Steve Stricker has his game face on. After a round of 62, which actually could have been a 61 in Round 1, it was Stricker’s turn to set the tempo for the remainder of the field on Friday. Lost in the Round 1 discussion was Jerry Kelly. Kelly in Round 1 shot a 64 and was only two strokes off the lead. Kelly won last weekends American Family Insurance championship by defeating Stricker. It appears they are at it again. Round 1 Co-leader David Toms, started in a later group on Friday. Toms had to wear the hat of chaser and figure out a way to catch up with Stricker.
When an athlete is focused, it is not difficult to see. Moving through the course on Friday, Stricker appeared to be on a mission. Game management was the order of the day. The only real difference about this game was that there was no “eagle” and played bogey free. He had “birdies on 11 and 13, on the back nine. On the turnaround he had “birdies” on 2 and 3, followed by “birdies on 8 and 9. That sets a record for both lowest score and also sets the record for lowest score over the first 36 holes in both total score and relation to par, breaking both records by three strokes.
Stricker Press Conference
Moderator question: ” It’s the U.S. Senior Open and it’s supposed to be hard, but you’re making it look easy out there. What’s been working for you?”
Steve Stricker response: “A little bit of everything. I’ve been driving the ball well, getting it in the fairways. My iron play has been pretty strong this week, and I’m holing a few putts. I’ve hit a lot of greens in regulation. I think somebody told me I’ve hit 31 greens, so I’ve only missed five. To go bogey-free around here is a good day. Just been doing a little bit of everything well and holing some nice putts.”
Shake Down The Thunder Sports question: “Yesterday the greens and everything was kind of soft. With the increased temperature, what were the conditions like today?”
Steve Stricker response: ” Pretty much identical to yesterday. The greens were still very receptive. Fairways were a little bit drier, but still very soft in the fairways, as well. Pretty much a carbon copy from when we left here last night.”
Media question: “As I joked with you when you came in, what’s in the water in Madison with you and Kelly, and how long have you known Jerry and played with him?”
Steve Stricker response: ” We grew up playing junior golf together in Wisconsin, so I knew Jerry from a young age, teenager years, when we were playing amateur events and junior events across the state of Wisconsin. I’ve known Jerry a long time, been a friend of his and family friends for a long time. He’s got a boy the same age as our daughter. So we’ve known each other quite a while.”
“It’s good to see him playing well, too. I mean, I knew this course would set up well for him. It’s a course where if you drive it well — and the fairways are pretty generous here, so getting it in the fairway is not extremely difficult, but if you do get it in the fairway, it sets up a lot of good second shots, and he’s a good iron player, and he’s playing well. He’s putting well and he’s doing everything well, as it shows from winning last week.”
Shake Down The Thunder Sports question: “How did it feel today to come out and set the tempo versus having to follow up yesterday with David Toms shooting a 62, then you having a chance at a 61 but shooting a 62? Did it feel good to set the tempo?”
Steve Stricker response: “Yeah, very much so. You know, yesterday was good, though, because I saw that the score was out there and I had something to shoot for, and that’s a good feeling sometimes when you know that he’s in there at 8-under already, I’ve got work to do, and you put your head down, and sometimes you can do that. I did that same thing when Paul Goydos shot 59 down at the John Deere one year.”
“So yeah, that’s a good feeling, but it’s also good to come out here, be aggressive and play smart at the same time and try to set the tone, and knowing that I’m the guy that they’re going to have to try to chase down this afternoon, and that’s a good feeling, too.”
“You can kind of take it either way, and I enjoyed both positions. I enjoyed it yesterday, especially when I was able to tie him, and today it was good to kind of go out there and be the guy to set the mark like David did yesterday.”
What Is Next For Stricker
Steve Stricker is set to tee off on Saturday with Jerry Kelly at 3:25 PM from the first tee box. David Toms will be teeing of at 3:14 with Retief Goosen. The question is will Stricker be able to maintain poise and not let last weeks defeat to Kelly cause a mistake? The other question is will David Toms bounce back from Friday’s hiccup and get back to the top of the leader board? Some many questions to answer and Saturday will either leave more questions or give an answer through a dominant performance by Stricker.
All U.S. Open Senior Championship information can be found here
JEROME BETTIS AUTOGRAPH SIGNING
Notre Dame legend and Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerome Bettis will be signing autographs for fans in the Merchandise Tent located at the Main Entrance beginning at 1 p.m.
Beginning tomorrow, all U.S. Senior Open merchandise will be 25% off. Guests can take advantage of this sale by visiting the Merchandise Tent located at the Main Entrance.
UPDATED FAN TICKET OPTIONS
Fans will be able to purchase tickets at a special twilight rate after 3 p.m. for the remainder of the championship. Tickets will be available at the Main Entrance. Ticket options include:
- Gallery – General admission to the grounds of the Warren Golf Course, and access to public grandstands. Price: $30
- Irish Club – Includes general admission plus entry to the Irish-themed shared hospitality structure featuring 180-degree views of the 17th hole, indoor/outdoor seating, club lounge, a shamrock shaped bar, and big screen TVs. Upgraded food and beverage options available for purchase inside the Irish Club. Price: $55
In anticipation of temperatures in the 90s, the USGA has revised its U.S. Senior Open Championship water policy to address heat-related issues. Starting on Thursday, the following measures will be in place to facilitate fan hydration for the championship at The Warren Golf Course:
- Two (2) clear, unopened water bottles of 24-oz. or less will be permitted through championship admission gates
- Complimentary refill stations will be available throughout the course
Fans are encouraged to prepare for hours in the sun by applying sunscreen, wearing a hat, using a sun umbrella and seeking shade through the warmer afternoon hours. Fans are permitted to bring sunscreen in 3-oz. containers.
FAN PARKING REMINDER
Public parking will be located at White Field. Directions to White Field are as follows:
North (from Michigan): Turn left onto Douglas Road from State Road 933. Follow the signs to the public parking lot
South (from South Bend): Turn right onto Douglas Road from State Road 933 Follow the signs to the public parking lot
East / West from the Indiana Toll Road – (I 80/90)
- Take exit 77 toward IN-933/US-31/South Bend/Notre Dame
- Continue straight onto Douglas Road
- Follow the signs to the public parking lot
Championship traffic has access along Douglas Road from State Road 933 to reach White Field. No through traffic on Douglas Road from Ironwood Road to the Indiana Toll Road entrance/exit from Thursday, June 27 to Sunday, June 30. We recommend finding alternate routing during the week unless you will be attending the championship.
Road closures will be in place from Thursday, June 27 through Sunday, June 30 from 6:00 a.m. until close of play (approximately 8:00 p.m.) each day. We recommend avoiding this side of campus throughout the week it you are not attending the championship.
Road closures will be located at:
- Douglas Road and White Field Entrance (Closed to through traffic. Fans will have access along Douglas Road from State Road 933 to White Field to reach the public parking lot)
- Juniper Road and Pendle Road
- Moreau Drive and Douglas Traffic Circle
- Wilson Drive and Stepan Drive
- Twychenham Road and Bulla Road
- Douglas Road and Ironwood Road
- Douglas Road and Ivy Road
- Burdette Street and Mc Erlain Street
- Willis Street and Mc Erlain Street
Go Irish! #GolfLikeAChampionToday