Stricker intends to cut way back on Tour schedule
Steve Stricker always has followed the beat of his own drummer, which is why his decision to severely limit his playing time on the PGA Tour starting in the 2013 season is no surprise.
Stricker, 45, intends to play perhaps only 10 events per year to spend more time with his family and to work with a recently established foundation that likely will benefit college-bound students.
“That’s the plan,” Stricker said. “I’m going to play a lot less.”
Stricker, a 12-time Tour winner who is exempt in all four majors and the three U.S. World Golf Championships in 2013, plans to focus on the big events.
To start the season, he will defend his title at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions but might not play again until the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship on Feb. 20-24 in Marana, Ariz.
Stricker then would play the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral on March 7-10 and not return until the Shell Houston Open on March 28-31 and then the Masters on April 11-14: four starts in first four months of the season. He has played 19 Tour events in each of the past three seasons.
“I’m not quitting,” Stricker said from his home near Madison, Wis. “I want to spend more time here. I still enjoy playing, but I don’t enjoy the travel.”
Working with American Family Insurance, Stricker has established a foundation and met with the board last week. However, much is to be decided about the foundation's mission and even a name. Stricker said a working title is “Driven For A Dream.”
Bigger picture, Stricker hopes to raise money for high-schoolers and those going to college using numerous vehicles for donations, including possibly one or two golf events.
“We’re still tossing around ideas,” Stricker said. “We want to target bigger audiences.”
At No. 18 in the Official World Golf Ranking, Stricker has played in 416 events in his PGA Tour career, earning $35,079,561, and has won in each of the past four years. According to Stricker, he has checked with the PGA Tour and he will not have an issue with his status. He could use his one-time top-25 and top-50 career-money-list exemptions to keep his card.
Stricker also wants to check with his sponsors to see whether they might have an issue with his plan to play less. They have expressed their support, Stricker said.
“Everybody’s excited,” Stricker said of his family, wife Nicki and daughters Bobbi and Isabella.
“I will sure be rested and ready to play when I do play," he said. "I’m excited about that.”