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May 10, 2018

Steve Stricker

Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida

Q. Can you talk about your experience on this golf course? I know you've played it a long time, but is it something that you just haven't felt comfortable on or is it just a matter of you haven't had maybe your best stuff when you came?
STEVE STRICKER: It's just one of those courses you never feel comfortable on, I think bottom line. I haven't had that many top-10s here, never really been in contention. A couple years maybe in contention to win, but it's just a tough track. Visually it's hard, conditions usually get harder as the tournament goes on, and when the weekend comes around it's usually the toughest conditions we have. It's just one of those courses where a slight mistake can really hurt you, and then all of a sudden you feel like you're playing defensive and it's tough to come back from a course like this when you're trying to fight from behind.

Sometimes it goes the other way when you try to come back and you try to get aggressive, all of a sudden you make more mistakes and it leads to bigger numbers. So it's just one of those courses you got to respect and put it in play as much as you can and get it on the greens and move on.

Q. With all the guys, a lot of guys with pretty good numbers up here early, do you have an expectation of what it will take here or how the course is going to play out over the weekend?
STEVE STRICKER: No, it always gets tougher here. When the weekend rolls around, conditions usually firm up, get faster. I played Monday afternoon nine holes and it was actually faster than what we played today, I thought, and so I think they slowed it down a little bit these first couple of days, and then I'm sure they will get it ripping on the weekend and it will be tougher, and it always is. You just got to keep plugging. Just take one hole at a time, kind of the old cliche, but I think this course more so than anything, just because it can really jump up and grab you.

Q. Why are people surprised when you have a good round? They reference you on TV like you're cashing Social Security checks.

Q. My words. Should anyone be surprised when you go around with a score like this?
STEVE STRICKER: I'm not surprised. I mean, I feel like I'm capable of putting up a round like this. I'm disappointed that I bogeyed 8 and didn't birdie 9. I mean, I had about a 10-footer at 7 for birdie. So I didn't maximize it coming in and so I feel like I should have shot 6 or 7, truthfully, but, no, I expect to play well still. I don't feel any different. What I've done out on the Champions Tour this year I think has helped me when I come out here. I feel confident. I've played well out there and I've come out here and put up some decent rounds. Haven't finished off tournaments like I should a few times when I have played well, but, no, I feel like both these tours have helped me at each tour, and I expect to come out here and play well.

Q. What do you consider yourself?
STEVE STRICKER: Good question. Let me know. I don't know. I really don't. That's been the biggest struggle for me this year and last year. I still feel like I belong out here and want to play out here. I still feel the tug to go out there on the Champions Tour, but my heart and everybody's telling me to come out here, my wife and kids and all that. So that's the constant struggle, where I should go and play.

Q. There's a reference to Steve Stricker carrying the torch for the Champions Tour. Do you consider yourself more of a member there or here? You did qualify for this event, I think.
STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, I finished in the top 125 last year, and that's my goal again this year. I'll probably get into 10 to 12 events out here, and my goal is to do it again so I can come back here and play again. I feel like I -- you know, I don't know, I feel like I'm more a member here. I feel a little out of place out there yet on the Champions Tour.

Q. Doesn't a round like this kind of confirm that, though, for you?
STEVE STRICKER: Yeah. I think so. To your point and to his point and to my point, I am duly committed for next week's event, Byron Nelson, and Regions Tradition, so I have until 3:00 on Monday to determine which way I'm going to go, and at this point I don't know which way I'm going to go. I'm either going to Birmingham or Dallas. It all depends on how I do here I think. And if I can show myself that I can compete out here and play well out here, then I'm going to Byron Nelson.

Q. That's called waffling and that's old age.
STEVE STRICKER: You're exactly right. You sound like my wife, but that's exactly right.

Q. How old is she today?
STEVE STRICKER: 12. Did you say happy birthday to her?

Q. The dinner as last night at Jim's house, did you have a chance to talk with Tiger? I know you helped him with putting in the past, and did that come up at all?
STEVE STRICKER: He brought it up to me and said that he's got it figured out, so he felt good about it last night and we didn't talk much about it. We talked more about the Ryder Cup and how he's been feeling, and I asked him about some strength things I should be doing, and yeah, it was just a good relaxing evening, fun to be with everybody. Jim did a great job and all the guys there were, it's the first time we're all together to get fired up about the Ryder Cup.

Q. He didn't tell you what he figured out, did he?
STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, he told me.

Q. What was it?
STEVE STRICKER: I'm not going to tell you. How did he putt?

Q. I don't think he's got it figured out.
STEVE STRICKER: Oh, he doesn't have it figured out? All right, thanks, guys.

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