TROON, Scotland – When Steve Stricker qualified for The Open via his runner-up finish at last month’s FedEx St. Jude Classic, he wasn’t sure if he’d make the trip to Scotland.
Stricker has played a reduced schedule in recent years, and at 49 years old he wasn’t sure if he wanted to add events so late in the season.
Following a final-round 69 at Royal Troon he will have plenty of more scheduling decisions to make. His fourth-place finish secured a spot in next year’s Masters and Open, and will likely be good enough to earn him a spot in this year’s final major in two weeks at the PGA Championship.
“A lot of good things came out of it,” Stricker said. “I'm a little disappointed the way I chopped up 17 [he made a double-bogey 5], but all in all if you would have told me heading into the week I'd have a legitimate chance to finish in the top 5, I don't know if I would have believed you.”
If Stricker does qualify for the PGA Championship - the top 70 players on the PGA Tour money list are exempt to play Baltusrol - he will have to work with his family because of a scheduling conflict.
“My daughter goes to college this year and there is an orientation, a parent orientation thing. But maybe she'll let me go and play it,” he smiled.