Faceoff: Will Steve Stricker ever win a major?
Jim Rossow says yes
Oh, I've got questions about Stricker. But not whether he'll win a major before he hangs up the 7-iron. I wouldn't be surprised if he takes next month's PGA Championship in the Atlanta suburbs. He is, after all, the top-ranked American, makes more money than a starting shortstop, has a putting stroke to die for, never loses his cool, is the perfect age (44), dresses nattily, is well-liked in the clubhouse, helps old ladies cross the street, always recycles ... you get the picture. It's only a matter of time before he plays at, say, the Masters like he does at the John Deere Classic. My only concern is what colors he'll wear for the final round of his big day: orange or red. Stricker played at Illinois and generously gives back to his alma mater. But he lives in Madison and has been spotted wearing Wisconsin gear (like a Badgers hat at the Ryder Cup). When he wins the 2012 U.S. Open, will he scream "Oskee-Wow-Wow" or sing "On Wisconsin?" Who knows? All I know is he'll get the chance.
Mike Colgan says no
I wouldn't be surprised if Stricker won a major, but he isn't going to. If you look at the state of golf today I think you will find that a young breed has taken over the game; guys like Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell and Charl Schwartzel, just to name a few. There is more competition from the international players (see above list). You do know that Jack and Arnie have retired, don't you? Julius Boros is the oldest winner of a major, and he checked in at 48 years old when he won the 1968 PGA Championship. From what I understand about Stricker, everything you say about him is true: he is a real good guy, Badger hat aside. He certainly has the mental toughness, as we saw his comeback last week that would have sent many professionals into a psychotic break. But Stricker was able to deal with the pressure and regain the lead. At 44, time may have already run out on Stricker. If you can remember being 44, Jim, four rounds in four days was too much.