Steve Stricker didn’t win a major on the PGA Tour, but he’s making up for that on the senior circuit, capturing the U.S. Senior Open with a startling display of golf that ended with his second senior major of 2019.
Stricker, who said he came into the championship feeling a little ornery after a playoff loss last week to Jerry Kelly, left nothing to chance, cruising to a six-shot win with rounds of 62-64-66-69 for a 19-under-par 261 that included just two bogeys and a 57-hole stretch without a bogey. Stricker tied the largest margin of victory in tournament history and fell one short of Fred Funk's 20-under-par 268 in 2009 at Crooked Stick for lowest 72-hole score.
Nearly more remarkable are the clubs Stricker did it with—as virtually every club in his bag is dated to some extent, some remarkably so.
His Titleist 755 Forged irons, for example, go back to 2006 when Stricker first put them in play at the Shell Houston Open. His Titleist 913D3 driver was introduced in fall 2012 and the 915 fairway wood two years later. And then, of course, is his Odyssey White Hot 2 putter that he has used for the majority of the last 18 years.
“My whole objective is to get it in the fairway and then see what pins I feel comfortable shooting at or steering away from,” Stricker said after the third round. “That's been the game plan. And, I've been putting well.”
Stricker’s putting stats at the Warren Golf Course at Notre Dame were misleading. While Stricker only ranked T-7 in putts, when you consider that he led the field in greens in regulation, there weren’t a lot of up-and-down one-putts to boost the putting stats.
And as for those old sticks? “I’ve been trying to find some clubs and equipment that I like, and so I went back to an old set that feels really good,” he said. “That's part of it, too, I think. I'm swinging at it a little bit more confidently, feeling good with what I have in my hand.”
Going 19 under par in the U.S. Senior Open will do that to you.
Winner’s bag: Steve Stricker’s equipment at the U.S. Senior Open
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Driver: Titleist 913D3, 8.5 degrees
3-wood: Titleist 915F, 13.5 degrees
Hybrid: Titleist 816H1, 17 degrees
Irons (3-PW): Titleist 755 Forged
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM6 (54 degrees); Titleist Vokey SM4 (60 degrees)
Putter: Odyssey White Hot 2