In what has become a bit of a laughable, under-the-breath joke among pro golfers, Steve Stricker's putting tips have helped Tiger Woods immensely over the past couple of months. Now that Masters week is here, Stricker might be asking Tiger for, you know, a little something for the effort.
Stricker has not played well at Augusta in the past, having never finished higher than sixth in over 20 years at the event. Now that he is considering a shortened playing schedule and semi-retirement, Stricker knows that time is not on his side to win his first Green Jacket.
"I've had a couple decent tournaments here," Stricker said Monday before a practice round. "For the most part I've struggled a little bit. I'm starting to feel a little bit more comfortable going around here, but there's still a few things I haven't figured out -- or I've gotten in my way a few times here, too. Just not committing to shots, not committing to lines, feeling a little overwhelmed about this place at times, I think.
"So there's been some issues, not only physically, but I think mentally here, as well," he continued. "It's a challenging spot and it's a challenging course."
So challenging, in fact, that Stricker has turned to the man who has four Masters titles under his belt for assistance this week. He played about 14 holes with Tiger on Monday, focusing on his short game to combat Augusta's undulating greens.
"We were talking about pitching and chip shots and little wedge play," Stricker said. "We were talking about that a lot. I was asking him what he does and what he tries to do, and his action on the way back and on the way through. It's mutual. We try to help out one another every once in a while.
"He's ranked No. 1 now again, and it's fun to bounce some ideas off him here and there."