April 18, 2021
Naples, Florida, USA
Tiburón Golf Club
Q. You didn't play in the final pairing so you were coming from behind. What was your game plan going into today?
STEVE STRICKER: You know, my mindset was to try to make as many birdies as I could. I just felt like someone could really shoot a low number, and I was hoping that was going to be me up ahead of them in a group. But there's a lot of short irons on this golf course if you put it in play, and the greens are pure. They got a little trickier today I felt like, a lot of misreads in our group. But overall if you could put it in play, you got a lot of short irons and a lot of birdie opportunities.
Q. Five birdies, no bogeys, clean card today to capture your sixth win. Were you aware of the situation out there because a lot of guys were making runs and then would fall back and somebody would make some more birdies, but you just kind of kept hitting the right shot at the right time.
STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, I could have made it a little easier on myself for sure. No, I knew exactly where I was. I told Nicki when we were going down 14, I said, let's get two out of these next three, and I hit it in there at 14 and 15 and missed them both and hit it in there at 16, but if I could have made a couple more putts, it would have been a little bit easier. But it's tough to win. It's tough to win anywhere, and I'm happy to get it done.
Q. This is your sixth win, got a couple of senior majors, hadn't won since Notre Dame and the U.S. Senior Open. How proud are you of that with the limited schedule that you play? You were talking earlier on the range about you want to make the FedExCup Playoffs one more time. How are you going to manage and balance the schedule?
STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, I'm going to -- it's kind of fluid. It kind of goes week to week. I enjoy playing out here. Competition is great. You have to play well to win. But I also still enjoy playing on the regular TOUR. I've had a couple good showings this year so far. If I could get the putter going a little bit, my ball-striking is probably as good as it's been when I was playing my best out on the regular TOUR.
If I can get that putter going, I'll probably play out on the big TOUR and see if I can't make the Playoffs one more time.
Q. Win No. 6 out here; got a little tight there towards the end, but just your thoughts on getting your victory here today?
STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, it was hard fought all the way around. It's a course where you can make some birdies, but if you stray off the fairway or up around the green, it gets pretty difficult at times.
Yeah, I could have made it a little bit easier on myself. Had a couple short putts that I wish I could have made and had over, but all in all, I struck the ball nicely all the way around, and happy to get it done.
Q. Were you and Nicki kind of looking at the leaderboard and --
STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, yeah, for sure. I was watching it all the time. I like to know where I'm sitting.
I knew who was coming. I saw the look in Bernhard's eye there for a little while, and I'm like, uh-oh, here he comes. I saw Freddy was only a shot or two back, and Robert Karlsson who I played with yesterday who's really striking it well, and obviously Kevin Sutherland was already in the house already, or on 18.
Yeah, it's a lot of fun. You have to play well. You have to hit the shots and you've got to make the putts, which at times I did that today, but I'm happy to escape with a victory.
Q. Talk about the bunker shot on 17. That looked like a pretty delicate --
STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, I didn't have much of a stance there. Shouldn't have been there in the first place. But I was trying to get it into the green and get a birdie putt at it and kind of misjudged the wind there a little bit.
But yeah, that was a tough little stance and just hacked it out of there and gave myself a four-footer, which I made nicely for a change.
Yeah, you know, and just kind of played smart going down 18, trying not to make a mistake like I did there yesterday and give myself a birdie look at it, try to make birdie at 18, which I didn't, but got her done.
Q. It's not the regular TOUR, but a champion is a champion I imagine?
STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, winning anywhere is difficult. You're battling yourself, you're battling the course and you're battling the other players. As the older we get, you're battling yourself more than anything at times. That's what makes it hard, and that's what makes the game hard.
There was a couple shots there on the par-5s that I would have got a little more aggressive on, but just trying to not make a mistake, which is tough to play that way sometimes, but fortunately I made one more than everybody else and was able to do it.
Q. How much does Nicki help?
STEVE STRICKER: She's a great calming influence out there. She's very upbeat. She says the right things. Just a good companion out there, which is very important, you know, in this line of work. You want to have somebody out there that you enjoy being with and gives you a nice calming influence, and that's what she does for me.
Q. I'm sure obviously the Ryder Cup captain stuff, like will the young guys see this and say, our captain still --
STEVE STRICKER: Well, you know, that's why I'm still trying to play out on the regular TOUR is to try to see some of those guys. Like I've never met Will Zalatoris. I texted with him this last week so hopefully get to play with him coming up shortly, but that's why I'm going out there, and hopefully they didn't watch me putt on a couple of those coming in, but it's nice to get the win.
Like I said, no matter where, it's tough to win, and I'm just happy to get it done.
Q. John Catlin, an American, won for the third time in Europe today. We had a question about he doesn't get any Ryder Cup points for those wins. Is that something that needs to be addressed?
STEVE STRICKER: Oh, geez, I'm not even going to go there. I don't know. It's their system. We have all we can worry about with our system and what we're doing. Yeah, good for him, though. I know he's been playing some great golf. Good to see him win.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports