Steve Stricker 'didn't do anything dumb today,' and is in the lead at another PGA Tour Champions major
Steve Stricker finished Friday with a birdie on the final hole to push into a four-way tie for the lead at Greystone Golf and Country Club.
There’s a misconceived notion that those on the PGA Tour Champions are simply soaking up retirement benefits while playing a little golf.
But in the case of Steve Stricker, he might have more going on now than during his time on the PGA Tour.
Stricker, of course, has to be mindful of what’s happening on the Tour, as the Ryder Cup is in just under five months at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin, as he’s the American team captain.
Also, a hot housing market gave Stricker reason to give up his Naples home, and he’s currently looking for another place to live somewhere in the central part of the state.
Oh, and then there’s the Regions Tradition, the first PGA Tour Champions major of the year this week in Birmingham, Alabama, where Stricker will need to survive four rounds and not the typical three of a senior circuit event.
Regions Tradition: Leaderboard
Despite all the moving parts, Stricker kept his focus on Friday, finishing with a birdie on the final hole of the day to push into a four-way tie for the lead at Greystone Golf and Country Club.
“I’m right there. I didn’t do anything dumb today, just hung around,” Stricker said after his 69, which put him at 7 under after two days, tied with Alex Cejka, Jerry Kelly and Darren Clarke. “We’re only halfway home, so we have a weekend to go. Someone’s going to probably bust out of this pack, I would imagine. The wind is supposed to switch directions for the weekend, so that will shake things up probably a little bit, too.
“The course is in great shape and just kind of continue to do what I’ve been doing.”
Stricker will have six captain’s picks for the Ryder Cup, half of the 12-member team, which will be announced after the second FedEx Cup playoffs event at the end of August. The matches are Sept. 24-26.
But he kept his composure despite some blustery conditions on Friday, giving himself a chance to repeat at Regions — he won by a half-dozen strokes in the 2019 event. Last year’s tournament was canceled due to the pandemic.
“It’s been a struggle the first couple of days with the wind conditions, I feel like. Our whole group kind of struggled today a little bit,” he said. “We had some good up-and-downs and I kept the round going by getting some of these good up-and-downs. But that wind has made it tricky on club selection; you feel like it’s one way and it’s blowing another.
“It’s been hard at times to hit some really quality iron shots.”