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April 2, 2014

Steve Stricker


DAVE SENKO:テつ We'd like to welcome Steve Stricker to the Shell Houston Open Media Room.テつ Steve, I know you've had a few weeks off and you played in Miami.テつ I know you went to the basketball game last weekend.テつ Maybe what the last three, four weeks what it's been like for yourself.
STEVE STRICKER:テつ Yeah, just been home and then we -- spring break for the kids last week and went to Anaheim to cheer on the Badgers at the NCAA Tournament.テつ So we've been -- went to Disney one day, so we've been doing a little bit of everything.テつ We were able to get out of Wisconsin and get into some warm weather, which it's been not too conducive to golfing up there yet.テつ It was a good place to go to do a lot of different of things in Anaheim.
DAVE SENKO:テつ How much golf have you played?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ I haven't played very much.テつ I was able to get out every -- we got out there on Tuesday and I was able to get out pretty much every day and do something.テつ But leading up to that, I haven't been able to do so much.テつ Just do my usual thing in Wisconsin, hit balls in the trailer and hit them outside.テつ And so I'm a little rusty but kind of getting back into some shape, and I can get my focus now started on playing a little bit more, go to some more tournaments on the schedule, so I'm looking forward to it.
DAVE SENKO:テつ Do you have a question?

Q.テつ Do you have tickets for any of the games this week?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ We do.テつ I wasn't thinking about not playing here.テつ But we do have tickets for both Saturday and Monday.テつ We'll try to make it up there for sure on Saturday.テつ I figured even if we're in the last group, you know, or towards the end, the Badgers are the second game so should be able to make it up there and come back that night and then hopefully it all works out.

Q.テつ You got a private plane or how are you going to get there?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ That's the only way we're going to be able to do it.

Q.テつ G-5 you bought?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ Yeah.テつ Yeah.テつ That one that I own?テつ Yeah.

Q.テつ Would a few of you go?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ There's a couple other guys that are probably going to come, maybe Jeff Overton is looking at going, his caddy.テつ My whole family is going to be here.テつ They're flying in on Friday to be with me here this weekend and then go on to Augusta next week.
So, my whole family is coming with me and probably a couple other people.

Q.テつ Steve, can you revisit how much this tournament has meant to you?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ Yeah.テつ This is always a tournament that I look forward to each year.テつ Steve Timms and the Houston Golf Association gave me a shot back in '06 when I was looking for spots, and I turned it into a fourth place finish here and kind of got some momentum, you know, since then.
So, it's kind of a special place for me here and I enjoy coming here.テつ The people are great here.テつ The Houston people embrace this tournament and the Houston Golf Association run a great event.テつ I enjoy the course, too.テつ It's a good week to knock some rust off and get ready for next week as well.

Q.テつ What were your impressions of the conditions out there today?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ It's in great shape.テつ It's a little softer, I think, than normal and maybe a touch on the slower side, but I understand that y'all have had a tough winter down here, too, and hasn't been conducive to growing grass until lately.
So, it's still in great shape.テつ It's just a little bit slower, I think, than years past.

Q.テつ Do you know the balance of playing one event while preparing for the other?テつ How do you go about doing that?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ Yeah.テつ You want to do well here this week and you want to work on some things, you know, also for next week, you know, and you have that in the back of your mind.テつ It is, it's trying to find the right balance.テつ For me, it's just about getting holes under my belt.テつ And I haven't been able to play that much, so it's about, you know, getting comfortable out on the golf course and hitting certain shots with different wind conditions that we have here and different set0ups, different looks that you get out in the fairways and off the tees.
So, for me it's just about getting some holes and repetition in out on the golf course and -- but ultimately, you know, wanting to play well here but also having Augusta in the back of your mind of what you need to do well for next week as well.

Q.テつ How much momentum can be built in that process?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ I think a lot.テつ I think if you play well here, you can ride that into next week.テつ And vice versa.テつ If you don't play well, you can say -- you can pick the good things out and the things that you did well and the things that you didn't, you need to work on for next week.
So, I think it's important, it's a good week to prepare, and, you know, the -- seeing the shots, going through the process, seeing how your game is and see what you need to work on for next week.

Q.テつ Will you hit a different shot here because you know you'll need it at Augusta or post-round practice?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ Yeah, probably moreso than after you're done.テつ When I get out here and play starting tomorrow, I mean, it's strictly going to be about here and what I need to do here to play well and shoot a good number.テつ So, then it's just trying to get the practice time in especially on the putting green and work on your mechanics and so you can kind of shore those up for next week and, you know, you want to play well here.テつ You're here and you want to do well while you're here.

