EDISON, N.J. – Over the course of the last four years, no man has handled the PGA Tour Playoffs for the FedEx Cup better than Steve Stricker. Though yet to win the cup and its $10 million prize, Stricker’s record in the four-event series is impeccable.
The Wisconsin native won the first ever playoff event at Westchester in the ’07 Barclays and has top-3 finishes in each of the last two years at this stop. Suffice it to say that Stricker is aware of how to start the playoffs.
But he comes into this season’s four-event march with a little more pep in his step. Stricker has played a reduced schedule in 2011, looking to stay fresher later in the year and be home a little more often.
“I think I played 15 events up till now, probably one or two more than I had thought, but still, I feel fresh and ready. And it’s worked out well,” Stricker said Wednesday.
The top-ranked American says he has struck a balance between family time and practice at home.
“I still go home and I still practice hard, trying to prepare and get ready, but I’ve been able to take a couple of more two-week breaks instead of just one week, and that’s been nice where I can just get away from golf for a week and get back at it again,” he explained.
Stricker said that approach has done him well this year and hopes it carries over into the FedEx Cup chase.
“It really has not hindered my play at all. If anything, I feel like I’m a little bit more fresh mentally when I come to an event,” he said.
Playing well certainly helps the weeks roll by faster, which Stricker says excites him.
“The only thing I can think of is that the end of season is about four tournaments away, and I really get excited for the end of the year, spending more time at home. Hunting season is a month away and I get to do a lot of that.”