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August 7, 2009

Steve Stricker


Q. 1 under par, 69, three shots back. Steve, you mentioned a different golf course out there today. If we can just get your thoughts on the round.
STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, it was a little bit different. It firmed up quite a bit, the greens especially this afternoon. They were a little bit firmer. You had to pay attention a little bit more. There was a little bit more roll-out on the greens, and you just had to pay attention, hit it on the correct side, at least for me. You know, I'm not a high-spin kind of player, so I've got to play for that roll-out.
But the course is in great shape, and it's holding up well.

Q. Have you always felt like this course kind of suits your game? I mean, you usually keep it in play.
STEVE STRICKER: Yes and no. I mean, it's such a good course. I mean, you've got to be playing well coming into here to play this course well, I think. It's just tough. You know, if you get out of position, you know, you can scramble around here if you do get out of position, but you can't do that all day and get away with it.
It's a course where you need to do all aspects of your game very well. You know, it's a good driving course and it's a good iron course, too, and you have to putt it well. So it takes all aspects here to play well here, I think.

Q. Have you gotten used to this being before the PGA now, it used to be after, and which one do you like better?
STEVE STRICKER: I like before it. I mean, I think this is a great test leading up to next week at Hazeltine. If you could find a course that is similar to Hazeltine, this would be the one, and I think this is a great test and gets us prepared for next week. You know, we have a great field here, and I think it's in the right spot, right before the PGA.

Q. What was the highlight of your day today?
STEVE STRICKER: There wasn't too many highlights (laughing). It was a pretty boring round, you know. I scraped some holes together and made some pars and scrambled and hit some good, but it was one of those days where I was fighting it a little bit, and to get out of there with 1-under was pretty good.

Q. A lot of players are talking about how the fairways tilt certain ways and now it's firming up. How hard is it to keep the ball in the fairway if you don't hit the right side of the fairway?
STEVE STRICKER: Some of them are almost impossible to keep in the fairway. You've got holes like 8 and 9, you know, I mean, 16 is tough to get in the fairway. There's about three or four of them out there that are very difficult to hit. You know, and even sometimes you can hit it just on the edge of the fairway and it'll roll all the way across into the first cut like on No. 9, and that's what makes this course difficult is trying to get it in play off the tee. That's what makes it so challenging.

Q. There's been some players who talked about this as a course where you can't be overaggressive. Would you agree with that statement?
STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, I think at times you need to be pretty conservative here and take your lumps. If you're out of position, just make sure you get it on the green and get your par and move on. You know, when they start tucking some of these pins up against the bunkers and stuff like that, you know, it takes a special kind of shot to get it into some of these pins.
I tend to play away from most of them and try to get putts at it more so than anything. But yeah, it's just tough. That's why you're not seeing the scores very low and everybody is kind of bunched in there, from even to 2-under. I think there's a ton of guys in there at that score, so you know, there's still a long ways to go and a lot of people that have a chance.

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