home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


May 6, 2007

Steve Stricker


STEWART MOORE: We welcome Steve Stricker to the interview room here at the Wachovia Championship. Steve, great runner-up finish today. In doing so you collect 2,700 FedExCup points and move to 16th place on the year-long list. If you could maybe talk a little bit about your round out there today, some highlights and kind of the feeling and the sense coming so close to taking down the world's No. 1.
STEVE STRICKER: You know, it was a great day for me. It was a little bittersweet coming to the end, but got off to a great start, what I needed to do, really, four birdies on the front side, and then making -- kind of stealing a birdie at No. 12 to get to 5-under for the day.
At that point I really didn't have any idea where I was standing in relationship to anybody. I hadn't looked at a board.
You know, and coming down the stretch, like I said, that's the bittersweet part. I had an opportunity there, and the drive at 16 really wasn't that -- all that bad of a drive, it just -- I was trying to hold it up against the wind on the left side there, and it ended up right next to that bush.
Came back at 17 and then overcooked it at 18 trying to stuff it in there. But all in all, very satisfying, very good week, and I take a lot away from this week.

Q. When you have a great finish like this, as you said, you take a lot away from this week. This is a great field. How much does that boost you going forward?
STEVE STRICKER: Oh, a lot. Coming into this tournament, you know, it has a major-type feel, and all the top players are here for the most part. Obviously you want to play well going into the week, and to sit here and to say that I finished second is really icing on the cake. It feels very good, and just proves to me that I can play and I belong out here, and I deserve to be where I was today.

Q. You said you hadn't looked at a leaderboard, but did you know on 16 tee you were tied?
STEVE STRICKER: No, no. Well, I birdied 15, and before I hit that putt, I took a look at the board, and I think I was maybe two behind at that point, and I birdied 15. We had a little wait there at 16 tee, but no, I didn't see anything back there. I thought at that point I was still one down.
No, it's just a good driving hole. I know those bushes are over there, but the wind was howling so hard left to right that you have to aim down that left side, almost to the bushes, and it just didn't take it quite enough at the end to get it back into the fairway.

Q. I guess on final analysis it's probably the third shot on that hole that really was the killer, tried to get it on the green and then sayonara?
STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, and then a poor putt, too. I hit that same type of shot every day on that hole. I have no idea why. I hadn't hit any shots like that all week, and every day on that hole for whatever reason I hit a little flip chunk, and I don't know if it was the lie, it's kind of downhill, ball-below-your-feet-type lie, but every shot -- four shots there, actually I was in the rough one day where I didn't do that, but the other ones --

Q. The approach shot?
STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, the same type of shot every day there.
Whether I didn't set up correctly for it or just didn't feel good about it or whatever, but hit the same type of shot there every day.

Q. What were the clubs at 17 and 18? And just kind of run through 17, what you thought after making that birdie.
STEVE STRICKER: 17 was a 6-iron. We had 189 to the front, and like I think 210 to the hole, hit a high drawing 6-iron. I think it was about 30 feet.
And then 18, hit a good drive, and I had 195 to the hole. I knew the wind was pretty hard right to left, but I also thought it was hurting, and I just tried to send it out over there on the right side of the green and let the wind bring it in, and I just turned it a little bit too much, and it got going with the wind and never had a chance, really.

Q. Was it a 5-iron?
STEVE STRICKER: 4-iron, a little 4-iron.

Q. You said you didn't really pay attention to the leaderboards. At what point did you know that Tiger -- there was a lot of names on the board, but at what point did you know Tiger was on the top of the leaderboard, that he was in the mix?
STEVE STRICKER: Well, you know, you just have that feeling that he was up there anyways. I didn't really have to look.
You know, it was on 15, on 15 green. That was the very first time I took a look at the leaderboard today. I just was trying to keep my head down and keep focused and keep trying to make as many birdies as I could, not really worrying about anybody else and what they were doing. But it was killing me, you know, I just had to see where I stood. I took a look before I putted and made a good putt.
Unfortunately 16 happened. But that was it.

Q. What kind of factor was the wind today?
STEVE STRICKER: It was tough. Yeah, it was gusty and it would switch around on us every once in a while, a lot of cross-wind shots where you didn't know if it was helping, hurting, but it was tough. It was a difficult wind to judge.

Q. Talk about 16, 17 and 18. I mean, as finishing holes -- it seems to us they're as tough as they can be.
STEVE STRICKER: They are. They're as tough as we see all year. 16 isn't too bad. I mean, it's a tough driving hole, but if you can get it down in that right rough or even in the bunker, you've got a shot to the green, but the green is difficult.
And 17 is just -- it's a hard hole. I mean, any way you look at it, and it played left to right and downwind for the most part all week.
You know, you have to aim -- I have a hard time even aiming at the fringe on the right side of the green, let alone the pin. It tests your nerve there, and you've got to stand up and hit a good shot, and if you do, you're rewarded. But if you bail out over to the right over there, it's very difficult to get it up-and-down.
And then if you can master 17 at all, you've got to go to 18, which you saw it all week long, guys driving it in the water, hitting their second shots in the water. You know, there's no let-up on 18 at all, right away from the tee. You've got to step up and hit two good ones to make a par.

Q. Given what this tournament is, how much confidence does this give you now?
STEVE STRICKER: It gives me a lot. You know, I mean, I've had a good year up to this point, a good start to the year I should say, and to finish second here is a bonus. It just shows me that I'm working on the right stuff still, and I've got the confidence to play well, and I'm excited for the rest of the year.

Q. Come Sunday you have a chance to win and you make seven birdies in the final round. How does that make you feel about your game?
STEVE STRICKER: Very good. You know, and I hadn't putted the greatest all year, and finally -- I don't know if we finally got to some bentgrass greens, greens like I grew up on or what, but I started rolling the ball a lot better and making putts. That was the fun part for me finally was to finally start to get the ball in the hole and hitting it a little bit better.

Q. You said you felt like you missed an opportunity. It's not often that Tiger gives you guys a chance by making mistakes down the stretch, and he made that big double and you were right there. Does that kind of make it smart a little bit more, he actually backed up to you guys, which traditionally doesn't happen?
STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, well, he usually gets out so far in front that he can back up a couple shots here and there. But it's just a difficult finish, and you know that some funny stuff may happen down towards the end, and I knew after I birdied 15 if I could just play in at even par I'd have a chance.
Like I said, 16 was not good. Yeah, it's disappointing. Like I said, it's a little bittersweet. I'm happy that I finished second, but I had an opportunity to win here.
STEWART MOORE: Steve, class act. Thanks for your time.

End of FastScripts
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297