Steve Stricker’s recent victory at the Northern Trust Open places him at the second overall spot in the rankings, overtaking legend Phil Mickelson. Stricker was on shaky ground at first, leading with six points which was whittled down to two before he closed for the win with a 1-under-70 for a two-shot victory over Luke Donald.
This is the eighth win of his career, a fitting consolation for his runner-up achievement at last year’s Riviera. This is also a far cry from four years ago, when he lost his PGA Tour card.
“I remember where I was and where I am now. It doesn’t get any better,” he said.
The win was not easy to get, with Stricker going for pars while Donald kept shooting birdies.
“It was hard today. I aged a lot out there. It was a grind from the get-go.” He finally managed to shoot two birdies after Donald missed two birdies himself. He started off great in the first three rounds, but afterwards started missing greens to the left, missing a birdie chance at number 6 and another from eight feet before the next hole before making five consecutive one-putt greens and gaining back his footing.
Half of Stricker’s eight career victories he won in the past eight months since his playoff win. The first time that Stricker managed to get himself to second place was in September in Boston, but he needs three more wins to replace Woods who is currently at number one.