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July 16, 2008

Steve Stricker


MARTIN PARK: Ladies and gentlemen, thanks very much for coming in today, a little bit windy out there.
STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, it is a bit windy, but the course is in great shape. It's dried out over the last couple days. I've been here since Saturday morning. First day I played was Sunday, so it's obviously dried out quite a bit, and it's getting to be rather difficult the last couple days with the wind, the way it's blown.
I imagine they have it right where they want it, and the weather is supposed to be, I heard, somewhat challenging again tomorrow, so it should be a tough day again tomorrow.

Q. How does your preparation Monday through Wednesday differ here than it would the other majors, kind of routine-wise?
STEVE STRICKER: My routine is a lot different. I get here a lot earlier than I would anywhere else. I got here Saturday morning early. I didn't play at all Saturday but just tried to get over the flight and everything.
That's my main focus here is just trying to get rested and ready physically.
I obviously played 18 holes on Sunday and 18 Monday and then nine the last couple days. So I've gone around here enough times where I feel fairly confident on some of the angles off the tee and into the green. We've pretty much played with the same wind every day. Unlike last year, I think we've played a couple practise rounds with varying winds at Carnoustie.
But for the most part I think it's been the same wind, and I've had a lot of time to prepare. But I think my main focus was getting here early enough so I was rested and ready.

Q. Do you wish Milwaukee could find another date?
STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, I do wish Milwaukee could have another date. I'm kind of a proponent of having no tournaments opposite these majors and just -- I would love to be able to take advantage of some of the tournaments that are opposite the majors, especially Milwaukee. Yeah, I miss being there. I haven't been there the last couple years.
But obviously you've got to come here when you're exempt and able to play, but I'd love to go back there and play again, and just the way the schedule is, it's not possible.

Q. They were talking this morning about hopefully introducing golf into the Olympics in 2016. What are your thoughts on that?
STEVE STRICKER: I would love to have it be a part of the Olympics. You know, I don't see why it shouldn't be, I guess. We've got almost every other sport involved. I think it would be pretty unique in the way that all the countries can come together and play. We try to do that somewhat now with the Ryder Cup and The Presidents Cup, and you would see a lot of the -- basically all the same players there, I would imagine. But you'd get some Asian players there and -- I think it would be a great idea, and I'd love to see it.

Q. Given that it's 2016, would you be in favour of senior golf in the Olympics?
STEVE STRICKER: No (laughing).

Q. I wonder if you can just talk about the Ryder Cup a little bit, especially as we start forward here at the Open, and going forward the next month will be crucial.
STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, it is very crucial, and that's what I've been focusing on. I've been trying to regain my focus and try to make a bigger commitment again to try to play better. I'm taking it very seriously. I'm in a position where I seem like I've been in this position -- I think this is my third or fourth time with an opportunity to play on the team, and I haven't quite gotten it done.
I think I'm a couple guys short right now, I think I'm in the 11th spot. But it's an important stretch for me. I've got three more tournaments left; here, the World Series and then the PGA, to try to make enough -- actually Bridgestone. But obviously there's a lot on the line. I want to play well. I want to be a part of that team. I really want to make it on my own merit. I don't want to -- obviously anyway I can get on the team would be great, but I'd love to be there based on how I played down the stretch and getting inside the top nine, I guess it would be.

Q. When you said earlier about the weather is supposed to be challenging the rest of the week, I kind of know what you mean but I'd rather you kind of elaborate on what you mean by challenging, what you find to be the most challenging and why.
STEVE STRICKER: Obviously the wind velocity is what's most challenging, and I've seen it differ in strength in the four days I've practised. When I first got here on Sunday it was a great day, the sun was out, not a lot of wind. I hit 7-iron -- as an example, I hit 7-iron into No. 2 on one of the days. Actually it may have been even a little 8-iron.
But today we hit a 3-wood one shot, utility club another shot. That's a big difference when you're hitting 7-iron compared to a 3-wood. That's a big change.
We couldn't get home on No. 6 today in two.

Q. 3-wood?
STEVE STRICKER: I tried driver.

Q. Off the deck?
STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, hit it right in front. Hunter Mahan, who hits it a long ways, he couldn't get home with 3-wood. So that's what I mean by challenging.
All the par-3s are some sort of crosswind. It's very difficult to get -- let alone get it on the green, you can just imagine where they're going to put some of these pins, and the ability to get it close is going to be very tough.
A lot of centre of the green shots, get it on there and make your par and move on. The way it's blowing the last couple days there's not a lot of opportunities to make birdies.

Q. And what about the rain? What would that add to it, anything at all, or does it matter?
STEVE STRICKER: No, that would add a lot. It would be somewhat like Muirfield in whatever year we played there, 2002. Not quite as cold as that day, but obviously the wind, the way it's blowing, and add a little rain, that would definitely make it -- you couldn't even have an umbrella up on a day like today. What would you do with that? It would be pretty tough (laughing).
MARTIN PARK: Thanks for coming in.

End of FastScripts

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