Friday, September 30, 2022

Striker goes wire-to-wire for 2 Region Tradition wins

Birmingham, Ala. ( Associated Press) — Steve Stricker completed a wire-to-wire victory at Region Tradition on Sunday, ending with a 4-under 68 for a six-stroke victory and his fourth PGA Tour Champions major title.

The striker’s second Tradition win at Greystone Golf & Country Club came in his third event since returning from a six-month absence for health reasons. Excellent performance by two straight birdies.

“It’s been a long time,” said the emotional striker. “I hate to cry, but where I was last November—and even a few months ago—to come here full-circle, it means a lot.”

He had his 20th consecutive round on Founders Course, ending at 21-under 267 for his eighth win on the 50-and-over tour.

Pedrag Harrington finished second with a birdie in the last two holes for 68.

Steven Alker was in the group after 72 with 14 under. He finished four consecutive tournaments in the top three, winning twice.

World Golf Hall of Famer Ernie Els, who scored his third 68 in four days, was also in 14th place along with Rod Pampling (67), Stuart Appleby (69) and 2018 winner Miguel Angel Jimenez (70).

The striker won on 17 with a birdie from the bunker that put him under 20 for the first time, receiving a congratulatory fist from Alker. This ended a string of 11 straight parses.

The striker spent nearly two weeks in the hospital during his recovery and lost 25 pounds.

“I didn’t know what to expect three weeks ago,” the striker said. “I didn’t know I could do it three weeks in a row.”

His wife Nicky acted as his caddy.

The striker, who led at least two shots after each of the first three rounds, doubled his three-stroke lead over Alcar within the first five holes. He looked after the lead home before Bunker Birdie.

The striker has completed all 10 rounds since his return to the top 10, including a tie for second at the Inspiriti Invitational. They had their fourth consecutive year at the Greystone Finals, winning in 2019 and runner-up in 2018 and 2021.

He had lost in the playoffs to Alex Sejka the year before, but this time around the end didn’t leave room for any play.

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More Associated Press Golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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