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Steve Stricker notched his 12th win on the PGA Tour Champions Saturday night, closing with a 65 to win the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai by six.
The highlight of the week for the 55-year-old came a day earlier when he erupted for a course record, 12-birdie 60 in Ka’upulehu-Kona, Hawaii.
After he completed the victory, PGA Tour Champions staffers showed Stricker a video of PGA Tour players at this week’s The American Express congratulating him on the hot round.
The irony is, while most offered some sort of flattery to the longtime vet, who was either Ryder or Presidents Cup teammate or captain to most of them, a few took the chance to rib him in good fun.
“I mean 60’s only one away from 59, but I guess Stricker, you know, he really struggles with the putter, so he probably has a few he wishes he could get back out there,” World No. 2 Scottie Scheffler said as Stricker starting laughing in the video. “But still a good round.”
Stricker, of course, was one of the best putters on the PGA Tour during his career, finishing inside the top 10 in Strokes Gained: Putting four times.
“Hey Strick, heard you were getting close to that magical number. Congrats on a great round, but better luck next time,” said Adam Hadwin said in a second video.
Hadwin has the stat to back up his cheekiness. He shot a 59 at The American Express back in 2017, one of just 11 players to accomplish the feat on the PGA Tour. Kevin Sutherland is the only man to shoot sub-60 on the over-50 circuit, carding a 59 in 2014.
Then there was the group who decided to make fun of Stricker’s age.
“Congratulations on shooting your age. No, I’m just kidding,” Patton Kizzire said. “Congrats on 12-under. That’s an awesome round. Would’ve been a lot cooler if you shot 59, But 12-under will do.”
“Unbelievable round. Way to shoot your age, Stricks. 60 at 60!” Tony Finau added. “No, I’m just kidding. I know you’re not 60 yet, but way to play.”
Jokes aside, Stricker was moved as he stood off the 18th green, watching the tribute from some of his friends and colleagues.
“That means a lot, you know, that they’ve seen that and they pay attention to that kind of stuff,” he said immediately after finishing the video. “It was a good week. Good start to the year. That tops it off too.”
With the win, Stricker has now won a remarkable 25 percent of his starts on the PGA Tour Champions, the best of all time. That’s nearly double No. 2 all-time senior tour wins leader Bernhard Langer’s win rate of 13.9 percent.
Stewart Cink opened his message by saying he’s not looking forward to playing against Stricker again when he becomes eligible for the PGA Tour Champions in May.