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February 20, 2012

Steve Stricker


MARK STEVENS:テつ I'd like to welcome Steve Stricker.テつ You've had a little time off since Hawaii.テつ If you want to talk about what you've been doing, and where you think your game is coming into this week.
STEVE STRICKER:テつ I've been enjoying the time at home, you know.テつ And I had five weeks off.テつ The first three weeks I kind of just did a lot of family things and got away from the game.テつ And the last couple of weeks I've done a lot of practicing, or as much practicing as I can up there in Wisconsin this time of year.テつ But I hit a lot of balls and came out here Thursday night, went up to Phoenix for a couple of days and practiced up here.テつ And then got down here yesterday.テつ I've been putting in some time the last couple of weeks and just resting and enjoying time at home.

Q.テつ Did you have any residual effects from the injury, at all, from your neck at all?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ No.テつ You mean while I was home?

Q.テつ Yes.
STEVE STRICKER:テつ No.テつ Part of the reason is to get some rest and try to rehab it as much as I could for those five weeks.テつ And that's what I did.テつ I was doing physical therapy about three times a week with the University of Wisconsin people.テつ And then I started a strengthening regimen the last‑‑ probably about the last three weeks.
So I've been trying to strengthen my upper region, you know, my left quadrant, really, and my neck area, my left bicep, tricep.テつ So I've been doing a lot of that the last couple of weeks.テつ It seems to be helping.テつ It feels a little bit better.テつ It feels stronger.テつ So we'll see going forward.
That was part of the reason why I stayed home for that period of time is to give it a break and see if I could kind of get a jump start on it.

Q.テつ Obviously you won this event.テつ Can you talk about how much you look forward to it and the match play format?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ Yeah, this is always a special event.テつ I come here with a lot of anticipation, a lot of desire to play well.テつ It's a fun format.テつ We only play this one other type and that's at a team competition level, whether it's The Presidents Cup or the Ryder Cup.テつ So it's fun.テつ It's something different, something that, like I said, we don't get to do on a regular basis or weekly basis.テつ It's tough.テつ It's really hard.テつ You have to be at the top of your game to move on here.テつ And I think this tournament really brings out the best player for the week.
Sometimes you can maybe slough through a match, have a down day where you don't play so well, but sometimes those days jump up and grab you, too.テつ So you have to play well all the way through to keep moving on and that's what's fun and unique about this event.テつ You never know what's going to happen.

Q.テつ Americans have won the first seven PGA TOUR events this year.テつ Does it matter‑‑ but Americans are also not among the top four seeds in this event.テつ Does that matter?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ No, I don't think it matters.テつ We've seen some high seeds win this event over the years.テつ I think I was a high seed that won this event.テつ You can look back‑‑ Jeff Maggert‑‑ I don't know what kind of seed he was when he won.テつ But, you know, if you get on a roll and you play well you can run the tables here.テつ I don't think it really matters where you come from, to tell you the truth.テつ They're all good players, there's 64 good players here and they deserve to be here.テつ They've showed that they've played well over the last year to be within that top 64.テつ So you need to play well just because everybody is good and it's a tough format.

Q.テつ This golf course, can you talk about it?テつ How does it suit you?テつ How does it suit match play?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ I've struggled here personally over the times that we've played here.テつ I'm not a huge fan of it, but yet it's in great shape.テつ I haven't seen a golf course really in better shape than this one here this week.テつ It's in phenomenal shape.テつ I think it's a good match play course.テつ It's really busy up by the greens.テつ There's a lot of undulations.テつ There's a lot to the green complexes.テつ So if you're off or just off on the side sometimes it's very difficult to get it up and down.テつ Some of the greens, if the wind direction is a certain way, there's a par‑3 where I can't even hold it on the green.テつ I think it's number maybe five or six.テつ So there's some uniqueness to it.テつ But I think overall it's a good match play course.テつ And the weather looks good.テつ It's a good spot to be this time of year.

Q.テつ Are you worried at all about rust?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ Yeah, yeah I am.テつ You know, it's been five weeks.テつ But I also look at some of the times that I've won have been after some layovers.テつ So‑‑ or layoffs, I should say.テつ It's in the back of my mind.テつ But I've put in some time.テつ I got out early to put some rounds under my belt.テつ I kind of look at this as another start to my season and trying to move forward with my eye on this event but my longer goal is the Masters coming up.テつ So I'm trying to get ready for that.テつ So, again, it's kind of a start to the year again for me.

Q.テつ On another topic, do you look at the bracket, at all?テつ Do you look at projections of if you keep advancing who you might play, who's in your bracket, that sort of thing?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ I haven't looked at it yet.テつ I just know who I play starting Wednesday.テつ But, yeah, when they come out in the paper or whatever, I'll take a look at it and see who's in there.テつ I know the bracket I'm in, I did hear that there's ten out of the 16 Americans or ten out of 16 players are Americans in my side.テつ That's about all I've heard about it.テつ I didn't really see who else was in there.

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