Steve Stricker will let the elk of Colorado live to see another day. Tiger Woods’ unofficial putting coach and perennial Presidents Cup partner, who had planned a hunting trip with some pals during next week’s Tour Championship, decided to stay un-semi-retired long enough to vie for the $10 million FedExCup jackpot at East Lake.
"I had a good talk with [wife] Nicki on the way home [from the Deutsche Bank Championship] and thought it was pretty important for me to go and play and not go hunting instead," Stricker, who finished second to Henrik Stenson at TPC Boston two weeks ago, told reporters on Wednesday, ahead of this week’s BMW Championship.
At No. 8 in the FedExCup standings entering the third of four playoff matches, Stricker is guaranteed a tee time in the limited field of flag-hunters gunning for big game in next week's FedExCup finale. The 46-year-old, who limited his playing time this year to spend more time with his family, was surprised to find himself in the mix heading into the finals.
Once there, Stricker determined he owed it to the 30 contestants who make it to Atlanta to compete, especially since, with no alternates to fill his spot, one golfer would be without a playing partner.
"Under his breath, he was probably going to be cussing me," Stricker said. "I didn't think that would be fair to the field or the other players."
Stricker said he decided to hit the course for "the Super Bowl of our year" even though he had to disappoint his hunting cronies.
"I am catching a lot of grief," Stricker said about his decision to play in the "marquee event" of the PGA Tour season. "They were actually rooting against me at Boston, if you can believe it."
Stricker will tee off at 10:42 a.m. Thursday on the 10th hole at Conway Farms with reigning U.S. Open champ Justin Rose (seventh in FedExCup points) and last year’s FedExCup winner Brandt Snedeker (No. 9).