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biggest tournament. Last year, when the U.S. Open came to Wisconsin for the first time at Erin Hills Golf Course, Stricker failed to qualify and had to watch the tournament in person as a fan or on TV. This year he was determined to come and played three weeks on the PGA Tour, even though he’s eligible for the Senior Tour at age 50. After a top finish at Fort Worth Colonial, he traveled Memphis for the FedEx St. Jude tournament, but first endured the 36-hole sectional qualifier, known as Golf’s Longest Day, to earn his playing spot here this week at Shinnecock. “It just one of those days you have to hang on and that’s what I did on the back nine of the afternoon round. I shot a low score in the sectional round and knew I needed another low one in the afternoon,” he said. In the end, Sticker finished third in the qualifier where 11 players, mostly PGA Tour veterans earned a spot in the Open. “I was pleased with my play there. It was an old PGA Tour site and it had great greens and a great challenge.” Stricker has been around on the Tour long enough to have played both times the Open has been to Shinnecock on Long Island’s furthest point. He finished in the top 15 when Corey Pavin hit the four wood approach of his lifetime on No. 18 to win in 1995, then Retief Goosen also rode a hot putter to win in the latest visit here in 2014, when Stricker missed the cut. “I don’t remember much of the course, it’s seems like a long time ago, but you know it will be tough, because it’s the Open, but that’s what has me excited.” That’s the Bucky Badger tough attitude you would expect from the never say die player looking to make his 20th Open anniversary a very special one this weekend. 25 |

JULY 2018

Profile for The Distillery Channel.com

Links & Libations July 2018  

Links & Libations July 2018