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June 19, 2011

Steve Stricker


Q. 18, did you pull it a little bit?
STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, pulled it a little bit. I was kind of in the first cut and it just grabbed me enough where it came off just about four or five steps to the left of where I wanted to go. I was trying to hit a good shot in there. You've got to live with that. But all my shots were starting just a touch to the left coming in, really, back nine. And you can't miss out here. Pins are in some great spots, tough spots today. Yeah, it was good for a while.

Q. 12, you've made so much progress, how much did that take away?
STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, it did take a lot of wind out of my sails, but I grinded it out the next couple holes. Didn't hit a very good shot on 13 and made a good two-putt.
I hit a good shot at 14, and if you're on the wrong side of the tiers today, it was very difficult to putt the ball close, and that happened to me a couple times, probably about three times, on the back nine. And they would just put them over the little ridge, and if you're on the wrong side putting downhill, you're four or five feet coming back. That made it tough.

Q. Overall, how do you feel about your tournament?
STEVE STRICKER: It was okay. It was all right. I wasn't as sharp as I was a couple weeks ago, but still, all in all, I gave it a good run today and then just kind of gave it all back.

Q. Is it hard to compare this U.S. Open and what Rory is doing with 2000 because the courses are so much different? There's 35 guys under par this week and it's hard to compare the two.
STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, you can't even compare it, and the greens are different. It used to be poa annua, and these are all bentgrass, redone, and they could just never get the speed I think they wanted to get it, and that's why you're seeing the scores so good.
You know, it's kind of borderline. The guys that play well can get off and play well, but it's still tough. You've got to drive the ball in the fairway and do all the other things right. But if you're on your game, you can score.

Q. Is it a worthy U.S. Open course?
STEVE STRICKER: Oh, yeah, it should come back for sure. I think just the weather dictated the play, and really one guy is making it look bad. Where do we go next year?

Q. Olympic Club.
STEVE STRICKER: Could be a tough setup next year.

Q. Yesterday you were a little hesitant with Rory because you never knew what would happen today, but he's at 16-under now and just playing with a lot of confidence. What do you see with him now that he'll have a major?
STEVE STRICKER: Well, he's got the world in front of him. He's got tremendous potential. You know, I think fundamentally he's as good as we've seen ever in my era, take Tiger Woods out of it. When Tiger was going well, that's as good as I've ever seen. I think Rory is in that same boat. His swing is mechanically sound, and he's got a great short game and he putts it well, and he's long. So he's got all the tools. So it's pretty impressive.

Q. You know what it's like to win a tournament, and he's been in the top 10 in so many, but he only has two tournaments coming in. What does it do for a player to get over the hump and be able to win something like this and close it out?
STEVE STRICKER: Well, I don't know. It's a major. I haven't been there. I can't really speak to that. But he's only 22, so he's learning. The Masters, I think, was a big learning curve for him. I think that was a huge step, and he took that so gracefully. I think that was what's most impressive is that he handled that with such class and grace. I think he learned a ton from that, and obviously he used it for this tournament here and he's handling the pressure and the lead and he's even increasing it, so he must have learned a lot from the Masters.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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