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July 9, 2010

Steve Stricker


DOUG MILNE: Well, Steve Stricker, you're getting to be quite the regular here in the media center. We appreciate you coming in, 5-under 66 today combined with your 60 from yesterday is a new 36-hole tournament record here.
DOUG MILNE: So far (laughter.) But at least it's yours for the time being.
Little hiccup there on the 18th hole. I know that's not the way you wanted to end, but overall you've got to feel good about the day.
STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, always tough to follow up a good round with another good round, and for whatever reason, I don't know, but I thought I did a pretty good job of that today. But struggled on a couple holes, put myself in a couple situations that I was able to get out of. But missing a two-footer on the last hole doesn't sit with me very well right now.
All in all it was a good day and I'm in good position and good shape for the weekend.

Q. It sounds like you got a couple breaks. I just talked to your brother and he said your ball was almost in the hazard on 14.
STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, it was in the hazard.

Q. And then on 4 you almost lost a ball, right?
STEVE STRICKER: Yeah. Flew the green, hit a good shot at 14, just obviously too much -- played a lot shorter than I thought. Flew the green, ended up making a great 5.
If you would have given me a 5 as I'm sitting back there trying to figure out my options, I would have taken it. So that was good.
And then I had given up -- we still had about a minute, minute and a half left, and I almost didn't want to find my ball over there at 4, and I said, "That's all right, I'm going to head out to the fairway," and just as I'm heading out there, somebody said they found a ball, and it was mine, which ended up being a good thing. At first I wasn't quite sure because nobody was finding anything, and the grass was pretty thick, and I was able to hack it out of there and give myself about an eight-footer at par and ended up making it. So kind of escaped those two little tough situations.

Q. Yesterday you knew Goydos' number going into the round. Today he shoots after you. Do you follow or track or have any way to track his score?
STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, sure, I'll practice a little bit, eat some lunch, go back and rest, and I'll follow what he's doing a little bit. I won't watch it on TV. I don't get The Golf Channel, which is probably a good thing. And then I'll just rest up.
I feel a little tired today actually. It was a quick turnaround from yesterday, and the heat takes a lot out of you, so I'll be resting this afternoon.

Q. What is your usual routine say midway through a tournament? Since you've been playing this well, you say you rest up, literally hang out, watch TV, read, something like that?
STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, I've got some shows that I watch on my computer, and I'll read a little bit. But yeah, just hang out in the hotel room and rest. It's important, you know, I think to get your rest just as much as to practice. So I'll practice a little bit but make sure that I get a good day's rest, because like I say, we had a quick turnaround from yesterday, and I did not sleep good last night. So it's, I think, just as important to make sure you get some good rest, especially -- we're halfway through only, and we've got two more rounds, so it's important to be fresh.

Q. How did the little fatigue on the back nine maybe affect you? Was it mentally, or you lost a couple drives right. Was it physically?
STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, I don't know. Yeah, I lost a couple drives to the right. I don't know, if I just was getting lazy with my swing or what. Good question. Whether I needed to eat something. I was hungry. I don't know if that was part of the problem or what.
I don't know. You know, I got through those holes okay, you know, and that's going to happen. You're going to hit it in some spots every once in a while, and I got through those, and then birdied 8 to right the ship and then missed that little one. So anyway, so we've got work to do yet if we're missing two-footers. Got to keep plugging.

Q. You said you didn't sleep well last night. Were you thinking at all about the round, replaying yesterday's round and what might have been, how close you were to that 59?
STEVE STRICKER: No. You know, I never -- whenever I have an afternoon Thursday round and then a quick turnaround Friday morning, I always have a hard time sleeping. I don't know why. My caddie said the same thing; he couldn't sleep last night. I think it's just, you finish up late. I was here for a while -- you're excited about the round yesterday. You eat something late, and then you're almost forced to go to sleep because you know you've got to get up early.
I don't know if it puts extra pressure on you trying to fall asleep or what, but I have a hard time getting to sleep. I was up two or three times in the middle of the night just struggling trying to sleep.

