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August 16, 2015

Steve Stricker

Kohler, Wisconsin, USA

Q. How was your day?
STEVE STRICKER: It was fun. I had it going there for awhile. Had a putt to go to 6-under for the day at No. 13, didn't make that. And then I ended up doubling 14 and kind of was trying to hang on from then on in.

It's a tougher course today. They've got some challenges out there finishing up. It's a little breezier, pins are in tough spots. If you're going to be aggressive, you've got to be willing to accept getting in a bad spot, if you can't pull the shot off. It's a challenge.

Q. What were your emotions out there today?
STEVE STRICKER: It was good. A lot of well wishers out there for me and a lot of support throughout the whole week. The ovation I got there on 18 was pretty special. It was a great week. I'm glad I was around for the weekend to play.

My game is really close to being right where it's been, it's just doing those little things and not scoring the way I used to score, really. But it was fun to play and fun to get all the support that I got here this week.

Q. At the time you made the third straight birdie, you were top 13 at the time. Did you have in your mind what the top 15 would be?
STEVE STRICKER: I was thinking if I could get a couple more after that and get it to 8 or 9 for the tournament, you know, I thought would have been a really good score today. And it was close, it really was. It was really close to being something special. So I take a lot away from that. It was a fun week.

Q. What felt so good those first 13 holes?
STEVE STRICKER: You know, pretty much what I've been doing every day. I've been driving it very well and getting it in play. And hitting some really good iron shots and just -- today I took advantage of some of the better iron shots, I hit a couple stiff gimmes. But I thought I swung my club really nicely this week and was aggressive and didn't back down. And I putted the ball a little bit better than I had been this year. Still not really what I expect out of myself, but it was a little bit better in that regard. So I was happy with the way I played.

Q. When will you play next?
STEVE STRICKER: When will I play next? Good question.

Q. No plans?
STEVE STRICKER: No plans. Probably Shark Shootout in December.

Q. Then looking ahead to the regular season, sometime early next year, perhaps?
STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, I'm looking -- this was a good year to get under my belt just to check out this back situation and see what I could do and what I couldn't do. I never really pressed it this year. I only played two tournaments back-to-back one time.

So I think everything went well. I felt stronger. I have a lot more pop on some of my shots. I'm hitting my driver, I think, probably just as long as I have been the last -- probably longer than I have been the last four or five years. So I feel stronger. So I feel like I passed the test this year as far as getting back from that surgery in December.

And I kind of want to start the year off a little earlier than I did this year and maybe play Hawaii, maybe Bob Hope, I don't know. My kids, my wife, they're all looking to get out of Wisconsin in January. So it might be a good trip to make early on.

Q. Will you take your clubs to Korea just in case?
STEVE STRICKER: Probably not.

Q. Do you feel like you've got one more major left in you in Wisconsin?
STEVE STRICKER: I'll surely try to qualify for it, I know that. Yeah, I tried to qualify for the U.S. Open this year. That would be one tournament that I continue to try to get in. Yeah, that would be nice to play there in a couple of years.

Q. (Inaudible.)
STEVE STRICKER: Look at the people out here this week. It's unbelievable the amount of support that they give to this tournament. I see the PGA coming back here. I don't know about the U.S. Open, but I see a PGA of some sort coming back here on a regular basis. We've got the Ryder Cup in 2020, and I could see another PGA coming here between 2022 and 2025, probably, somewhere near, I would imagine. Just the amount of support that this community gives and the state of Wisconsin, Illinois people, I know, are up here. I think you can't go wrong. PGA has got to love it. And they can fit a ton of people in this facility here. And the guys seem to like the course. It's a tough challenge, pretty penal at times, but if you play well you can score well.

Q. What type of an honor is it to carry the banner for Wisconsin golf on a week like this?
STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, it's a lot of fun. The amount of support, I don't know how many times I can say it, but the amount of support I got here this week was unbelievable. And it's their way of showing their appreciation, my way of showing appreciation back to them for the amount of support that they give me just by playing and trying to play well.

It's a great state. They get behind their golf here, like they have again this week, and like they did the previous two times here. But it will be back, I'm sure.

Q. (Inaudible.)
STEVE STRICKER: You know, with a lot more optimism. I feel like things are really progressing. I think I've hit the ball more solidly this year than I have other years. Scoring was a challenge this year. Putting was a challenge. But the way I'm swinging at it, the way I'm aggressively swinging at it, you know, I feel really -- really feel good about hopefully what's going to happen next year. And hopefully play a little bit more and get into a little bit of a rhythm more so than what I had this year.

Q. How difficult were the conditions today compared to yesterday?
STEVE STRICKER: A lot different. Yesterday we played with very little wind or no wind at all. So obviously we've got a probably 10 to 15 mile an hour wind. It's a bit challenging, and the pins are challenging again, too.

