Stricker fails to recover from early bogey
The Edgerton native shot a 74 on the Black course at Bethpage State Park and never threatened winner Lucas Glover.
Entering the final round, Stricker was 1 over par, nine shots off the lead of Ricky Barnes, but believed he still had a chance to win his first major championship. An early bogey on the fourth hole dropped Stricker to 2 over, and he never fully recovered. He finished at 5-over.
Stricker made only three birdies, and the double bogey and five bogeys were eventually his undoing.
“The last couple days were tough,” Stricker said after his finish. “I worked hard, but the last hole summed it all up. I drove it down the middle, but fat my little sand wedge and then holed it out.”
The wet conditions during the week and the windy weather on Monday made it difficult for all the players, but it forced Stricker to hit much longer clubs into the difficult Tillinghast greens.
Stricker hit only eight fairways on Monday and just seven greens, which made scoring even more difficult for him. It was only the 24 putts that kept Stricker’s score respectable.
“I have hit so many. I hit three 3-woods into par 4s, and I bet I hit about five utility clubs either into par 4s or par 3s,” Stricker said. All that with the wind that kicked up, and it still was really soft.”
Stricker’s other nemesis beside the course was fatigue. With five days of starts and stops due to weather delays, the five-time PGA Tour winner felt his mind slipping.
“It’s hard to keep your concentration for this amount of time, especially when it’s almost every day all day,” Stricker said of the difficulties of the week. “I was here at this course from, it seemed, like 5:30 or 6 o’clock in the morning to afternoon to dark sometimes. And that wears on a guy after awhile.”
Stricker is committed to play in Tiger Woods tournament, the AT&T National in two weeks at Congressional Country Club, outside of Washington D.C. But after this week, Stricker may take a few weeks to recover not only from this week’s U.S. Open, but also his win at Colonial three weeks ago.
“I feel like I don’t want to play for a couple weeks right now,” Stricker said about his next tournament. “It was that long a week, and I was tired kind of coming into here—the whole Colonial thing, so I don’t know.”