“I was prepared to lose all that, I really was,” Stricker said. “For the most part, they’re happy for me.”
He still hasn’t talked to PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem. Stricker is one of the most popular figures on tour because of the way he treats people. For now, this semi-retirement does not include The Players Championship or even the FedEx Cup playoffs, even if he has a reasonable shot at the $10 million bonus.
He would play the Presidents Cup or Ryder Cup if he qualifies. With his limited schedule, he would be playing some good golf.
And yes, he’ll still practice. His 14-year-old daughter, Bobbi Maria, is a natural athlete who is getting into golf. There were a few times last year she wanted to go to the golf course with his dad, but Stricker feared he wouldn’t get any work done on his game.
“Now I can put in some time with her,” Stricker said. “She’s talked about hitting more balls in the winter. I can spend more time with her doing that, and playing with her in the summer if she wants to.”
The strongest part of her game? Stricker smiled.
“She putts good,” he said.
Part of Stricker wishes he had done this sooner, but the time didn’t seem right. He would emerge from his fall break to play in the World Challenge hosted by Tiger Woods, and then Greg Norman’s Shootout in Florida, and he found himself not wanting to leave.
“The coolest part is I’m playing as good as I ever have,” Stricker said. “I’ve accomplished a lot of things. I proved to myself I can come back from where I was and I played great for an extended period of time. The major thing is missing, but that’s not hugely important to me. I don’t have to win a major. Obviously, I’d love to. But it’s not going to define who I am. It’s all good. I feel like I’m doing this for the right reason.
“I felt like it would be a bold move a couple of years ago, and I think it’s a bold move now,” he said. “Some people might think it’s not a good idea. But I think it is for me.”
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