Birdies and bogeys: Stricker shows he’s ready for Open

Birdie: Steve Stricker. He had a relatively quiet season going into the Memorial, posting only one top 10 since January. But all it takes is one tournament to turn around a season. Stricker picked a good one in winning Jack’s event Sunday. He was a birdie machine for most of the tournament, and then made some key par saves when it counted the most down the stretch.

The victory should give Stricker some nice momentum going into the U.S. Open. He’ll go in as one of the favorites.

Bogey. Weather. As usual, storms played havoc with Jack’s tournament. He must have done something to tick off Mother Nature. Too bad, because few people probably saw the prime-time finish.

Birdie. Matt Kuchar. Speaking of another Open favorite, Kuchar was impressive in posting a runner-up finish. He’ll be on everyone’s short list next week.

Birdie. Brandt Jobe. Speaking of one tournament making a season, Jobe won $545,000 for finishing T-2, more than he had earned in his previous tournaments in 2011.

Birdie. Luke Donald. Well, what do you know, a T-7 for another top 10 finish? Now on to the Open.

Birdie/bogey. Phil Mickelson. He probably wanted more than a T-13. But a 67 on Sunday should have him feeling better going into Congressional.

Birdie/bogey. Chris Riley. Take about an up-and-down week. Opened with a 66 and closed with a 67. However, in between he shot 75-77.

Bogey. Jim Furyk. What’s happened to last year’s Player of the Year? He missed the cut with 77-75.

Birdie. Brittany Lincicome. Made a terrific up-and-down for birdie on 18 to win the Shoprite LPGA Classic.

Birdie. Illinois. Stricker wasn’t the only former Illini who had a good week. Here’s a shout-out to coach Mike Small’s team for making the NCAA quarters. Best finish ever. Also, congrats to Augusta State for winning the title.



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