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MASTERS TOURNAMENT


April 12, 2015


Steve Stricker


AUGUSTA, GEORGIA

Q.テつ (No Microphone.)
STEVE STRICKER:テつ Mark O'Meara and I were talking that there's some of the leaders are going to watch some of the things that we did today.テつ We made a lot of birdies on some difficult holes.テつ The greens have gotten like I remember them getting in years prior, firm, fast, starting on about number 8, all the way through they all of a sudden got that look to them where they got shiny, really thin and fast and firm.テつ So it's going to be a difficult day out there for the guys now, I think.

Q.テつ If were you a betting man would you bet on Spieth to hold on?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ You know, I don't know.テつ I hope he does.テつ He's a great kid.テつ I've gotten to know him, he's got a great game, a great head on his shoulders.テつ It's going to be very difficult for him.テつ Whoever was leading, it's going to be difficult for.テつ It's just a course where you slip up on one hole and it starts to get into your head for all the rest of the holes, just because it's that fine a line in going around here.
Like I said, with the greens firming up like they are, it's going to be difficult to make ‑‑ you can make birdies, no question.テつ I think coming in the hole locations at 15, 16, even 14, 13 all the way in, there's some real good birdie opportunities, because they're in some collection areas.
So, if you're on and hitting some good iron shots in there, you can make some birdies I think coming in, even with the firmer conditions.

Q.テつ Your first round in the 60s since 2009 here.テつ Is that a product of you playing good or some of the course conditions or a combination?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ I played well today.テつ Mark and I kind of had a great time.テつ It was fun, it was relaxing, it was an enjoyable round.テつ One guy would make a putt and the other guy would make it on top of him and make birdie on top of each other.テつ So it was ‑‑ we pushed each other along.
So I was happy, I really hit it nicely coming in.テつ So it was good to see.テつ I progressively got better, I think, every day.テつ Take Friday out of it, trying to make the cut, I probably didn't do so well.テつ But then hit it a little bit better each day on the weekend.

Q.テつ Talk about with cutting back your schedule, this could be your last Masters round for ‑‑
STEVE STRICKER:テつ It could be.テつ I thought about that this morning.テつ I've got some work to do to get back here.テつ It always is a goal to get back here from all of us players.テつ So get the World Ranking up, win again, all that gets you back here again.
So, that would be, obviously, a great goal to shoot for the rest of this year and next year to try to make it back.

Q.テつ Early in the season next year would you play more tournaments maybe to try to get in that competition?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ I don't know, maybe.テつ This year was an anomaly, just because I had the surgery in December, I couldn't play.
I'll play some in the early part of next year again.テつ I may go to Hawaii or something like that.テつ We talked about it as a family again going over there.テつ Yeah, I'll probably play a little bit.
I still enjoy playing.テつ I find out how much I really missed it when I wasn't able to play the last four months.テつ So, it was good to get back, kind of good to get under the gun again and see what kind of tendencies you're doing, because it's just different playing in front of people, tournament conditions, all of that.テつ It's just a little bit tougher.テつ So it was good to get back and see what I got.

Q.テつ Are you going to try to qualify to get in the U.S. Open at this point?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ Yeah, I'll try to qualify for it.テつ I'm not sure when and where yet.テつ I'm exempt through the first local qualifying and then I'll have to pick a spot for the sectional qualifying, but, yeah, I'll probably try that.

Q.テつ When would you start looking at Chambers Bay and just kind of finding out about it?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ Well, I've got to qualify first.テつ So it will probably be I think a Monday and Tuesday after or ‑‑ the Monday after Memorial usually is a good qualifying spot and time.テつ But I'll try to qualify.テつ Or if it's at home, I'll try.テつ I'll find a spot and try.

Q.テつ Were you surprised at O'Meara at 58 played that well, not only today but throughout the Tournament?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ He played great.テつ I told him, I'm like, I was ‑‑ I wasn't shocked the way he played, but he still hits it out there with pretty good distance.テつ He was very accurate off the tee.テつ He putts it great.
And he says, you know, it's tough to win on the Senior Tour.テつ Now I see why.テつ Because if he's not winning regularly‑‑ I mean, he played great.テつ He shot 68 and it was fun to watch him.
Good golfers, I guess they get older ‑‑ he says he hit it better, like last year and some of his rounds this year, better than he did when he won in 1998.テつ He just manages his game differently back then than he does now.テつ So that was kind of interesting to hear.テつ But, yeah, he played great.テつ It was fun to watch.

Q.テつ Did you think this morning about this could be your last Masters, that this could be your 50th round here.テつ Did you know that?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ I didn't know that.テつ No.テつ It's my 50th round here?

Q.テつ Yeah.
STEVE STRICKER:テつ No, I knew nothing about it.テつ But, yeah, I kind of have a love/hate relationship with this place.テつ You want to be here, but it's ‑‑ I haven't had the best of records going around here.テつ It's difficult all in one.テつ It's fun, nerve wracking, all of it.テつ You have your good times going around here and you have some real horrible times.テつ You think, you idiot, why are you doing that?テつ Hitting in the water at 13.
But it's so beautiful and you want to be here this time of year and play, for sure.テつ But I surely want to be back, there's no question about that.

Q.テつ Did you get your shot shape back?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ A little bit.テつ A little bit.テつ I got some length coming in.テつ I started hitting it pretty long coming in and started flushing it.テつ I tweaked my grip a little bit about six holes to play.テつ It seemed to help.テつ So, at this point that's kind of what I'm down to, tweaking things and just a little thing with my grip can make a big difference.
So it's just trying to figure out those little things and those tendencies, what I get into and bad habits I get into when I'm out there playing and try to rectify them and fix them.テつ So, yeah, it was good.テつ I'm excited the way I finished and the way I finished it off today.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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