U.S. Open preview: Steve Stricker
American Steve Stricker is certainly one of a handful of active players on the list of best to never win a major. Does that change this weekend at the U.S. Open at Olympic Club in San Francisco? Bet on Stricker at WagerWeb.com.
Stricker finished fifth the last time the Open was played there in 1998, and he was taking notes while paired the final day with Lee Janzen, who earned his second Open title.
“It’s a great test, one of my favorite courses,’’ said Stricker. “[Our] coach was from the California area, and we were able to play there during one of our spring breaks. It’s just a great, traditional, old‑style golf course. There’s only one fairway bunker and no water hazards on the course. It’s just right in front of you, tough as can be. A lot of little movements off the tee where fairways are maybe sloping in a direction where it’s very difficult to keep it in the fairway, and of course the USGA will have the rough up, the greens fast.’’
Stricker has struggled this year, largely due to his putting. While finishing 50th at the Memorial last week, he missed 10 putts from inside 8 1/2 feet. Once automatic, he ranks 142nd on 3-to-5-foot putts.
Country: United States.
World ranking: 11.
Official wins: 11.
U.S. Open highlight: Tied for the lead at Oakmont in 2007 with nine holes to play.
U.S. Open lowlight: Shot 42 on the back nine Sunday at Oakmont.
WagerWeb.com odds to win U.S. Open: +4000
Overview: Following an offseason clouded by the possibility of a neck injury, he carded a final-round, 4-under 69 to capture his 12th PGA TOUR victory in the first event of the season with a three-stroke victory over Martin Laird at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. His Saturday 63 was the lowest second-round score in tournament history, falling just one shy of the low 18 at The Plantation Course. His win gave him at least one victory in each of the last four years (2009-12). Continued his perfect streak (7 of 7) of never having lost when entering the final round of a 72-hole event alone with a lead. He should be able to give himself a chance if he keeps it in play off the tee.