Kerry Haigh put them in spots where if you were aggressive, you could play the price. So it's a bit more of a challenge. And you're going to still see some good scores out there. Guys that get off to good starts, and there's good holes around the turn at 10 and 11 and 13 that can be had, 14. But then you've got a couple stiff finishing holes on 17 and 18. It will be a great finish, I'm sure.

Q. How motivated are you to play your way back to the elite level, get back in the WGCs and get back in the majors, is that going to be a goal?
STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, it hurts when you don't play in some of those events, for to sure, when you're watching the Bridgestone a couple of weeks ago, that's one of my favorite tournaments throughout the year. Some of the other majors that you play on a regular basis, and all of a sudden you're not in.

But it also -- I chose this path and I knew this was probably going to happen at some point in time that you slowly fade away out of that category and that exemption area. So I'm still committed to what I'm doing, and that's playing a limited schedule and I'm still enjoying that very much.

But I also know that I've got a lot of good competitive golf in me yet and still look forward to trying to compete and to win again. That's my ultimate goal again is to get back in that winner's circle. And I've got to shore up a couple of things, and it's definitely on the putting side. That's been the strength of my game over the years and this year it was kind of an issue, a crutch. It wasn't that good.

Q. How confident are you that you're going to play another major at some point?
STEVE STRICKER: That's a tough question. I had a female reporter ask me that yesterday. Obviously I'm not going to give up trying. I'm going to continue to try to get in these majors, but, I don't know, it could be my last. But like I said say, I'm going to continue to try to get in them.

Q. (Inaudible.)
STEVE STRICKER: It wasn't that bad a shot, I hit my drive in the fairway. I couldn't see the flag, so I had to line it up with some grass on top of the hill. Either I picked the wrong grass or -- I missed my spot, I thought, from the grass by about a step to the right and I got up there and I was in the bunker in a buried lie. It didn't land in the bunker, it must have just rolled in if there and then just settled down. I had no stance.

I got it out there on the face, but my ball is sitting up that high in the grass. And ended up missing the putt for bogey.

It's penal around here. You miss it -- I just missed it by a little there and I ended up making double bogey when I felt like I really didn't have a bad shot there. That's the tough part to swallow. You can miss it wide sometimes and be better off than the guy that misses it slightly around the green. That's tough to swallow sometimes.

Q. You made that switch with your putter this week, are you happy with the results out here?
STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, I putted better this week than I have all year. Definitely some better signs and I'll stick with it for a while. It felt good in my hands. I thought I rolled it really well the first couple of days. Yesterday wasn't as good. Today was a little bit better again. So there was definitely better signs with that.

Q. When Milwaukee is on the schedule, you can walk away from the 72nd hole of the tournament, knowing that you'll be back in front of your home fans the following year. Walking of these greens, in front of these fans, not knowing when you would play in front of them again, did you take a moment at all?
STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, you know, walking up there, that was pretty special when I was getting that standing ovation there, and I took a moment there, for sure. Like I say, I don't get that too often, and that was special for me. So I really appreciate the support I get here and around the country. I hear Wisconsin fans wherever I go. That's a cool feeling to have. And like I said, this is a special feeling walking up on 18 today.

Q. When you listen to the TV broadcaster talking about the youth movement being on, how do you see the younger guys coming up? Where do you see the game of golf with some of these people started go to make a splash on the big stage?
STEVE STRICKER: It's impressive. It really is. And you can feel it changing. Tiger, Phil, you know, they're kind of sliding away, it seems like at times. I know they've got good golf yet in them. But consistently it's these young guys that bomb it, that are consistently up there.

And this is a bomber's course. 18 was a prime example. They didn't give us a break on that tee box one day this week. And played into the wind a couple of times. And to have length on your side is a huge advantage, and youth.

So the game is in great hands, when you've got Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose, Jason Day, Bubba Watson, Martin Kaymer, all these young guys that are fearless, too, it seems like. I played with Tony Finau a couple of weeks ago in Canada, bombs it, another good player. So it's got a lot of good players. And they're stepping up to the plate at the big tournaments. And that's what's cool to see.

Q. What club did you hit on 17?
STEVE STRICKER: I tried to hit a 3-iron and just was kind of in between a 3-iron and a utility club, and I tried to burn a 3-iron in there and turn it and I hit it on my line, I just didn't turn it. I thought if I could get it on the front of the green and kind of chase it back into the middle of the green, that's all I was trying to do, and just turned it.

Q. You guys have a little bit of a drive. After this experience together, what do you think you'll talk about during this drive?
STEVE STRICKER: I'm sure our kids will keep us occupied with other than golf things. We've got a lot going on. Kids are getting back in school. My daughter is playing high school tennis. She played a match already on Saturday. It's about getting back into the family things and hunting is around the corner for me, which is always a fun time of the year. But, yeah, we had a great time. Nicki and I, she said out there, I wish I could caddie for you all the time. So that's pretty cool.

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