Steven Charles Stricker (born February 23, 1967) is a professional golfer from the United States who competes on the PGA Tour and PGA Tour Champions. On the PGA Tour, he has twelve victories, including the 2001 WGC-Match Play Championship and two FedEx Cup playoff tournaments. With three victories and a runner-up position on the money list, he had his best season on tour at the age of 42 in 2009. Stricker spent more than 250 weeks in the top ten of the Official World Golf Ranking, peaking at No. 2 in September 2009. Stricker led the United States to victory at Whistling Straits in his home state of Wisconsin in the 2021 Ryder Cup matches.
Steve Stricker is back on the course, however this time on a golf cart. His longest drives are around 275 yards, but he’s hitting full strokes. He’ll tee it up on the PGA Tour Champions again in the coming weeks, more than six months after his last appearance.
Most importantly, Stricker is nearly fully recovered from a nasty illness that began as a lingering cough in late October, less than a month after he captained the United States to victory in the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits. It turned into a nightmare in which he was admitted to the hospital twice, developed inflammation around his heart, lost 25 pounds, and suffered for weeks with symptoms.
In a phone interview with Wisconsin. Golf on Friday, he stated, “I feel wonderful.” “I’m starting to feel like myself again.” No setbacks have occurred. All of my medications are finished. My latest MRI resulted in a clean bill of health. In July, I’ll have another of those. They simply want to ensure that everything will be fine in a few months.
“So, I’m still cautious, but I’ve recently become more assertive.” I still don’t engage in a lot of high-intensity physical activity. I’m walking a lot and working out, so I’m hoping to get my heart rate up into the 130s and 140s. “However, I’m in a fantastic mood.”
Steve Stricker's comeback begins next week!
— PGA TOUR Champions (@ChampionsTour) April 22, 2022
In terms of the severity of his condition, which caused his heart to “flutter” and beat out of rhythm at one point, the Madison golfer is no longer in danger. However, he still has a long way to go before he can compete again. Last week, he caddied for daughter Bobbi in a 54-hole East Coast Women’s Pro Golf Tour event and walked 18 holes for the first time. He caddied for her in an ECWPGT event in Oviedo, Fla., earlier this week, where she finished fifth.
Caddying, according to Stricker, is simply pushing a cart about. “However, these were three-day competitions, so it was a good test of my ability to navigate a golf course.” Those were my first 18-hole walks. On your own, that’s difficult to replicate. It’s not like I’ve been walking two or three kilometers on my own outside. You may be on your feet for up to five hours (on the course). I was exhausted by the end of the third day, but I got around without difficulty the rest of the time. As a result, that was a successful test.”
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He’s been playing golf with a number of other tour players, including Retief Goosen, who spends the winter in the Orlando region. Stricker said he’s been hitting the ball well, though he’s still working on regaining his swing’s power and pace. He has regained his regular weight of 180 pounds, which is roughly 10-12 pounds less than before.
He stated, “It’s improving.” “All of my drives were like 265 to 275 the other day when I played, so I’m starting to get a little more pop on them.” I did quite well. I’ve been putting up some good numbers lately. I’m still on the lookout for a club. It’s not as horrible as it appears.”
He plans to return to the Champions Tour for a four-week period from late April to mid-May. He’ll play in the ClubCorp Classic in Irving, Texas, on April 22-24 at the earliest. The Insperity Invitational, which takes place April 29 to May 1 in The Woodlands, Texas, and the Mitsubishi Electric Classic, which takes place May 6-8 in Duluth, Georgia, is the next two tournaments.
He’d like to compete in one or two of those tournaments as a warm-up for the Regions Tradition, a Champions Tour major set for May 12-15 in Birmingham, Alabama. He should be fine for the American Family Insurance Championship, which takes place June 10-12 at University Ridge in Madison and is hosted by him.
Stricker currently intends to compete in only one PGA Tour tournament – the John Deere Classic, which he won three times in a row from 2009 to 2011. The JDC takes place in Silvis, Illinois from June 30 to July 3.
“I guess Clair Peterson, the tournament director there, is going to retire, and this will be his last one,” he remarked. “He’s a wonderful individual.” So I’m sure I’d return and play there. I’m not sure about the others. I’m going to focus solely on the Champions tour.”
It’s still unclear what triggered his condition.
Stricker’s physicians aren’t sure what made him sick, but they haven’t ruled out a reaction to the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, he said. He was scheduled to receive the second shot around the time he fell unwell, roughly a month before the Ryder Cup.
“They still don’t know what occurred,” he stated, despite the fact that his COVID-19 test came back negative. “It had to be a virus.” A number of factors could have played a role. They don’t know if there was some kind of obstruction that harmed my liver because I have gall stones, which a lot of individuals do. They went in and did some cleaning. Because he didn’t clean that much out, the person who did it indicated he didn’t think it was my concern.
“They don’t think it was the vaccine because there was such a long time between when I got the vaccine and when I started having problems, but they can’t rule it out.” The fact that I had a heart problem, which is what a lot of the stuff you’re reading about – heart inflammation and the lining around the heart – leads me to believe it was something to do with the vaccine. That aspect leads me to believe it was the vaccine, but who knows? Amoxycillin caused me to have an allergic reaction. For a while, everything was going wrong. It appears to be a mix of factors.”