BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Steve Stricker got the next best thing to a major championship, at least for a 50-something player.
Stricker ran away with his first senior major Monday, closing with a 4-under 68 for a six-shot victory at the weather-delayed Regions Tradition.
Stricker led by two shots heading into the final round at Greystone’s Founders Course and went bogey-free, finishing at 18-under 270. It was the fourth win in 18 PGA Tour Champions starts for the Ryder Cup captain, who continues to play regularly on the PGA Tour.
“This is special,” said Stricker, wiping tears from his eyes during a TV interview. “I get emotional. I hate this part.”
The 52-year-old has 12 PGA Tour victories but never won a major, finishing second at the 1998 PGA Championship to Vijay Singh. This one wasn’t a bad consolation prize.
“I wish I would have won one out there,” said Stricker, who’s scheduled to compete at the PGA Championship later this week at Bethpage Black. “Nothing can compare to that, I think, winning a major out on the regular tour. But to win one out here, this is the next level, I guess.