournaments.
Because 2014 is a Ryder Cup year, he’ll also keep an eye on the standings and add an event or two if he needs to.
As for why the shortened schedule worked so well for Stricker, his answer was simple.
“I thought I could still play well doing it that way,” he said. “That’s a lot of it out here, getting things right in your mind and feeling good about your decisions.”