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July 4, 2014

Steve Stricker


Q.  Steve Stricker, 66, 68.  Now you're 6‑under par.  How would you describe the way you played out there today?
STEVE STRICKER:  You know, I grinded it out.  It was a tough day.  The wind was gusty.  It was coming from all over the place.  You really couldn't pick a wind direction and stick with it today.
You know, it gets down in this valley and it bounces off both sides of this valley, and it literally comes from all over the place, so it made club selection very difficult and trusting your club selection difficult.
You know, I hit a lot of shots okay, you know, on the green, a long distance away, ended up making a lot of good 2‑putts, a lot of good par saves and did a few good things here and there, but it was a tough day out there.

Q.  You were telling us on Wednesday during the pro am day that the reason Nicki is on the bag this week, your wife, is because you decided to come here late.  You called your regular caddie, Jimmy Johnson.  He said, oh, I'm already working for Chris Kirk next week, and you said okay, that's cool.  I'll just have Nicki stay on the bag for me for one week.  And now it looks like in the third round on Saturday, as fate would have it, you might be playing with Chris Kirk and Jimmy Johnson will be on that bag.  So how does that dynamic work?
STEVE STRICKER:  You know, it's all good.  Jimmy, you know, we have an understanding, because I'm not playing as much, that he's free to go wherever he wants to go and he's been caddying some for Chris Kirk when I'm not playing, and when I do, Jimmy's been caddying for me.  So I threw this tournament in late, like you said, and he was like, oh, I committed to Chris Kirk, to caddie for Chris.  And like you said, it wasn't a big deal.  I said this is a good time for Nicki and I to do it anyways.  We try to get in one of these a year.  And it'll be fun if we happen to go out with each other tomorrow, you know.  And I'm sure it'll be tough for Jimmy which bag is he going to pick up.  But it's all good.  We have a good relationship, and hopefully we do go out with one another tomorrow.

Q.  Yeah, but what's that actually going to be like for you?  You have your own caddie, who by the way is your wife, Nicki, and the guy who you normally speak to when you're walking around inside the ropes, Jimmy Johnson, so you might not remember who to speak to as well; right?
STEVE STRICKER:  Yeah.  You know, actually a funny story.  They lost my clubs.  They weren't in the bag room my first round on Thursday, and I came out and I told Jimmy that, and he was on his feet faster than my wife, I think.  But he was helping, I turn around and I go in and try to find them and I come back out and Jimmy's got them on his shoulder.  So yeah, he's a good guy.  He works hard.  So it'll be fun if we go out with them tomorrow.

Q.  Be interesting to see if Jimmy reads some of your putts tomorrow.
STEVE STRICKER:  Well, he does it anyways.  It's all good.

Q.  You're pretty good at that.  6‑under, thoughts about the round today.  I thought you really putted well.  You had some little knee knockers there to get it in the hole.
STEVE STRICKER:  I did.  I left myself a lot of five‑footers, it seemed like.  You know, every hole, and after a while I was starting to tell myself, you know, let's get it in there a little closer where I can tap it in, and I just kept leaving myself that testy length all day.  And I made them for the most part.  So it was a good putting day.
It was a tough day, though.  Very difficult to judge where that wind was coming from.  When you thought you had it, you didn't.  And it was bizarre.  It was very difficult, and it came out of the north, which is typically for any golf course is tougher winds.  So you know, I hung in there.  I grinded it out and did a lot of good things again.

Q.  Let's talk about 11.  Into the trees, to the out house, into the bunker, on the green and in the hole for a par.
STEVE STRICKER:  Yeah.  You know, I didn't drive it all that bad there.  It hit the edge tree and it kicked it deeper into the woods, and my drop area actually gave me a little bit of opening up through the trees.
So I was able to get it up there in the bunker, pin high.  I actually turned it a little too much.  I could have gotten it on the green, I think, but I was good where I was, and hit a nice bunker shot out of there, and again, another 8‑footer, slider down the hill that I made.
So that felt like I stole one there, for sure, and then go ahead and birdied the next.  I felt like I got ahead of the game.

Q.  And I looked at you.  You've got your wife on the bag.  Your kids are high‑fiving you out there as you go from one green to another.  You've had really like two careers out here on the PGA TOUR.  You're living the American dream, aren't you, in a wonderful country?
STEVE STRICKER:  Well, I sure am.  I'm very lucky to be a part of this country, and the service men and women what they do for us is amazing, and you're able to shake one guy's hand at the 18th.  But there are so many more that work for us day in and day out, and it's quite an honor to be here, and it's a special place to bring your family and to hang out, and they're enjoying it.  They're doing a lot of different things, and it's nice to have them with me and following me around, too, for even nine holes.  They're doing other stuff the other part of the day, but it's fun to be here.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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