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Wisconsinite Steve Stricker in position for weekend berth at Erin Hills

Stricker on par for weekend berth at U.S. Open
Posted: 5:07 PM, Jun 16, 2017
Updated: 2017-06-16 19:42:00-04

Steve Stricker has had a smile the size of Hole 18 on his face all week at Erin Hills. After battling and winning his way into the U.S. Open, the Wisconsin resident will make the weekend cut, going into it just one over par through the first two days.

On every hole, on every single shot, Stricker has had the crowd following him and rooting for him. Wisconsinites are proud of the man representing their state. But as a younger golfer, he didn't always enjoy that sort of pressure.

"Over the years, I've gotten a lot better managing that," Stricker said Friday. "When I first played in the GMO's, that was the hardest thing. You just felt like you were letting everybody down when you're not playing well, but I've gotten better with that. I've really enjoyed it. And I've just been easier on myself when I come play in our state, just trying to enjoy it a little more than I have in years past."
 
And it certainly does seem that the veteran golfer is embracing his role this week. 

"I'd like to shoot a good round here, you know, I'm on the verge of it I feel like," Stricker said. "It's just like I said, you've got to keep it in the short grass, out of that fescue, and don't make any bogeys. It's hard to make a lot of birdies for me around here. I mean, if I can make four birdies around here, you know, that'd be pretty good.

This is the longest course on tour this year, but if the 50-year-old can manage to keep it in the fairways, he's got an opportunity to pick up some strokes on the golfers currently ahead of him.