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August 6, 2009

Steve Stricker


Q. 3-under par. Looked like a solid round out there today. Talk about how you played.
STEVE STRICKER: I played well. I hit a lot of fairways and I think about 13 greens, so it was a good, solid round. I started off a little scrappy. I didn't hit a couple good irons to start with, but then the middle of my front nine there and then to the other side, I played really well.

Q. Talk about coming back from a little vacation, maybe feeling a little refreshed, but is there also a little rust?
STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, I felt confident that I was going to play well, I guess, but you never know. After two weeks off you don't know what kind of game you're going to bring back. But I think early on I was a little rusty, but then settled down a little bit and played well.

Q. Any key shots?
STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, I finished strong. I made a couple nice putts coming in. I birdied No. 7, the par-3, hit 4-iron and made about a 25-footer, and then birdied the last, No. 9, hit a driver and a 7-iron in there to about 15 feet or so. So good way to finish, two good, tough holes and make birdies, it's like stealing a couple shots.

Q. Two good back-to-back events here. Do you feel like you're in pretty good shape?
STEVE STRICKER: This is a perfect warm-up for next week. This is almost a similar style golf course to what we're going to be playing next week, old style golf course with big trees and narrow fairways, so it's a good test and a good tune-up for next week.

Q. Are you like second by a couple points right now in the FedEx? Tiger just shave you --
STEVE STRICKER: I think I had him by about eight points, and then --

Q. So he picked up 500.
STEVE STRICKER: Now he's got a 400-some point cushion.

Q. That's been a nice little dowry for you the last couple years. You've been right in the hunt a couple times.
STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, it's been good. Hopefully I'll have a good finish to the season and then a good playoffs and have a chance in that last tournament. That's all you really want to do is have an opportunity in that last one. So hopefully that all pans out and I'll keep playing well.

Q. Are the courses really that similar?
STEVE STRICKER: They're pretty similar. From what I remember, they're long courses, they're parkland, tree-lined, big trees. They're pretty similar. I remember long par-3s at Hazeltine, we've got long par-3s here. It's pretty similar. Same grass. So yeah, I think it's a good tune-up, and almost identical courses.

Q. Is there anything that stands out to you golf-course wise from '02? Do you think I remember this hole or that hole or anything?
STEVE STRICKER: No, I remember the ones down there by the lake where Payne Stewart made some pretty cool shots down the stretch when he won there. That was an Open he won there, wasn't it? That was a U.S. Open that he won. So I remember some of those holes. I played poorly that week, so I'm trying to wash it and not remember it. So I'm going there with a fresh attitude not trying to remember '02 too much. How's that?

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