Regions Tradition - R4 (cont.)

Stricker wins first major

May 09-12
Greystone G&CC, Birmingham, Alabama
$2,400,000
Round 1, Round 2, Round 3, Round 4


Steve Stricker won his first senior major Monday, closing with a 4-under 68 for a six-shot victory at the weather-delayed Regions Tradition.


Stricker led by two shots heading into the final round at Greystone’s Founders Course and went bogey-free, finishing at 18-under 270. It was the fourth win in 18 PGA Tour Champions starts for the Ryder Cup captain, who continues to play regularly on the PGA Tour.

”This is special,” said Stricker, wiping tears from his eyes during a TV interview. ”I get emotional. I hate this part.”

The 52-year-old has 12 PGA Tour victories but never won a major, finishing second at the 1998 PGA Championship to Vijay Singh. This one wasn’t a bad consolation prize.

”I wish I would have won one out there,” said Stricker, who’s scheduled to compete at the PGA Championship later this week at Bethpage Black. ”Nothing can compare to that, I think, winning a major out on the regular tour. But to win one out here, this is the next level, I guess.

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”To show myself that I’m able to handle the heat down the end on the last day. I hit some really quality shots today, so I’ll take a lot from that.”

His celebration was muted: a single pump of his left fist followed by hugs with his caddie and Bernhard Langer. Stricker was runner-up to Miguel Angel Jimenez at last year’s Regions Tradition.

Billy Andrade, Paul Goydos and David Toms tied for second, but no one challenged Stricker down the stretch. Goydos closed with a 70 while Andrade and Toms shot 72.

”I got off to a good start and just slowly crept up,” Goydos said. ”I never looked like I was going to win. Stricker played really well, but I had a good week.”


Toms missed a birdie putt on No. 18 that would have given him second place alone.

The fight for the title was over long before that.

Langer, who won the Regions Tradition in 2016 and 2017 among his 10 senior majors, began the day two shots behind Stricker but faded with a 75. He was trying to join Jack Nicklaus as the only player to win the Tradition more than twice. Nicklaus won four times from 1990-96.

”He just handles himself with such class and grace and such a true gentleman of the game,” Stricker said of Langer. ”He didn’t have his best stuff. I thought he would come at me a little more than what he did, but I wanted to win and I wanted to beat him and I wanted to beat everybody. That was my motivating factor, I think.”

Stricker expanded his lead to six strokes with three birdies on the front nine. He chipped in at No. 4 and made his last birdie at the par-5 13th with an approach to within a few feet.

Even with the win well in hand, Stricker spent a couple of minutes pondering his approach on the par-5 18th before he set up an easy two-putt par.


Stricker flirted with trouble when his tee shot on No. 16 missed right, but it bounced off a tree and nearly made it back onto the fairway.

He delivered a shot from the bottom of a slope over trees and onto the green to save par – even though by then, a bogey wouldn’t have hurt him much.

”Could have made a couple more putts, but just my goal was not to make a mistake today, not to make a bogey, and I did that,” Stricker said. ”One bogey for the week, which I’m very proud of.”


Pos.
Player
To Par
R1
R2
R3
R4
Total
1
Steve Stricker
-18
68
64
70
68
270
T2
Billy Andrade
-12
68
67
69
72
276
T2
Paul Goydos
-12
70
67
69
70
276
T2
David Toms
-12
67
67
70
72
276
5
Tom Byrum
-11
71
69
66
71
277
T6
Jeff Maggert
-9
69
73
71
66
279
T6
Lee Janzen
-9
74
66
71
68
279
T6
Willie Wood
-9
69
71
70
69
279
T6
Paul Broadhurst
-9
73
66
68
72
279
T6
Bernhard Langer
-9
69
67
68
75
279
11
Brandt Jobe
-8
71
69
69
71
280
T12
Rocco Mediate
-7
74
68
71
68
281
T12
Steve Flesch
-7
75
70
68
68
281
T12
Ian Woosnam
-7
72
71
70
68
281
T12
Jerry Kelly
-7
71
70
69
71
281
T16
Woody Austin
-6
74
74
67
67
282
T16
Kirk Triplett
-6
73
67
74
68
282
T16
Tom Lehman
-6
73
69
71
69
282
T16
Shaun Micheel
-6
73
68
71
70
282
T16
Glen Day
-6
64
72
73
73
282
T16
Scott Parel
-6
71
66
70
75
282
T22
Olin Browne
-5
71
73
72
67
283
T22
Dan Forsman
-5
71
70
72
70
283
T22
David Frost
-5
73
68
72
70
283
T22
Retief Goosen
-5
74
67
71
71
283
T22
Stephen Ames
-5
71
71
67
74
283
T27
Darren Clarke
-4
72
71
71
70
284
T27
Michael Bradley
-4
71
68
71
74
284
T27
Steve Jones
-4
68
73
70
73
284
T30
Marco Dawson
-3
71
69
74
71
285
T30
Joe Durant
-3
74
69
69
73
285
T30
Joey Sindelar
-3
74
66
71
74
285
T33
Kent Jones
-2
72
68
73
73
286
T33
Billy Mayfair
-2
72
68
77
69
286
T33
Tommy Armour III
-2
76
65
71
74
286
T33
Gary Hallberg
-2
73
65
73
75
286
T37
Miguel Angel Jiménez
-1
68
70
77
72
287
T37
Kevin Sutherland
-1
73
72
68
74
287
T39
Corey Pavin
E
73
70
73
72
288
T39
José María Olazábal
E
71
72
73
72
288
T39
David McKenzie
E
79
67
72
70
288
T39
Esteban Toledo
E
72
72
69
75
288
T43
Mike Goodes
1
70
72
73
74
289
T43
Duffy Waldorf
1
72
72
71
74
289
T43
Jeff Sluman
1
73
73
69
74
289
T43
Spike McRoy
1
73
73
71
72
289
T43
Bart Bryant
1
74
73
71
71
289
T43
Vijay Singh
1
72
75
73
69
289
T49
Scott Hoch
2
73
71
73
73
290
T49
Wes Short, Jr.
2
75
72
72
71
290
T49
John Huston
2
75
73
73
69
290
52
Gene Sauers
3
72
74
70
75
291
T53
Fred Funk
4
72
71
75
74
292
T53
Doug Garwood
4
74
70
74
74
292
T53
Russ Cochran
4
75
73
70
74
292
T53
Mark McNulty
4
78
70
73
71
292
T57
Ken Tanigawa
5
75
69
72
77
293
T57
Tim Petrovic
5
75
70
71
77
293
T57
Tommy Tolles
5
72
75
73
73
293
T57
Tom Pernice Jr.
5
79
69
73
72
293
T57
Paul Lawrie
5
76
73
72
72
293
T57
Mark Calcavecchia
5
77
71
74
71
293
T57
Len Mattiace
5
76
74
73
70
293
64
Jerry Pate
6
70
74
76
74
294
65
Chris DiMarco
7
75
73
76
71
295
T66
Scott McCarron
8
73
74
72
77
296
T66
Fran Quinn
8
75
73
73
75
296
68
Carlos Franco
9
76
70
72
79
297
69
Steve Pate
10
78
72
73
75
298
70
Jerry Smith
11
80
71
77
71
299
71
Bob Gilder
17
78
74
75
78
305
WD
Kenny Perry
72
68
73
213
WD
Tom Gillis
81
80
70
231
WD
Tom Kite
77
79
79
235
WD
Dudley Hart
76
76
WD
Colin Montgomerie
74
75
149
WD
Larry Nelson
73
36
109
DQ
Jesper Parnevik
70
72
142