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Steve Stricker on being a Ryder Cup captain, dominating the U.S. Senior Open and his putting philosophy

July 01, 2019

Stacy Revere

Earlier this year, Steve Stricker became the first American golfer without a major championship to be named U.S. Ryder Cup captain. Things have changed a lot in the past two months.

OK, so Stricker still doesn't have a major on his PGA Tour résumé, but he has morphed into the Brooks Koepka of the PGA Tour Champions. The 52-year-old has won two of the senior circuit's past three big events. And it hasn't even been close.

Following a six-shot romp at the Regions Tradition in May, Stricker won the U.S. Senior Open on Sunday by the same wide margin. Discussing his latest victory on Sunday night, Stricker acknowledged he entered the week "with a chip on my shoulder" after losing in a playoff the previous week at the American Family Insurance Championship, a tournament he hosted in his hometown of Madison.

“I talked about being ornery," Stricker said at his winning Senior Open press conference, "and maybe I need more of that."

Of course, being ornery is the last thing Stricker is known for. He checked in at No. 1 on Golf Digest's inaugural list of PGA Tour "Good Guys" in 2013 and produced one of the sweetest moments on any tour this year in celebrating his Open win on the 18th green with his wife and caddie, Nicki, as well as the couple's two daughters. Less than 24 hours later, Stricker joined the Golf Digest Podcast to talk about his latest victory, his thoughts on putting and how his experience as the U.S. Presidents Cup captain in 2017 will help him at the 2020 Ryder Cup.

Plus, Alex Myers, Sam Weinman, and Keely Levins discuss Nate Lashley's emotional maiden PGA Tour title, our ranking of the tour's content kings and a celebrity golfer's shopping spree in the Pine Valley pro shop. Please have a listen: