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JOHN DEERE CLASSIC


July 13, 2014


Steve Stricker


SILVIS, ILLINOIS

Q.  If you could sum up the day.  It looked like you were just grinding pars and couldn't find those early birdies.
STEVE STRICKER:¬† Yeah, I got off to a good start hitting the ball.¬† I just couldn't get it in the hole.¬† Hit a lot of good putts, too, rolled a lot of them over the edge, lipped out a couple.¬† Just got to the point where I started to press, trying to make birdies and trying to make it happen, and then that makes it harder when putts aren't falling.¬† It wasn't that I hit bad putts, either.¬† I hit a lot of good putts today and just‑‑ they didn't go in.
You know, then it became‑‑ after I made double‑‑ I didn't really hit that bad of a shot on the par‑3, I just hung it out a little bit, and it was hard to play after that.¬† Just trying to get it in without getting in Brian's way.

Q.  When you saw Brian make the early eagle I'm sure you felt like you'd better get going if you were going to keep up with him?
STEVE STRICKER: ¬†Not really.¬† That's the nature of this course.¬† Guys get off to hot starts and there's plenty of holes to get it back, and that didn't bother me so much.¬† I made par after‑‑ I didn't think I hit it in the water, but it ended up being in the water there at 2 and made a good save, and then I hit a lot of good shots, drove the ball well, hit good quality iron shots, and they were just outside that range of where you expect to make them.¬† They were in that 15‑to‑20‑foot range all the time, and I didn't make any.

Q.  Talk about Brian today and playing with him, what did you see and what do you like about his game?
STEVE STRICKER:  Yeah, he's a good, solid player.  He has been for a while.  To get the first win is a huge monkey off his back.  I was happy to be out with him to see it, and he played some great golf the last couple of days.  It would have taken a heck of a round by me or anybody else to catch him today.  He played solid all the way through the end.

Q.  What do you take from this week for whenever you come back out and play again?
STEVE STRICKER:  Yeah, I'm going to play in a couple weeks at the Bridgestone.  I did a lot of good things.  I hit the ball nicely.  I almost felt like I got a little bit better as the tournament went on.  You know, two weeks in a row kind of bothers me that I had poor Sundays, and I don't know why that is, but I got myself into position two weeks in a row and then just didn't have a good game on the Sundays when I needed to.

Q.  I'm sure it's always fun regardless to come out here and be a part of this tournament?
STEVE STRICKER:  Oh, yeah.  This is a lot of fun.  This is a great atmosphere, great crowds they get out here, a lot of support by the community.  It's a lot of fun.  I look forward to coming to it every year.

Q.  It seemed like on the back side you made mistakes, 12 and 14 specifically, they were misses to the right.  Was something in your swing or were they just misses?
STEVE STRICKER:  Yeah, the one at 12, I tried to hit a little bit too hard and got ahead of it a little bit.  Same with the 14th.  But the damage was done at that point, and I was not focused.  It was hard just to grind it out coming in just because I expected to be in there coming down to the end, and when you're not, it's a little deflating.
But I hung in there, made two nice birdies, hit a nice iron at 16, and kind of to typify my day, I drove it in the fairway at 17 and I got a huge piece of mud right on the back where I've got to hit my 3‑wood, and it just squirted up there, and I ended up getting it up‑and‑down for birdie, but it was kind of a struggle around every corner today.¬† And you have days like that, but that's golf, and it keeps you coming back and keeps you working at it.¬† But I did a lot of good things this week.

Q.  Is it a comfort factor the last two weeks just because you haven't played a lot of golf this year?
STEVE STRICKER:¬† Could be, yeah, could be.¬† But I felt really good today.¬† I hit the ball so well on the range and I came out and I really hit the ball‑‑ I didn't really miss a shot the first 10 holes, hung it out a little bit off my drive at 11, but the first 10 holes I played as good as I can.¬† I mean, except for hitting it a little bit closer.¬† I may have been a little bit too cautious.¬† I played to the fat side all the time, gave myself 15‑footers, 20‑footers.¬† I had a good look at it at No.8, lipped it out, good look at it at 1 right away.¬† So it wasn't like they were poor shots, and that's what I've got to keep telling myself.¬† I just didn't get it in the hole.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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