When the Cubs aren’t playing baseball during spring training, Streelman says you can usually find them on the golf course. He’s played a lot of golf with Lester and Ian Happ and Kyle Schwarber and Anthony Rizzo at some of the area’s finest courses like TPC Scottsdale, Whisper Rock and Silverleaf.
Happ is the best of the lot, according to Streelman. Happ’s father, Keith, who died of brain cancer in 2015, was a scratch golfer and worked as an agronomist for the USGA.
“Ian grew up at a golf course and he takes it seriously,” Streelman says. “It's really funny if you give him a hard time because he always wears pants. So, like even when it's hot out, we're all wearing shorts and he's like trying to be all professional. Like, dude, you're not a professional golfer. ...
“He can shoot the 60s, so he doesn't get too many shots from me.”
The Cubs are on a 10-day road trip, so Streelman won’t get to take a break in his preparations for the BMW Championship and head over to Wrigley Field. But he has the MLB package and watches all the games – which has been a good distraction since he’s had to spend so much time away from home during the PGA TOUR’s compressed schedule after the COVID-19 break.
“It stinks being away from my family,” Streelman says. “This is the most I've been away from them in my career. ... So, I'll grab dinner and FaceTime the kids, throw the game on and kind of go back and forth between FaceTime with the family and watching the games.
“It's just kind of a nice reprieve when I'm on the road.”
The Cubs are playing well, as is Streelman, who’s had two runner-up finishes this year. As of Monday night, Chicago leads the National League’s Central Division with an 18-10 record.
“I text the guys if they're doing well and leave them alone when they're not -- kind of like they do with my golf game,” Streelman says. “So, it's just fun. It's a sprint to the finish with only 60 games, but the Cubs got off to a great start and are looking promising going forward.”
So promising, that the two-time PGA TOUR champion might have a dilemma. His original plan was to auction the golf bag off for charity, but he’s become attached.
“I love it so much,” he says. “I kind of want to keep it for myself. Maybe I'll just pay myself and give it to charity. Especially if they win the World Series. I don't think I can give it away then.”
Streelman enters the second event of the FedExCup Playoffs ranked 28th and trying to hold onto a spot in the top 30 so he can play at East Lake in Atlanta next week where the $15 million bonus is awarded. He estimates he’ll need a top 25 finish or so at Olympia Fields on Sunday, and he likes the challenge.
“I know I need to focus and if I play well enough, I make it,” Streelman says. “And if I don't, I don't. Like I'm okay with either result. I've had a great year and I’m proud of the season. To get to East Lake would obviously be the icing on the cake, but I need to play well to get there.
“And I would love to do it in my hometown, so I'm going to do my best.”