Q.テつ Steve, Rory sat in here and said that golf seems to be waiting for a dominant player, someone who can stamp their authority, kind of stand up.
Do you agree with that and do you think that parity is good for the PGA TOUR or would it be better served to have a dominant player ala Tiger?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ There's not going to be a Tiger that comes along all too often.テつ He's a different animal.テつ He's a different player, different mentality.テつ You don't see that very often.
You know, I can see it both ways.テつ I think it's okay to have parity.テつ I think it's exciting for people, for the players to whoever tees it up that week really has a legitimate chance of winning, and we've seen that over the years.
So, but it's also fun when you have a dominant player that you're trying to knock him off, too.
I think competition either way it's good.テつ You know, there's always going to be enough good players that when it comes down the stretch like a Rory or Phil, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth has come along playing really nicely.テつ There's always going somebody that you point towards to try to beat.
So, I just think that's competition in general and it's good for our game, too, I think.

Q.テつ How long is the flight to San Antonio?

Q.テつ Dallas.
STEVE STRICKER:テつ I guess 40 minutes.

Q.テつ Is this red all week?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ No, I was getting it out of the way today.

Q.テつ Today on No. 16 they had some honorary First Tee captains there.テつ How was your experience with that?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ I thought it was great.テつ I had a little eight and nine year old, boy and girl.テつ It reminded me of my little girl, too, so it was kind of cute.テつ They were excited and it was fun to have them be a part of the hole and they were good kids.テつ So, it's a neat experience.テつ They do a great job here with the First Tee program.テつ It's one of the better ones I've seen.テつ And so it's cool to spend a little bit of time with them out there.

Q.テつ I noticed they revived your Avis commercial over the weekend?

Q.テつ Made a big comeback.
STEVE STRICKER:テつ Didn't notice.

Q.テつ That's because you were at the games, I guess.
STEVE STRICKER:テつ I don't watch golf when I'm home (laughter).

Q.テつ How much feedback, do you still hear that, almost every day?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ I had a guy call me on the way here.テつ Lot of people call me "Beast" or they get it wrong.テつ I get the point (laughter).

Q.テつ It's a classic in TV.
STEVE STRICKER:テつ Yeah.テつ I don't even know if they know that it's an Avis commercial so much, but it is.テつ It made a comeback, huh?

Q.テつ I saw it like three times.テつ I enjoy watching the old people drive by.
STEVE STRICKER:テつ They were the stars of the show.

Q.テつ Did you change anything, anything different about your equipment this year after this long winter, any tweaks or any adjustments?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ I just got a new set in the bag this week.テつ That was part of the reason to go to --
Q.Just the same stuff?テつ New?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ It's new heads.テつ I've been playing a 2010 model of the AP2 irons and now I've got the current rendition of the AP2s.テつ They're the 714s.テつ So I went out and that was part of the reason to go out there, too.テつ I was able to go to Titleist and get on the launch monitors and check it out and see, check out some different shafts, and so I needed a new set.テつ My clubs were wearing out, the grooves were wearing out.テつ I thought this would be a good time to put new ones in play.

Q.テつ Did you ask the family, who wants to go to the Titleist center?テつ Who wants to go to Disneyland?テつ Which was it?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ Nikki told me to go to Titleist.テつ My kids told me Legoland and Disney.テつ Then I said, let's go to the basketball game while we're out there.テつ Everybody had a little bit of something that we --
Q.How close can you get to replicating Augusta because it is Augusta, it's one of a kind?
STEVE STRICKER: テつThey do a good job here.テつ There's some little things that they do by mowing the fairways back at you, shaving the greens down towards the water.テつ Usually the speed of the greens are usually quicker like Augusta.テつ Like I said, they're a little bit slower. テつThat's a little bit different this year.テつ They could speed them up over the weekend.テつ They do as much as they can, you know, to replicate it.テつ It's tough.テつ It's one of the most unique places in the world, especially the golf course is unique at any elevation changes that you have to deal with and the side lies, you know, can't duplicate that everywhere.
But they do a nice job of trying here.

Q.テつ Do you know what else you're playing up to the U.S. Open after the Masters?テつ Or are you retired that whole time?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ No.テつ Players Championship.テつ I may throw in New Orleans or -- I'll play maybe Colonial, Memorial, something like that.

Q.テつ Two of those three?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ Yeah.テつ It's either going to be Colonial, Memorial or New Orleans and Memorial.テつ And Players.テつ Players will be in there.

Q.テつ Maybe Players if you can squeeze it in.
STEVE STRICKER:テつ Players will be in there.
DAVE SENKO:テつ Okay.テつ Any more questions?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ Thank you.

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