by Jeff Skinner
Steve Stricker returns to his home away from home this week as he tees it up at what has to be his favorite PGA Tour stop The John Deere Classic in Silvis Illinois. It’s almost like a home game for Stricker who played golf at the University of Illinois and he lives about three hours north in Madison Wisconsin. Stricker says he loves living in the mid-west despite the tough winters.
Playing in the friendly surroundings of The John Deere certainly has worked for the forty-five year old: he’s won here three consecutive years. He’ll be going for a record fourth straight win and he’ll tie the likes of Tiger Woods, Gene Sarazen, Walter Hagen and Young Tom Morris as winners of the same tournament four years running. How they include Young Tom Morris in these records is beyond me but we’ll accept that.
Stricker’s ready to try, ”It’s exciting. To have that opportunity should be fun. It’s been a great ride down there. Some magical things have happened for me.”
Stricker is the kind of guy that thinks of other people so when he unexpectedly added last week’s Greenbrier Classic he used his wife as his caddie since he had already given his caddie the week off.
He loves playing here and has no problem hopping on a plane Sunday to get to the Open Championship even though most all his competitors will be there already getting acclimated.
He likes it here. “Yeah, it’s a lot of fun to come back. I have a lot of family and friends from Wisconsin and Illinois, where I went to school. It’s a good week, one I look forward to every year.” We can understand that because he’s won 25% of his career twelve wins here.