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June 24, 2022

Steve Stricker

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA

Saucon Valley C.C. (Old Course)

Quick Quotes

THE MODERATOR: Steve Stricker, 2-under 69, birdie, birdie, birdie finish. Talk us through that.

STEVE STRICKER: I was just hanging around today. Made kind of a mental and physical mistake there on No. 6, the par-5, ended up making double.

Yeah, from that point on, I'm 1-over for the day. Just trying to get it back and build some momentum. Hit a bad shot at 9; ended up making a great up and down.

Played the back side, which that was better. Yeah, I was just trying to right the ship there. It can get going sideways in a U.S. Open pretty quickly. So just try to hit the fairways, good amount of greens.

I had a couple of other opportunities on the back that I didn't make, but I told my brother-in-law, Mario, who was caddieing for me, let's try to get one or two coming in the last three holes.

I wasn't thinking three; maybe I should have been. Yeah, I just wanted to get back to even really for the day and ended up birdieing the last three.

It was a good way to finish the day.

Q. Who knows where you'll be tomorrow, but what can you pull from past experiences to spur you into the weekend?

STEVE STRICKER: We've still got a long ways to go. We're halfway home. We have a jammed up leaderboard. There's a lot of people up there. It's going to take some great golf this weekend to come out on top.

I've been there, experienced that, so hopefully draw on some of those past experiences. You've just got to take each shot as it comes. That old cliche, but it really does pertain, especially in a U.S. Open.

Q. After 36 holes in championship conditions, what have you learned about the course?

STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, it's phenomenal. It's difficult. Like I said, if you can -- you can get it going good and bad. If you don't hit it in the fairway, the rough is high. All of a sudden, you're playing defensive. So mentally it's a challenge, too.

Yeah, it's one of those that you've got to have all aspects going.

Q. You mentioned physical and mental error on 6. Also what happened on the front nine versus the back?

STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, I think the front is probably a little bit more challenging. I was in a good position. I was 1-under going down 6 and drove it in the right rough and tried to take on probably too much of the bunker and didn't get it over the bunker.

I had a really nice lie in the bunker, but I should have -- the mental part came. I should have just taken out a wedge. I tried to hit a sand wedge and kind of -- I had an uphill lie, so I tried to kind of flatten it out a little bit to get some extra yardage on it and caught it a touch slim, and should have got it up and down for bogey and missed a putt there.

Yeah, and that happens. I knew we'd have some opportunities on the back, to your point. But there are also some dangers on the back side, too. You have some holes with water that come into play, some shorter holes, but you've got to drive them in the fairway to take advantage of them.

Q. I know you didn't play with Jay Haas today, but over the years what kind of experiences have you had with him? What does he have game-wise, temperament-wise, anything like that, that keeps him competitive?

STEVE STRICKER: What did he end up?

Q. He's at minus 3.

STEVE STRICKER: That's so cool. I'm a big Jay Haas fan. We all are. He's just a wonderful guy. He's played the TOUR forever. I've known him for a long, long time. I was an assistant captain for him on the Presidents Cup that one year over in Korea. He's just a treat to be around, and to see him play well still is really cool.

Yeah, it's just -- there isn't a nicer guy. To see him up there is pretty cool. He must be 65 or 66 years old. Anyone know?

Q. 68.

STEVE STRICKER: Even more impressive. It's cool to see.

Q. At the Warren a few years ago you got on a roll that week. Does this feel more like U.S. Open conditions? I know it got wet there as well, but just in general.

STEVE STRICKER: I think the conditions here are a little bit tougher than Warren. Warren was a wonderful golf course. We didn't see that golf course in its toughest conditions until Sunday probably where it started to dry out, a little bit of wind. But a very good golf course and challenging, too.

Right now I think the rough is tougher here. It's a little bit thicker and it's kind of -- right when you miss the edge of the fairway it's at its thickest here, which for somebody who just misses the fairway is penalized more than a guy who hits it a little bit further offline. That's the frustrating part.

You've got to play into the fairway and then onto the green here. It's very challenging.

Q. Steve, on the last three birdies we got to see the putt on 18. Could you just describe a little bit what happened on 16, 17, and 18.

STEVE STRICKER: 16 I hit a good drive; had 113 yards to the hole and just chipped a little wedge in there to about six feet.

17, very challenging hole today. The pins were right up in the front neck. I think it was 100 and low 60s, but it plays downhill quite a bit. I hit an 8 iron and it was tough to get the wind direction there. It's been tough today. It kind of kicks up like this a bit and dies down and then starts to move all over the place. That was a challenge a little bit today too. Hit a nice little 8-iron there underneath the hole and was able to make that.

Again, 18, it's all about getting that in the fairway. Difficult driving hole, and I had 150 yards, hit a 9-iron up above the hole. That was a tricky putt.

Mario helped me on the last couple there just to kind of confirm our reads, and it was nice to see that one go in.

Q. How in general are you feeling? Just having bounced back from your health issues.

STEVE STRICKER: I'm getting better. I think, like all of us out here, we're experiencing at this age some sort of aches and pains, and I'm no different. That's been the challenge since coming back, that I haven't quite gotten rid of those like I was before I had this problem.

So guys in the trailer have been helping me and trying to -- it showed up a couple weeks ago.

I don't know if it's just because I've played a lot more recently and my body isn't quite strong enough to where it was before, but I think if you asked all the players out here at this age, they're dealing with something. I'm doing the same.

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