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WGC ACCENTURE MATCH PLAY CHAMPIONSHIP


February 23, 2012


Steve Stricker


MARANA, ARIZONA

Q.テつ I know you are loving that 21‑foot birdie on the 18th?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ It was back and forth.テつ It really wasn't back and forth until the end.テつ He had the lead on me all day long, so I was scratching from behind all day.テつ We each gave each other a couple of holes here and there, just lucky to be moving on really.

Q.テつ You really dominated the par 5s out here in the second round.
STEVE STRICKER:テつ And that's unusual because he hits it so far.テつ For me ‑‑ this course is tough for me because all the bunkers are ‑‑ I can't fly the bunkers, and these big hitters are just taking it right over them.テつ But I thought the same thing walking around.テつ I'm beating this guy in the par 5s, and he's got me by 40 yards off the tee.テつ So if I can do that, I have just got to do it my way and do certain things differently than some of these big hitters.

Q.テつ I wasn't so sure this was going to be a happy 40th birthday for you.
STEVE STRICKER:テつ No, it didn't look too good for a while.テつ You know, I just was happy to give myself a good putt at it at the 18th.テつ Really walking up I thought ‑‑ I wanted to putt first.テつ My dad has told me the first one in usually wins, and that was the thought.テつ It stayed straight.テつ I thought I kind of lost it on the low side, but it hung in there nice.

Q.テつ You are into the bracket semifinals.テつ Congratulations.
STEVE STRICKER:テつ Thank you.

Q.テつ How do you celebrate your birthday?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ I have got some relatives out here.テつ I think we're going to go out for dinner and they said they made me a cake.

Q.テつ How MUCH movement was there in the putt?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ There was a lot of movement in the putt.テつ I played it up there, I don't know, probably a good three or four feet.テつ It just was a big swinger to the right.テつ And like I say, I thought I lost a little speed there right at the end.テつ I thought I was going to miss on the low side, but it just hung in there nice at the end.

Q.テつ Have you called the family yet?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ I talked to them this morning.テつ They wished me a happy birthday this morning.

Q.テつ Couple a key halves really that kept you in early.テつ Talk about some of those holes or shots.
STEVE STRICKER:テつ I don't know which ones you are talking about, but there were a couple of key halves.
Chipped in at No. 2.テつ He was right on the green side and I hit it in the rough and couldn't get it up near the green, so I hit it just short.テつ The chip wasn't that far, but chipping it in ‑‑ when you are going up against these big hitters like Louis is, you feel like you are behind the 8 ball here to start with.テつ It puts a lot of pressure on you.テつ You have got to make those like that, I think, and just grind it out.

Q.テつ You can kind of reverse that pressure by knocking your second shot close?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ Exactly.

Q.テつ It may not be an advantage as far as distance goes, but allowing you to hit first, maybe you can flip it around?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ Yeah, it happened on No. 11.テつ You know, I hit 3 wood off that tee and it's just not a comfortable tee shot for me.テつ I got it out there and I was like geez, I may be able to sneak this on the green.テつ He's up there in the rough, you know, 30, 40 yards ahead of me.テつ I hit it on the green with a 3 wood and all of a sudden, he's got to lay it up.
You are exactly right.テつ If I can get it in the fairway and then get it up there on the green or put it in a position where it puts a little pressure on him, it helps.

Q.テつ You have Hunter tomorrow.テつ I think you guys had a long match ‑‑
STEVE STRICKER:テつ Yeah, we had 19 or 20 or 21‑holer.

Q.テつ Talk about Hunter.テつ I know you have been on a couple of teams with him.テつ He's one of the up‑and‑coming guys?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ Good match play player.テつ He's in every hole, doesn't hit it crooked.テつ His all around game is good.テつ We have been at it before and we have been teammates before on a Presidents Cup team and Ryder Cup team.テつ It's going to be tough.テつ It's tough playing a friend, too.テつ You have got to put that friendship aside for a day and try to beat him.

Q.テつ You hit 3 wood off the tee on 18?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ I did.テつ I had 208, which ‑‑ he hit 5 wood, Louis did.テつ I had driver out.テつ I was going to hit driver and I saw where his 5 wood went.テつ I'm like I probably could get my 3 wood up to his 5 wood, but I didn't even sniff that either.

Q.テつ So what did you hit in?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ I hit a 6 iron.

Q.テつ Was the putt 21 feet?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ That's what somebody told me, yeah.

Q.テつ When you are at an event like this, are you able to keep an eye on some of the younger Americans like Hunter?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ I didn't even look at a leaderboard today to tell you the truth.テつ I was just so engrossed in our match and what I needed to do, I really didn't look at the board.

Q.テつ When you do learn, is it nice to know that some of the younger Americans are doing well in events like this?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ Yeah.

Q.テつ Is that something you enjoy seeing?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ Yeah, very much so.テつ Unfortunately, our bracket was such that a lot of the Americans were in the bracket that I'm in.テつ I think there was 10 in the bracket of 16.テつ So we're going to end up beating up on each other.テつ You have just got to play well and every match is tough.

Q.テつ You are halfway to 90, so that's good?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ Halfway to 90.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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