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September 22, 2013

Steve Stricker


THE MODERATOR:¬† We'll get started.¬† We'd like to welcome Steve Stricker into the interview room.¬† T2 at the TOUR Championship by Coca‑Cola, third place in the FedExCup.
Steve, I know it's been a very rewarding year for you, not only in your personal life with your family, spending time with them, but also professionally.  If we could just get some comments.
STEVE STRICKER:  It's been a great year.  I had a lot of fun this year.  I played probably the best golf of my life really, or the most consistent all year long on Tour this year, more than any other year probably.
I wasn't sure how this year was going to work out really at the start of it all back in December, but the more the year went on, the more I got comfortable with what I was doing, the more it felt right.  So I'm very excited the way I played and the way I hung in there.
Yeah, it was a lot of fun.  Both home and on the road, it was a lot of fun this year.
THE MODERATOR:  Cut it to two shots there with the eagle on 15.  Talk a little bit that putt, and if you knew how close you were getting, also if you would have gone on to win, especially with Tiger's struggles, you would have won the FedExCup.  Talk about if you knew all that.
STEVE STRICKER:  I knew I was getting close to the lead.  I knew I got within a couple of shots.  I knew I had to win the tournament probably to have any chance at winning it all.
So my focus was on really the top spot and Henrik and what he was doing.  Yeah, I knew I needed that putt for sure on 15 up the hill, and I also knew that I probably had to birdie one or two holes coming in, which is a tall task here.  They're very difficult holes.
So it was close, but yet he had it under control, I think.  He was playing great.  Every time it seemed like he made a mistake, it seemed like he came back and birdied a hole fairly quickly again and separated himself again.
So hat's off to him.  He played great.  He played great in the playoffs.  He won two of these events.  He deserves to be the champion.

Q.  Steve, I don't know how well you know Henrik, but from where he was two years ago in the world rankings, I'm sure you can appreciate the journey it takes to get from there to where he is now.  Can you just talk about that a little bit.
STEVE STRICKER:  Yeah.  It's very rare when a player doesn't go through some sort of struggles.  And the careers out here last sometimes pretty long, and it's hard to maintain top form all the time.
Henrik had a little blip on his screen there for a while, much like everybody.  It's nice to see that he's put in the work and the energy and the time to get it back and to reach really the ultimate thing in our sport, to win the FedExCup.
Yeah, so I can relate.  A lot of players can relate to where he was and, again, to where he is today.  It's a pretty amazing journey.

Q.  Who gets your Player of the Year vote?
STEVE STRICKER:  Geez, I don't know.  I haven't even thought about it.  You know, I would think about Henrik.  I would think it would be up between him and Tiger probably.
Henrik's had an amazing year.¬† He could toss‑‑ it's a toss‑up probably.¬† That's what I'm sticking to.

Q.¬† Steve, I wonder‑‑ I just want to ask you a Presidents Cup question.¬† Just wondering, if after the way the Ryder Cup went down last year, if that was any motivation to getting back on a U.S. team, or did you sort of feel like you were done with that after last year's Ryder Cup?
STEVE STRICKER:¬† Yeah, I really didn't know‑‑ I wasn't‑‑ it didn't leave a very good taste in my mouth after last year's Ryder Cup.¬† I surely would like to be a part of another Ryder Cup team.¬† That's next year.
This year I was‑‑ you know, you always want to be a part of those teams. ¬†Once you've been on one, you feel that energy and the emotion that you get from those teams, and you want to be a part of that.
I don't know what it had to do with my play this year.  I really had nothing to prove.  I wasn't going to try to go out of my way to try to make the Presidents Cup team.  I wasn't going to play extra events or anything like that.
But when it came down to it towards the end, I surely wanted to make that team, and I did want to make it on my own merit.  I didn't want to be a pick.
So looking forward to a few weeks when we go to Columbus and looking forward to being part of the team again and hopefully, play well and have a good time, and we can win the Presidents Cup.
Yeah, so it's important.  You want to be part of those teams, but I wasn't going to go out of my way this year to try to make it.

Q.  Do you want to play with Jordan?
STEVE STRICKER:¬† I don't know.¬† We hit it off nicely the first couple‑‑ we played Tuesday and Wednesday here.¬† He's a good kid.¬† Who doesn't want to play with him?¬† I think everybody on our team wants to play with him.
The kid's played great, and I'm looking forward to being a teammate of his.  He's a good kid.
THE MODERATOR:  STEVE STRICKER, thank you, sir.  Appreciate it.

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