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Focus On: Steve Stricker

The current world number four

Posted Sep 16, 2011 by Chris White

Steve Stricker has made a remarkable comeback in the sport in recent years

As one of the most improved golfers in recent times, American Steve Stricker has risen to number four in the latest world rankings, having won eleven PGA Tour events.

The biggest of the Wisconsin-born player’s titles came at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in 2001, although 2009 was the year he really made his opponents take note. With three tournament victories, Stricker finished second on the money list, and hasn’t been outside the world’s top 10 for 140 weeks, having made it into the elite group in 2007.

Stricker began his professional career in 1990, starting out on the Canadian Professional Golf Tour, before moving to the PGA Tour four years later. He recorded his best finish in a major at the 1998 OGA Championship, coming second to Vijay Singh by two-strokes, which remains his best finish in a major to this day.

His career began to dip in the new millennium, dropping to 188th in the world in 2003 before losing his PGA Tour card a year later, but he recovered well to win the Comeback Player of the Year award in 2006 after making a number of impressive rounds having gained entry via sponsor exemptions.

By 2009, Stricker was back. He won three PGA Tour titles, the third of which, the Deutsche Bank Championship, was won by one stroke after an epic battle with Scott Verplank and Jason Dufner. Later that year, he won his second FedEx Cup playoff match that moved him up to number two in the world, just behind the great Tiger Woods who was at the top of his game at the time otherwise Stricker would have overtaken him to become the best in the world, there is no doubt about that.

By winning the John Deere Classic in 2011, holding off the challenge of Kyle Stanley to win by one shot, Stricker made it 11 victories on the PGA Tour, but it is the lack of a major victory that is missing from his list of achievements. Unfortunately, Stricker is another player given a tag of “one of the best never to have won a major.”

As part of the USA Ryder Cup team, Stricker has been on the winning side once, in 2008, and the losing side once, in 2010.

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