John Deere Classic interview: Steve StrickerJuly 14, 2013
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Q. When you birdied 11, you were 3 behind, and we thought, oh, here comes Steve. What were you thinking at that moment because you were right there?
STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, we were right there and really made a poor swing at it at 12 and didn't take enough club. I had a club that I needed to hit to the left of the hole there and I took on the pin there and just didn't carry it enough. But I had a play there. I had the option to get it up and down, and I just didn't get it up and down. And I gave away a few shots on the back side today. I didn't capitalize on some good play, but that's golf.
Q. Over the last five years now, 100 under par here at the John Deere Classic for you. That's incredible. What do you think about that?
STEVE STRICKER: Well, I enjoy coming here. I can tell you that. I enjoy coming here. It's fun for me coming here. I get a tremendous amount of support. It's like home for me. It's a lot of fun, and obviously, I've had some success here, so it makes it even more special to come here.
Q. I noticed you're driving the ball well, maybe a little extra distance. Have you done anything with the driver different?
STEVE STRICKER: No, it's that young age, you know (laughing). No, I'm rested. I'm having fun with it. I'm enjoying the limited time that I am playing. It got a little firmer out there, so you could drive it a little firmer today. The ball was starting to bounce further today.
Q. We'll miss you at the British Open, but when will we see you again?
STEVE STRICKER: Akron and the PGA, and see where I'm standing on that Presidents Cup list, probably, and see if I can't make that team. Maybe throw in a couple playoff events.
Q. So the family out there following you around. I think they're enjoying walking around with you a bit.
STEVE STRICKER: They're having a good time this year. They've been with me quite a bit. They're planning on coming to Akron and the PGA, and maybe to New York to watch some tennis. We're spending a lot of time together, which has been fun, and they're having fun on the road here too.
STEVE STRICKER: That's a good question. There were a lot of good things. I take a lot of positive things out of there, so I guess it's glass half full. I always get confused. Yeah, I always look at the good side.
But I threw away some shots, even today. It could have been a special round today. Started right away at the first, hit it in there and lipped it out. Hit it in there for eagle at 2 and missed it. I hit it in there at 4, missed it. And make the turn 4 under, and birdie on number 7 and 9, which we really don't look at birdie holes, and not birdieing 10. There were a lot of opportunities today that I didn't take advantage of.
Wrong club at 12 and pushed it aside. I tried to get aggressive at 16, and thought it was in the bunker. Almost ended up in the hazard, and anyways, there is just a lot of opportunities that I threw away today. But I hit the ball well and did some really good things. Still kicking myself, really, at the end of the week.
Q. Did you realize you had gotten so close?
STEVE STRICKER: I knew I was close, and I knew I had gotten up there, but I didn't feel close yet because they have all those holes to play. They have all those birdie holes to play. I'm ahead of the game. I literally thought today I could shoot 61 or 60 like I have in the past. And you've got to do that without any mistakes and capitalize on some other things.
I figured if I could get to 21, who knows. Then when I saw the leaders kind of which I've been in that position, and it's all of a sudden become very hard on this course. When you don't make a birdie, you feel like the whole field is lapping you. Then it becomes difficult to make a birdie. That's what I went through yesterday. This course can go either way. You can get it going and shoot a heck of a score, or if you're kind of treading water, you feel like the whole world is passing you by. Then it makes things more difficult.
Q. Are you teaching your younger partner a few tricks throughout?
STEVE STRICKER: I have a lot of years of experience on him, but he's a good player. He'll be around a long time, and he's a good kid. He's getting married in October, and a lot of good things going on in his life. So he's got a great future ahead of him.
Q. What was that like out there today?
STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, it was a lot of fun. Like I say, Scott's a good kid. Anybody who went to Illinois under Mike has got to be a good kid. Mike doesn't tolerate anything but. So we had a great time, good guy to play with. He's got a tremendous short game. Once the ball striking catches up, he'll be just fine.
Q. Going into the round, did you think you could make up that ground?
STEVE STRICKER: Well, you need help from the leaders. That would have meant someone would have had to shoot a couple under, and I would have had to shoot 10. That was my goal was to shoot a really low round. It was there. It really was. It was close. I played really well today. And like I said, there were some putt there's that I didn't capitalize on, but thought I hit the ball well. I hit the ball well all week, but my putter let me down a little bit.
Q. Are thoughts going through your mind that you wrapped up this round different than in subsequent years with semi retired status now?
STEVE STRICKER: Well, I get to hop in my car and go home. I'm looking forward to that instead of getting on that plane. I'll miss the British Open. I'm thinking it wasn't the smartest move to miss the British Open, but it's my 20th anniversary this week. We have a family vacation planned with another family up north, so all good reasons to miss.
But we'll be watching it. I'll be watching it and probably wishing I was there in some regard, but I'm happy with my decision, what I'm doing, and I have been all year. So I'm good with it.
Q. If Zach hangs on, are you going to give him some advice on how to win three in a row out there?
STEVE STRICKER: I don't think he needs any advice. I think he does just fine around here.
Q. What's he going through out there? What's he going through right now on the back nine?
STEVE STRICKER: Well, it's tough. To tell you the truth, the repeat is not even on his mind. He's just trying to win a golf tournament and trying to make some shots. He's got such a good feeling here much like I do. He enjoys playing here, and that's all he's worried about is just that next shot and trying to win. He's not thinking about a repeat, really. He's just got good feelings, good vibes and I'm sure he'll do it. It seems like it's more his tournament than mine even though I've won it a couple times. He's got a lot of good fans and friends and it feels like home here for him as well.