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


August 12, 2009

Steve Stricker


KELLY ELBIN: Steve Stricker joining us at the 91st PGA Championship Hazeltine National Golf Club. This will be Steve's 12th PGA Championship appearance. His best finish a 2nd in 1998.
Steve, great year for you. Two wins on the PGA TOUR, fifth ranked in the world, must feel good coming into the final major of the year.
STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, I'm excited to be here, and it's nice to be somewhat close to home and the course is in good shape. It's long. But it looks like it's going to be a fair test. And I'm excited to get it going tomorrow.

Q. Everybody's been talking about the length of the course, but you're number one on TOUR on scrambling and everybody will have to hit wedges into par 5s which you do very well. Is the length almost not a factor as long as it is for you or at least as much as it is for everyone else?
STEVE STRICKER: I don't know. That's a good question. It's going to be a factor. I think it's a factor for me. I've got to do a lot of other things well to kind of make up for the lengths. I play with Davis Love yesterday and he's hitting it 30 past me and coming in with probably two or three clubs less than I am.
That's a huge advantage. And so I'm going to have to be accurate, hit it in the fairway, and when I don't, I'm going to have to rely on my short game to keep plodding along. Again, it's a major tournament, and with its length, you've got to just be prepared that you're going to scramble a lot.
At least for me. But it's a good ball-striker's course. If you hit the ball in playoff the tee in the fairway, it definitely is a huge advantage so you can get it up there around the green or on the green.
But a course of this length I'm going to have to do a lot of little things well to be able to compete.
KELLY ELBIN: Steve, can you compare this golf course to Bethpage where you tied for 23rd in the Open, any comparisons, fair comparisons to the two.
STEVE STRICKER: I guess in the length. But other than that, it's a little -- it's different. I mean, obvious thing is the length and I think if they set this course up fairly, I think this could be a very good championship.
I mean, the rough isn't crazy long. It's long enough where you're going to be able to maybe be able to play it up to the green if you get a decent lie. But it's just -- the biggest challenge here is going to be the length. It all depends on how they set it up. We played it back to its fullest length every practice round.
So hopefully they'll scoot us up a little bit and mix it up a little bit. Because there's a couple holes out there where you don't need the length. There's a couple of par 3s they could move up a little bit or at least one of them and a par 4 on No. 12 that needs to be moved up a little bit, too.
But other than that, that's going to be the biggest challenge, I think, is length.

Q. Can you just talk about the crowds you've seen out here so far? Being a Wisconsin guy, I know you're wearing the purple shirt and everything. The reception you've received and the fans just in general?
STEVE STRICKER: It's been incredible, the amount of people out here. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. I was out here Monday morning and played all 18. And the amount of people out here at that time was incredible.
And it looks like they're very excited for the tournament to be here. I hear a lot of "Go Wisconsin; go Illinois." I went to the University of Illinois. I've got a lot of family and friends coming here. And it looks like the whole area in general, though, is very supportive and very glad that we're here playing this event this week. It's been tremendous.

Q. I can't remember if it was after Colonial or John Deere, but one of your quotes is that you still felt bigger things were ahead. Obviously talking about the majors. Do you feel emotionally and physically that you're as ready to win a major as you've ever been in your career?
STEVE STRICKER: You know, I feel like I'm ready. I felt like I've been ready for a couple of years. It's just trying to get all the things to fall into place. Have a course that kind of fits your eye and fits your game.
I really don't know if this one does or not. I mean, it's hard to tell after three rounds. It's right in front of you. The course is right in front of you. And hopefully I'm going to play well. But there's a lot of variables that go into it. First of all, your game, you have to play well. Then you can't really control anybody else how they play.
So yeah I'd like to think that I'm ready. And I just try not to get ahead of myself anymore and just try to take tomorrow when it comes and the first tee ball when it comes and move on.
But it would be fun to have a chance going down the last nine.

Q. What's the toughest stretch of holes for you in your game?

Q. Yeah.
STEVE STRICKER: I don't know. It seems like the back has a little more length at times. That stretch at 12, 13, 16, 17, 18 kind of stretch in through there. But, again, it all depends on how they set that up.
I mean, 12 -- I've hit 3-wood into that green both days and that's not a green to be hitting 3-wood into. And 13, a par 3, we've played back. It's been 3-wood one day and utility club the next day, 260-yard par 3.
So it all depends again on how the PGA sets it up and I have a feeling they're going to experiment a little bit, move us up on some, move us back on others.
But there's some good stretches of holes out there. I mean that stretch at 16, 17, 18 is a good, strong test. You've got the water at 16.
I think 17's probably the nicest par 3 out here on the course. And it's a challenging green. And then 18. Obviously if they put us all the way back and playing into the wind, it's very long.
But today I guess it would have been downwind. Again it depends on how they set it up and the wind conditions. But those are a couple of the holes, a few of the holes are pretty difficult.

Q. They talked about how strong the field for this particular major is. As a player, does that make you more motivated to do well in this major with the quality of the field that's here?
STEVE STRICKER: Sure. I mean, anytime you can play against the best players in the world is always a good thing. And it gets me going as a player. You know the best players are here, and it means if you do play well it means that you beat a lot of the good players.
So, yeah, you're always looking forward to playing the best in the world and they're here this week. I don't know how many out of the top 100 are here.
KELLY ELBIN: 98. Same as in 2002.
STEVE STRICKER: So that's a good thing. And you want to play well. It adds a little motivation, a little determination in your game to do it, to play well.
KELLY ELBIN: Steve Stricker, thank you very much.

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