AKRON, Ohio – Steve Stricker scrapped together a 2-under 68 Friday at the WGC-Bridgestone in his bid to rack up Ryder Cup points and make the American team that will play at Medinah in Chicago next month.
Stricker, 45, played at the University of Illinois and was raised in Wisconsin, just a couple hours from Chicago. He was at 4-under 136 and tied for seventh midway through the second round.
At 13th on the American Ryder Cup points list, Stricker doesn’t want to have to rely on a captain’s pick, though he seems a lock if he doesn’t qualify for the team. The top eight in points after next week's PGA Championship secure spots.
“I’ve been watching that list all year,” Stricker said. “With the Ryder Cup being right down there in Chicago, near home, I dearly want to be part of that team. It’s been on my mind, and I need a good stretch here, especially next week, to move up the list. What is next week? Double points. So it’s important for me.”
Stricker was just outside the points list after the ’06 PGA Championship and did not get picked. He won the first of his two PGA Tour Comeback Player of the Year awards that year.
“I’ve been in this position before, just outside and not been picked, and then I’ve been picked,” Stricker said. “I’ve been on the fence on both sides of it. You just kind of go and do your thing and not try to put any extra pressure on yourself to play well. Sometimes, it’s a negative when you are telling yourself you have to play well to make the Ryder Cup and you need the points. That’s not a good situation. You just have to go and do your own thing.”