LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Named on Wednesday as a vice captain for the U.S. Ryder Cup team by skipper Tom Watson, Steve Stricker has mixed feelings about his new role.
“It’s going to sting,” Stricker said on Friday, “…when I’m over there as an assistant captain and watching the guys and wishing I was probably a part of the playing part of the team….Hopefully I can help out a little bit.”
Stricker was still a player on Friday at the PGA Championship, and a good one. The PGA Tour and Ryder Cup veteran shot a 3-under 68 to go with his opening 69. Not only will Stricker play on the weekend, he is in contention, just four back of clubhouse leader Rory McIlroy.
“I’m very happy with [my round] and happy to be in and finished,” he said about his slog through the morning rain and wet course conditions.
Starting on the back nine, Stricker made four birdies to card a 32. He struggled somewhat on the front nine, but still finished with a respectable 36, just one bogey on his card for the round. While a win could put him on the Ryder Cup team and also would be his first major victory, Stricker isn’t thinking about those things.
“…I’m obviously trying to do the best I can this weekend,” Stricker said, “but it hasn’t really crossed my mind as a player just because I haven’t played that much. I haven’t played all that well this year and I’m just trying to have a good tournament here this week.”
For now, he’s more than safisfied with his 137 on a challenging PGA Championship golf course.
“All in all, [a] good two days and looking forward to the weekend.”