CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Steve Stricker has proven that he’s more than willing to help his fellow PGA Tour professionals if they need a putting tip, but with Gary Woodland this week the U.S. Presidents Cup captain may have had an ulterior motive.
On the eve of this week’s PGA Championship, Stricker went to work with Woodland, who conceded that he hasn’t “made putts in a long time.”
“I've worked with him a couple of times, a lot of setup stuff. The day before a major, it's all about freeing it up,” said Woodland following a 3-under 68 at Quail Hollow that left him tied for the early lead. “We're not trying to do too much. Just get comfortable was the big deal.”
Stricker, who has worked with the likes of Tiger Woods on his putting in the past, was more than happy to assist particularly considering that Woodland is currently 16th on the Presidents Cup points list and could be a key addition to this year’s team.
Although Woodland said he’s been hitting the ball well the last few weeks, his putting has kept him from moving to the next level, which prompted him to turn to Stricker.
“I made a couple in [at the Canadian Open],” said Woodland, who ranks 182nd this season in strokes gained-putting. “I talked to [Brad Faxon] earlier this week. I worked with Strick yesterday. I talked to two of the greats. I picked up some things definitely.”
On Thursday, Woodland needed just 16 putts per greens in regulation and had just a single bogey at the par-4 16th hole.