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April 13, 2013

Steve Stricker


Q.  Can you talk about what happened on 18?
STEVE STRICKER:¬† Yeah.¬† I hit a drive right in the right rough and had really no shot at 18.¬† 18 is playing long so I just tried to send it up left of the green so I could get a good angle to that back right pin.¬† I hit my chip shot a little bit too hard, ran through the back, and the putt was quick.¬† I just tried to lag it down there and make my bogey and really get out of there.¬† And then I thought I hit a good second putt there, but a couple of three‑putts today and to end up with a double like that is kind of stinging right now.
All in all, played pretty well again today.

Q.  Do you still feel like you have a chance?
STEVE STRICKER:¬† You know, I don't know.¬† I would have sure loved to make par on the last and be at 4‑under.¬† I have a feeling the leaders are going to get to 8‑under.¬† Four back would have been a lot better than six back.¬† But I'm just guessing what that leading score is going to be at this point.¬† Yeah, sure wish I would have finished at 4.

Q.  Overheard you talking a little bit about Tiger's situation.  Sounds like you think they got it right?
STEVE STRICKER:  Yeah, I think they got it right because they addressed it before he actually signed his card, and from what I understand they said to go ahead and sign your card; am I right?

Q.  I don't think they even conferred with him.
STEVE STRICKER:  Before he signed his card?

Q.¬† Yeah, they decided they didn't even need to confer with him.¬† They decided after looking at the video‑‑
STEVE STRICKER:  That he was fine.  Yeah, that's what I understood.  There wasn't even an issue until his press conference when he said that he took two steps backwards.  So I think that's when everything kind of hit the fan again.
Yeah, so I think if they would have came up to him before he signed his card, he would have said, okay, well, let's go through it, and you're right, I did take two steps back, it's a two‑shot penalty and signed for two shots higher, end of story.¬† But I think the way it all played out‑‑ but I think all in all, they got it right.¬† I don't think he should have been DQ'd, although he did take an illegal drop, but everybody knew about it before him signing the card.
So I think that's why they waived the DQ part of it.  Yeah, it's kind of a tough one.  What was that rule intended to be?  I don't know, the new one that they came up with last year.

Q.  That's not the rule they used.  The rule they used is over 50 years old to keep him in the tournament.
STEVE STRICKER:¬† That they can waive the right to‑‑

Q.  There's a Committee rule that a Committee can stop a disqualification if they feel there's a need to.  That's the rule they used.

Q.¬† The rules of golf are incredibly complicated, but that doesn't seem like that complicated of a rule knowing that you have to drop right‑‑
STEVE STRICKER:  You're right, but like I said down there, I'm sure he's thinking at the time that his ball just caromed off the flag and he's like, how the heck am I having to drop now after hitting a shot like he hit there.  A lot of things are racing through our minds out there, and it's easy to get confused.  It's easy to kind of lose track of what you need to be doing.  And a lot of times I'm that way, and I'll just call in a rules official and just make sure that my thinking is right or ask your caddie.
I don't know how it all played out yesterday with him and Joey, but it's tough.  And like I say, I'm sure he was a little bit in shock because of what happened with his ball.

Q.¬† I think Fred really said that rules officials don't walk with groups‑‑
STEVE STRICKER:  Right.  You can call them in.

Q.  So is it like any other tournament?
STEVE STRICKER:  Yeah, there's a rules official on every hole.  You just raise your hand and probably two or three come running to you.

Q.  When do you go to a rules official in a situation like that?
STEVE STRICKER:¬† If you're not comfortable with it, if you're not comfortable with what you're doing or what the process is, then I'd do it right away.¬† But he must have thought he was doing everything right.¬† He must have been thinking that he could take that line of flight, where it last crossed.¬† And maybe he thought‑‑ you know, I don't know.¬† He must not have realized the last cross was over here to the left, and that line would have been probably in the stands somewhere.¬† So maybe he was just thinking that it hit on such a perfect line over the flag that that was his line then, you know, and he just lost track of where it caromed off into the water.

Q.  Realistically isn't the fact that most of you guys when you make a rules violation don't think you made a violation?
STEVE STRICKER:  Oh, no doubt, and he didn't think he was violating the rules by any means, and that's what makes our sport unique and difficult to understand all at the same time.  You're going to get somebody that's watching this at home that's not really an avid golfer, and they're going to go, are you serious, they're going to charge this guy two shots when he dropped this far apart?  When you really think about it, it's crazy, but it's our rules and we play by them.  As difficult as it may seem, that's what we've got to live by.

Q.  What do you think in general of watching TV and being able to call a tournament or call rules officials and say this is what I saw and brings this whole thing into question.
STEVE STRICKER:¬† Yeah, well, that's why they adopted that rule last year, too, because it's not like we're trying to get away with things out here, and guys that aren't on TV are trying to get away with things and the guys that are on TV are under the microscope all the time from the TV viewers that if they do one thing wrong, they're‑‑ the phone is ringing, and that's what makes it difficult, too.
But I don't know.  I think in this circumstance they got it right.  You know, the way everything was laid out from what I understand, I think they got it right.

Q. ¬†It seems like Tiger could have‑‑ if he withdraws, he avoids a situation now where it almost seems like a no‑win situation if he wins.¬† What do you think about the possibility that he could have done that, or is that not something somebody would do?
STEVE STRICKER:¬† I don't think‑‑ no, I think you would leave it up to the rules officials at that point.¬† I don't think they're doing him any favors.¬† For God's sake they charged a 14‑year‑old a one‑shot penalty yesterday.¬† I mean, it's not like they want to do it, and I got a bad time yesterday, and he was like, listen, I'm not trying to give you a bad time, it's just that they've got to work within the boundaries of our rules, and when they don't, then they've got to come up with a way‑‑ but I think the whole deal is that they knew beforehand and they thought it was not an issue.¬† It wasn't until he said he took two steps back.

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