A year that already is among the most memorable of Steve Stricker’s career added another chapter on Sunday when he won the U.S. Senior Open in dominant fashion at Warren Golf Course at Notre Dame.
Stricker, who began the final round with a six-stroke lead, completed a wire-to-wire victory with a one-under-par 69 for a 72-hole score of 19-under-par 261, six better than Jerry Kelly and defending champion David Toms. The victory was the fifth of Stricker’s PGA Tour Champions career.
In each of the first three rounds, Stricker equaled the best round of the day, providing him the cushion that allowed for an easy triumph. With his wife, Nikki, on his bag once again (she's looped for him for several of his career wins), Stricker birdied the first hole on Sunday and his lead never got below five. It was a methodical victory lap that included only a single bogey, just the second he made in 72 holes.
“It was a challenge, especially today,” Stricker said. “When you come out with a six-shot lead, you have everything to lose and really nothing to gain. And I played that way today. I played very cautiously trying not to make mistakes. This game is hard to play that way.”
Kelly, his friend and fellow Madison, Wis., resident, shot a one-under 69 on Sunday and finished second for the second straight year in the U.S. Senior Open. Toms closed with a two-under 68.
In January, Stricker was named the U.S. captain for the 2020 Ryder Cup, the first player so honored without having a major championship victory on his resume.
Now he has two, both senior majors, but majors nonetheless. In May, he won the PGA Tour Champions’ first major of the season, the Regions Tradition.