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July 12, 2014

Steve Stricker


MARK STEVENS:テつ Steve, you want to talk about your round today and where you find yourself going into the final round?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ It was a nice round.テつ I played pretty steady all day long.テつ Drove the ball very well today.テつ I think I only missed one fairway, might have only missed one green today too, quick count.テつ But it was a good day.
I gave myself a lot of opportunities, made some nice putts.テつ Couple holes I didn't take advantage of, but overall I stole a couple early coming in at 17 and 18, got it up‑and‑down from the other side of the bunker at 17, and made a nice long putt at 18.テつ So it was just a good, solid round and a good way to finish the day.テつ Gets me in that last pairing tomorrow, which I'm excited about.

Q.テつ How significant was the putt at 18 to get into that final group for tomorrow?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ I looked up at the board and saw a couple other 15s, and I knew Johnson was one of them, and he was going to be out of it.テつ But I thought if I could sneak that in there, I'd be in the last group for sure.テつ You don't expect to make a putt like that.テつ It didn't have a whole lot of break.テつ I knew I could get it there.テつ I didn't have to hit it that hard.テつ It was just all downhill.テつ But it tracked nicely and dove right in there, so it was good.テつ I got a little closer to Brian, and he played some great golf today.テつ Like I say, I got closer to him, so I'll be with him tomorrow.テつ But there are so many guys that are in this thing.テつ It's jammed up there again.
You know, it's a course that can yield some low scores, as we've seen.テつ Guys can come from behind too, so there are a number of guys that are going to have the opportunity to win tomorrow.

Q.テつ How much does it help to be in that final group?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ Yeah, it helps.テつ You know, even though those guys get off to hot starts, you have those holes to play too, so you can kind of answer it if you have to.テつ That's always good, being the last to come in, you know where you stand.テつ You know what you have to do if it does come down to that.

Q.テつ (Indiscernible)?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ I have good feelings when I step up to the putts here.テつ I don't know what it is.テつ I see the line very well here.テつ I think there are good greens to putt.テつ They're smooth.テつ You know, the guys I've been out with this week have all made a lot of putts.テつ Brian made some really nice putts today, and I don't know what it is for me here.テつ I don't know.テつ I just seem to roll the ball well, and hopefully knock on wood, we can do it one more day tomorrow.

Q.テつ Considering your track record here, psychologically is it to your advantage being in that final group tomorrow?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ I don't know.テつ I'm not going to go on that first tee and think that I've won here three times and this tournament's mine.テつ I'm not thinking like that at all.テつ I've got a busy day tomorrow.テつ I've got an important day for me tomorrow, and it's just really down to business and try to take that first hole and first shot as it comes and go from there.
It's nice and I can think about that I've had some success here, but once that tournament starts tomorrow, it doesn't owe me anything, you know what I mean?テつ I'm just going to have to do my own work out there.

Q.テつ Does it get easier getting into that final three pairing?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ Yeah, I think it's maybe a little easier, but it's always hard.テつ It will still be difficult for me tomorrow.テつ I'm not in that final group a lot out here, especially now, I haven't been playing that much.テつ So I'll want to take advantage of this day tomorrow very much just because I'm not playing very much.テつ To get back in the winner's circle would mean a lot, so there will be some pressure on me as well as everybody else.
But there is a comfort factor here for me for sure.テつ I feel comfortable going around here, and I've had some success, for sure.

Q.テつ What do you think the difference between how you're playing last week and you being off for a while versus this week?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ I don't know.テつ I guess just getting another tournament under my belt before coming here I think helps a little bit.テつ I had two weeks off before going to Greenbrier, and I played all right.テつ I didn't play anything great.テつ I putted nicely.テつ It was a tricky tournament.テつ The wind was all over the place.テつ It was tricky to hit some of the iron shots.テつ I did some nice things there, so it was a good tournament in that regard, getting some holes under my belt.テつ It made me come into here feeling like I was a little more prepared, so that helps.

Q.テつ Did you play a little more patiently today?テつ It seemed you backed off a shot.
STEVE STRICKER:テつ Yeah, the wind kicked up at times.テつ On 15 we had a normal probably 6‑iron, and all of a sudden it kicks up, and now we're back down to a 5‑iron.テつ So there were a couple of those situations where the wind got a little bit tricky on us, and we just took our time because we weren't going anywhere.テつ I mean, every time we got up to the tee we were waiting on the group in front of us.テつ There were times I just took my time because I knew we weren't going anywhere.

Q.テつ Some would say this is one of the more easier layouts on the TOUR.テつ (No Audio) was shocked to see 18, 20, 22‑under.テつ Where do you fall in there?テつ Is it a matter of perspective?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ I think courses are different to different players.テつ One course to one player may seem a little bit easier than that same course to another player.テつ I feel that same way about some other courses.テつ When they go around and shoot some scores like they do at TPC at Jacksonville, Geez, it's the hardest course on Earth, and here these guys are shooting these low scores.テつ I think it's different to different players, the courses are, so I think it all depends.テつ Courses fit somebody's eye more than another person's eye.テつ It just fits into their game a little bit more.
So I think‑‑ and I've talked to some other players here that have missed the cut this week, they've said the same thing.テつ It's pretty difficult.テつ So it's just a matter of how it fits to your game and how you see it, and how if you have confidence here or a specific course or not.テつ So I think It's different to everybody.

Q.テつ With that in mind, with somebody who is watching the score line and they don't have the perspective, and the ball in hand today or lift, clean, and place, there were some low scores today.
STEVE STRICKER:テつ Uh‑huh, sure, yeah.テつ Ball in hand, I don't know how much that really helps.テつ It helps.テつ You can get it maybe up‑and‑down.テつ You may be able to use an angle when you can get a club length and maybe help you get it up‑and‑down.テつ It may save you a shot here and there, but I don't know how many shots it can save you, you know.テつ But it is what it is.

Q.テつ Do you like it when this golf course is soft?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ It doesn't matter.テつ I think I've played it in just about any condition.テつ I like when the fairways get running and it plays a little bit shorter.テつ That helps me out a little bit.テつ But I've also played it here when it's soft.テつ I think when it's soft, it doesn't really matter to me, I guess.テつ The wedge shots for some players when it gets soft becomes more difficult for me.テつ I don't spin the ball that much with my wedges.テつ It usually takes a hop and stops, no matter if it's soft or hard.
So I've just got to judge that bounce.テつ It really doesn't really matter to me.テつ I enjoy it when it plays a little bit shorter, and today a few holes have played pretty long.

Q.テつ (Asking about Jerry Kelly) is he one of those guys that can still come out of the pack?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ Yeah, very happy for him.テつ I gave him a big old hug when I saw him on the range Wednesday or Thursday.テつ Haven't seen much of him this year.テつ Our schedules have been opposite and we're going and doing different things.テつ He's got his boy playing baseball and he's gone watching him all the time.テつ So our paths haven't crossed very much this year, but we're friends.
I hope that he gets right up in there.テつ I'm glad to see him right up in there.テつ Yeah, for sure, he's one of those guys that he played another good, solid round today.テつ I think he was 6‑under again today, so he feels good.テつ He played well here last year.テつ I think he finished fourth here last year, so he obviously feels good going around here and he's very consistent.
We play pretty similar games.テつ Try to get it in the fairway, and he's a good short iron player and a good putter too.テつ So it's similar styles, so I expect to see him up there again tomorrow too.

Q.テつ In terms of courses fitting your eye, you're 100 under par the last five years.テつ Any course ever fit your eye better than this?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ I don't know.テつ I feel like I can go‑‑ I don't know what it is here.テつ I just feel good coming here.テつ I don't know.テつ There are some shots that don't fit my eye here.テつ Like the tee ball at 18, the tee ball at 15.テつ There are some awkward tee balls for me here.テつ The tee ball at 2.テつ So there are some things here that don't set up great for me, but there are some generous driving areas too.テつ I think what fits my game is that there are a lot of short shots here, 7, 8, 9 sand wedges and some par‑5s that even I can get to.テつ Put all those things together and then winning here three times, I've got some good feelings going around here.

Q.テつ If you pull this thing off, do you think you'll get another bobblehead?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ Good question.テつ I don't know.テつ The bobblehead, the first one didn't really look like me anyway, so...

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