WGC-Cadillac interview: Steve Stricker

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March 10, 2013

MORE INTERVIEWS: WGC-Cadillac Championship transcripts

Q. Can you just talk about the week and the fact that you are on a schedule that most people would envy right now?

STEVE STRICKER:
I'm excited about it, I know that, the schedule. You know, I'm happy the way I'm playing. You know, it's been a good start to the year. This is the third event, and I've done a lot of nice things so far. Been on the short end a couple times but played some pretty solid golf and putting the ball better. There were some things this week that I could have done better. I didn't drive it the greatest. Some wedge shots that I normally do very well, I didn't do as well at. So I got some work to do. You know, it was fun, a fun week playing with Phil for four rounds, we had a good time out there. Having my wife on the bag, that was special for us, and she does it once a year probably, and to get in the mix of things and play with Phil and Bubba, it was a fun week for her and me, as well. So it was a good week. It was a lot of fun.

Q. Just curious, the final round, what's it like being three or four behind Tiger Woods when he's on top of his game?

STEVE STRICKER:
You don't have a lot of what's the right word belief that he's going to come back to the field I guess. I'm sure there's a better word. But you've still got to go out and try to do your best and reel off some birdies and try to get as close as you can, but you're not giving up by any stretch of the imagination. He's been so solid with 54 hole leads over his career that you just don't think he's going to come back. And he didn't again.

So it's tough, especially around a course like this where trying to make birdies at times is difficult, especially when the course got pretty firm and fast. So yeah, it's tough, but there's a lot to play for, and World Ranking points and FedExCup points, and money, and so you just want to try to get up there and put a little pressure on him, just knowing that you never know what's going to happen.

Q. This is five wins in his last 18 stroke play events on the PGA TOUR, that's a percentage like his glory days pre 2009. In your book, is he lethal again? Does it feel like old times?

STEVE STRICKER:
His attitude and what I saw this week and his belief in himself again looks very similar to when he was, you know, in the early 2000s, or you can pick any year I guess when he was playing great. But, yeah, he just seems in a better place mentally, to me. You know, he seems to be having fun. Seems to have a lot of confidence in himself and his game. And that's fun to see; that he's getting it back again, and we know what type of player he is, and it's fun to see him get that potential and that winning way again.

Q. Do you think the fact that that you are now scheduled the way you are, and it's in your mind how your schedule is going to be in the year, it's actually helping you more than if you were playing more events?

STEVE STRICKER:
Yeah, for sure. I have no yeah, I just feel like there's little pressure on me out there, at all. I'm having really a lot of fun. I'm enjoying what I'm doing. I know deep down that I'm only playing 11 times, and that excites me. But I also get very pumped up and excited to play when I do come out. I work at it hard still at home but in the back of my mind, it's just coming out and having fun, trying to play good golf and see what happens.

So yeah, it's helped me I think. I'm a little bit more aggressive I feel like, some of the pressure is taken off me for whatever reason. Yeah, so it's good, and I'm enjoying my train of thought; it would be nice to have that thinking a few years ago, but I feel like a lot of the pressure has been taken off me for whatever reason, just knowing that I'm only going to play 11 times.
Didn't really set any goals of trying to make The Presidents Cup team or win a major. I'm just trying to come out and play golf and have fun doing it, and I still enjoy playing, so maybe that's taking the pressure off.

Q. Houston and Augusta?

STEVE STRICKER:
Houston and Augusta.

MICHAEL GIBBONS: Thank you.

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