Fresh off a senior major, Stricker returns to Bethpage

FARMINGDALE, N.Y. (AP) — The modest Midwestern lifestyle of Steve Stricker has given way to moments of celebrity over the last month.

Stricker spoke Wednesday about watching the final round of the Masters from his winter home in Naples, Florida, with his wife and two daughters, when he casually mentioned that Virginia basketball coach Tony Bennett was with them. This was six days after Bennett celebrated an NCAA title. Bennett played at Wisconsin-Green Bay.

Stricker won his first major — the PGA Tour Champions variety — at the Regions Tradition in Alabama, which ended on Monday because of rain delays. And then it was off to the airport to get to New York for the PGA Championship.

“I felt like Nick Saban leaving Birmingham,” Stricker said. “If you’ve ever seen Nick Saban coming into Birmingham, it’s four squad cars, multiple police escort, and I was able to get one of those to the airport. I felt pretty special leaving.”

And now he’s among two players from the 50-and-over circuit who are Bethpage Black for the PGA Championship, the other being John Daly.

Stricker is more closely linked this week to Phil Mickelson. They are the only two players at the PGA Championship who have…

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