DUBLIN, Ohio – Steve Stricker is making just his ninth start of the year, defending the crown at the Memorial Tournament. This week also is the start of a deep stretch of about 10 tournaments that will define his year.
'Really I have no two-week stretch anymore at home,' he said. 'So I have one week at home and then come back and play a week, stuff like that, but no long breaks anymore. So it'll be a busy summer.'
In his time off since The Players, Stricker has been working on his putting, which he feels has been off-kilter of late.
'My putting has been actually giving me some problems here and there,' he said. 'I don't feel like I'm that far off. I've been hitting a lot of good putts. They're just not going in.'
Each putt gains significance from here through the PGA Championship, when the top eight in Ryder Cup points secure a spot on the team. Stricker is currently ninth on the points list and acutely aware of his position.
'I pay attention to it every week,' he said. 'Even if I'm not playing, I see where I'm at on that list. I knew that I had fallen out of the top eight this last week.'
The world No. 10 is not concerned about his place on Davis Love III's team quite yet, but wants to have a playing role at a venue just a couple hours' drive from his home.
'We have three majors left,' he said. 'You play well in those, just one of them, you can solidify your spot on the team. So I am not in panic mode or anything.'