FARMINGDALE, N.Y. — After winning his first major title on Monday—albeit this one of the PGA Tour Champions variety—Steve Stricker saw his crazy streak in the “regular” majors come to an end on Friday at the PGA Championship.
The 52-year-old Wisconsin native, who will captain the U.S. Ryder Cup team in 2020, had gone 27 straight major starts without missing a cut upon arriving at Bethpage Black. But with a 73-72 showing on Long Island, Stricker’s five-over total left him one stroke off the four-over 144 cutline.
Stricker’s impressive major run began at the 2010 Masters, where he finished T-30. Since then, he played in six more Masters, seven U.S. Opens, five Open Championships and eight PGA Championship. (He also skipped three British Opens and failed to qualify for three Masters and two U.S. Opens.) During that stretch he posted four top-10s, his best finish being a fourth at the 2016 British Open and his worst being a T-58 at the 2010 U.S. Open.
Just four days earlier, Stricker shot a four-under 68 to win the Regions Tradition in Alabama by six strokes. “This is special,” said an emotional Stricker on Monday. “Never was able to win one of these on the regular tour. It means a lot. You work hard, try to do the right things, work on my game, and come out here hoping to play well, hoping to win.”
Upon arriving at Bethpage, Stricker noted that the victory in Alabama might cause him to reconsider his schedule.
“Winning last week has kind of changed my focus maybe a little bit, maybe gearing more towards some of those Champions Tour majors and trying to win more of those,” Stricker said. “That was fun. I’ve never been able to win one of those. So that was a neat experience. But I’m very happy to be here, too.”
Stricker still had a ways to go to set the all-time mark for a streak of consecutive cuts made in majors. The record is 39 straight, set by, fittingly the two most prolific major champions of all time, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods.