Steve Stricker Brings Strong Momentum into PGA Frisco
Steve Stricker is showing absolutely zero signs of slowing down.
And now he’s hoping to add his name to the impressive list of winners of the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship.
Stricker, who led the America side to a victory at the Ryder Cup in 2021, has won twice already on PGA Tour Champions this season. In fact, he has no finish worse than a tie for eighth in the eight events he’s played in 2023.
He won the first major of the year, the Regions Tradition, after firing weekend rounds of 64-65. It was a successful title defense for Stricker who won the Tradition as one of four triumphs in 2022. Stricker had quite the major resume a year ago finishing 1-2-2 in the majors he did tee it up in. He did not play the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship last year as he tested positive for COVID-19 the Friday before the championship began.
Stricker is back this year, however, and hungry to lift the Alfred S. Bourne trophy.
“I feel good. My game seems like it’s in a pretty good spot,” Stricker said.
The first challenge of the week, however, will be to navigate Fields Ranch East – a new golf course on the major-championship rotation. Everyone in the field is teeing it up at the Gil Hanse design for the first time, with it just opening a few weeks ago.
“It presents a lot of challenges just because conditions like wind that we could get could throw everything off. So, you're trying to get as much information as you can in a short period of time,” Stricker said. “You feel like your homework is never done.”
Somewhere Stricker did do his homework just fine, however, was at the Ryder Cup two years ago in his native Wisconsin. The American squad topped Europe 19-9 and Stricker has been invited back by Captain Zach Johnson to serve as a vice captain when the upcoming Ryder Cup heads to Italy later this year.
“I think when we get to be – I'm 56 now – when you get to be this old, to be able to still be a part of something like this so special like the Ryder Cup, you want to hang on to it for as long as you can because it is a cool moment to be a part of,” Stricker said. “I think that's a big thing is that we all come together for that one common goal, and that's to win the Ryder Cup this year.”
Helping out at the Ryder Cup is a five-month-away task for Stricker, however. There is an important task at hand this week for the 12-time PGA Tour winner as he looks to capture the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship for the first time and continue his fine play in 2023.
“Just to not get too far ahead in thinking about it but, yeah,” Stricker said, “it would be a special moment to try to have an opportunity on Sunday coming down the last few holes to try to win.”