Home course suits Stricker

Houston Chronicle - - U.S. OPEN -

ERIN, Wis. — Some of the loud­est cheers at the U.S. Open were re­served for a guy who never re­ally chal­lenged the lead­ers.

Wis­con­sin golf fans love home-state fa­vorite Steve Stricker.

He had a pretty good fi­nal round, too, shoot­ing a 3-un­der 69 to fin­ish at 5 un­der for the tour­na­ment. His best fin­ish in 20 U.S. Open ap­pear­ances came in the first Open to be held in Wis­con­sin.

There was one last ova­tion as he walked off the 18th green af­ter putting for par.

“It was re­ally cool. Yeah, I don’t get those very of­ten,” Stricker said. “And to play well to­day on top of it was ex­tra spe­cial.”

Stricker was rolling down the back end of the back nine, with three birdies be­tween the 14th and 17th holes. He came up short at the par-415th when a 23-foot putt stopped right on the edge of the cup. Stricker tapped in for par.

“Yeah, that would have been nice to get. But can’t com­plain the way I fin­ished it off,” Stricker said.

He’s not slow­ing down either.

Af­ter turning 50 this year, Stricker gets to play in the PGA Tour Cham­pi­ons event that he will host in Madi­son next week­end, the Amer­i­can Family In­sur­ance Cham­pi­onship.

He’s not sure if his wife, Nicki, will re­peat as his cad­die next week, though.

“She’s hurt­ing, I don’t know if she’ll be able to cad­die next week,” he said. “But she did well. We had a lot of fun to­gether again.”

Fi­nal round pleases Spi­eth

This is more like it for Jor­dan Spi­eth at a ma­jor.

He shot a 69 to fin­ish at 1 over for the tour­na­ment. Spi­eth was well off the lead but seemed to be feel­ing much bet­ter with his game af­ter shoot­ing 76 in the third round.

Sun­day be­came an es­pe­cially good day for Spi­eth con­sid­er­ing how the wind picked up at Erin Hills.

“Yeah, no doubt. I thought it was a fan­tas­tic round of golf, given what we were deal­ing with to start the day,” the fifthranked player in the world said.

When asked to rate his confidence level, Spi­eth as­signed him­self a “B,” though he graded him­self at an “A” with his put­ter.

“I feel re­ally good about just about ev­ery­thing else,” Spi­eth said. “I’ve just got to get on the greens and have that cup start to look a bit big­ger.”

UT’s Sch­ef­fler fin­ishes 1 un­der

Scot­tie Sch­ef­fler was the low am­a­teur, shoot­ing a 73 to fin­ish at 1 un­der.

This has been quite the confidence-build­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for the 20 year-old who plays for the Univer­sity of Texas.

His sis­ter, Cal­lie, served as his cad­die at Erin Hills.

“Be­ing an am­a­teur in the U.S. Open is very cool,” Sch­ef­fler said.

Texas A&M’s Cameron Champ, the only other am­a­teur to make the cut, shot a 76 to fin­ish at even par and in 32nd place.

Streeter Lecka / Getty Im­ages

Scot­tie Sch­ef­fler of Texas is awarded a medal af­ter fin­ish­ing as the low am­a­teur dur­ing the fi­nal round of the U.S. Open at Erin Hills Sun­day.

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