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Stricker completely unfazed despite final-round fade

Tough day OK with Strick

Caption
(Matt Smith)
Steve Stricker reacts after hitting a ball out of bounds with his tee shot on the second hole Sunday during the final round of the U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa. Stricker struggled during the final round, but didn't let it bother him. (AP Photo/The Express-Times, Matt Smith)

ARDMORE, Pa. – Perhaps 10 years ago if he shot a 6 over on the final day of a major and tumbled down the leader board, Steve Stricker would be a littler harder on himself.

Sure, it will still sting. The 46-year-old entered Sunday just a shot off the lead. His elusive major – one of the few holes in an otherwise fine career – was well within sight.

But that’s not how it played out for Stricker, who finished at 6-over 286 and tied for eighth at the U.S. Open.

And frankly, that’s OK with him.

“Golf is not the thing in my life it once was,” Stricker said.

Stricker made the decision earlier this year to scale back his PGA Tour schedule, playing majors and a few other tournaments, so he could spend more time with his family.

His wife, Nicki, and daughters, Bobbi and Isabella, are far more important to Stricker than strokes above par – which he had his share of Sunday.

Stricker triple-bogeyed No. 2 and bogeyed Nos. 3 and 5, digging himself too deep too early.

“I felt good. I felt relaxed. I was excited for the day,” Stricker said. “Just the nature of the game, I guess. It puts you in place rather quickly at times.”

Stricker is running out of time to win his major. “It’s not getting any easier as I get older,” he said.

And he admitted he’s not over his collapse just yet. There’s surely still some fight left in the veteran tour player.

For now, he’s just excited to go home.

“So [golf]’s kind of taken a backseat. I’m fine with that. I’m good with that,” he said. “Sure, I’m disappointed I didn’t play better today and have a chance to win, but, like I say, it’s secondary in my life now, or even further back.”

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