Steve Stricker responded Thursday from the disappointment of not winning his fourth straight John Deere Classic last Sunday by shooting a 3-under par 67 in the opening round of the British Open at Royal Lytham & St. Annes.
Stricker's score has him tied for sixth place along with seven other players, including major winners Tiger Woods, Ernie Els, Graeme McDowell, Rory Mcllroy, and Bubba Watson. All are three shots behind leader Adam Scott, who opened with a 6-under 64. Stricker is off to a good start in his quest for his first major championship.
The 46-year-old Wisconsin native and resident, who won the John Deere Classic three straight times from 2009-11, also trails 2012 John Deere Classic champion Zach Johnson, former British Open champion Paul Lawrie, and Belgian long-bomber Nicolas Colsaerts by two. All shot 5-under 65. Brandt Snedeker is in fifth place alone after opening with 4-under 66.
Stricker birdied two of the three par 3s on the front nine - holes 5 and 9 - and turned in 32. He eagled the par 4 13th, but gave it right back with a double-bogey on 14. He closed out his round with a birdie on the last.
Stricker played in the final pairing in the final round with eventual runner-up Troy Matteson at the John Deere Classic. But Stricker was unable to become only the second living player and the fifth ever to win the same tournament four straight times. He finished tied for fifth.
After the John Deere, Stricker hopped on the John Deere Classic charter direct to Manchester and the Open Championship at Royal Lytham.
On Tuesday while practicing on the driving range following a practice round, he discovered he'd cracked the face of this Titleist 909 driver. He was planning to replace it either with a brand new "old model" 909 or with one of Titleist's new models, the 913.