Q. Did the historical aspect of the 59-60 ever sink in?
STEVE STRICKER: No, it hasn't. I mean, it's pretty cool. It is really cool. What was the next best tandem, morning-afternoon or two scores in a tournament?
DOUG MILNE: I think 59-62.
STEVE STRICKER: Oh, really? Does it have to be morning and afternoon wave?
DOUG MILNE: No, just in the same tournament -- not even in the same day, just in the same tournament.
STEVE STRICKER: Oh, really? 59-62? That's going to be tough to beat, 59-60.

Q. Is the scoring like that going to continue all weekend?
STEVE STRICKER: I think it could. The course is, I think, just going to get better. We had perfect conditions today. The greens were perfect, smooth. We're starting to get a little bit of bounce in the fairways in certain spots, so it's just going to, I think, get a little bit better each and every day.

Q. Does that put more pressure on your game knowing you're going to have to go low?
STEVE STRICKER: You know going out that to keep pace you're going to have to shoot 3-, 4-, 5-under, so I don't know -- you know, I really don't think about that, I guess, prior to teeing off. I just really have been very good at taking one shot at a time, one hole at a time and not really getting too far ahead. I'll just continue to do the same thing.

Q. What overall are your thoughts just on that 16-under mark which stands as the 36-hole record here for now?
STEVE STRICKER: What are my thoughts on it?

Q. Just your thoughts on being 16-under, which is close to being good enough to win this tournament some years.
STEVE STRICKER: I was thinking today, if I could shoot 5-under for three more rounds, it would be tough to catch, so that's where my thinking is at. I don't know -- the way the scoring is, I don't know what Paul is going to do, but low scores are out there, and you've got to acknowledge that. You've got to think that somebody could come from behind and shoot a real low one.
You know, that's what I'm trying to think is trying to go out there and shoot two more good, solid rounds and force people to come and get you type thing. But who knows what Paul does; he could come out and be leading at 18- or 19-under today. We'll just have to wait and see.

Q. I just realized that you were here for that original Duel at Deere Run, the opening of the course.

Q. So you as well as anyone can say how it has developed and grown since 2000. How has this course matured from your point of view?
STEVE STRICKER: It hasn't changed much to tell you the truth. I mean, little tweaks here and there, but overall I think it's pretty much the same course from the day that we came down here to open it up, four or five or us, six of us, I forget how many guys were here. Yeah, I don't think it's changed much.
I just think it's -- I've always enjoyed it here. I think this is one of our best TPCs that we play, or that I've ever played. I think D.A. did a great job here. All the guys that I've talked to, players and amateurs and friends from home that have played here, they all love it. And it's a fun course to play.
I think the reason why we're seeing good scores, obviously the last couple years, is because of the conditions. You know, it's been soft and you can be very aggressive going into the greens. But I think it's great. It's a lot of fun, and I'm always excited to come here and play, and I look forward to it.

Q. What did you think of your reception on the 7th hole there and all those Illini fans following you around today?
STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, it was cool to see all the orange and blue out there today. I tried to do my part and show my colors. It's nice. I'm getting a lot of warm welcomes and a lot of people cheering for me. I'll hear an I-L-L chant and then I'll hear "Go Badgers" right behind it. (Laughter.)
It's fun. Like I say, it's a home event for me. It's going into a place where they really get behind me here, and I appreciate that.

Q. Do you plan to stop at the Illini tent there on 9, or no?
STEVE STRICKER: I don't know. It's on --

Q. It's just off the 9 tee.
STEVE STRICKER: Really? I don't know.
DOUG MILNE: Before we cut you loose if you would give us some clubs and yards on your birdies.
STEVE STRICKER: We'll start on the front even though that was my second nine. I birdied 2, hit a utility club to about 25 feet, two-putted.
Birdied No. 8, hit a driver and a 5-iron to about 15 feet.
Bogeyed 9, hit it in the bunker, hit a sand shot out to a couple feet and missed it.
Birdied No. 10, hit a sand wedge to four and a half feet.
Birdied No. 13, driver and a little 8-iron to 13 feet.
Bogeyed 14, we talked about that, over the green, flew the green.
Hit it to three feet at 15. It was longer than three feet. It was probably about a six-footer. I hit a 6-iron to about six feet at 15.
16, I hit a 9-iron, and that, again, was another six-, seven-footer.
17, laid up with a 3-iron and then hit a wedge to about six or seven feet again.
DOUG MILNE: Steve, thanks for your time and best of luck on the weekend.

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