MADISON — While the story of the day on Friday at the American Family Insurance Championship was how well tournament host Steve Stricker played, Saturday wasn’t the same.
The reasoning behind that was not only Stricker’s rough day (2-over for the day, 6-under for the tournament), but also the celebrity foursome that took place in the afternoon.
Lee Trevino, Andy North, Derek Jeter, and Brett Favre all took on the back-nine at University Ridge once the final group of the day had passed on through.
Trevino and North are both two-time U.S. Open winners, Jeter will one day find himself as a member of baseball’s hall of fame — likely as soon as he’s eligible in 2019 — and Favre is a three-time NFL MVP and a Super Bowl champion. It would be rather difficult to assemble a more accomplished foursome.
The group started on the 10th hole and they were individually introduced. As imagined, Favre received the loudest ovation.
The foursome split in teams of two, with North and Favre making up one team while Jeter and Trevino composed the second.
Things stayed close throughout the nine-hole event, as neither team opened up more than a one-stroke lead the entire time.
Obviously, North and Trevino were both excellent golfers in their day and still have some of what made them great when they were on tour. Trevino — at 79 years of age — can’t quite generate the club speed as the other three, but he still knew his way around the course.
“These guys [on tour] are swinging at 115 miles an hour, average 113,” Trevino said prior to the round. “I’m not even in the 90s any more. I don’t know if I was in the 90s I guess in my heyday.”
He couldn’t quite keep up with the others distance wise, but he was still pretty solid on the course, and certainly a treat to be around.
One of the more enjoyable things for spectators was the ability to hear when the players were saying to each other when they were within earshot of fans. There were a few times throughout the round that one of the players would joking warn fans to watch out in case of an errant shot.
Jeter was certainly impressive as a golfer. He was able to make solid contact more times than not, which could be expected of a member of baseball’s 3000-hit club. The former captain of the New York Yankees also knew his way around the green, dropping in multiple putts from 15 feet or more.
As for Favre, there were times he looked as if he belonged, but also some others where he looked much more like a normal person on the golf course.
He did, however, clinch the victory for his team on the 18th green.
While Stricker finished the first round with the lead on Friday carding an 8-under 66, the course wasn’t as kind to him on Saturday.
Stricker’s lone birdie came on the 18th hold as he finished with a 2-over, 74 for the round. This was the first over-par round of his PGA Tour Champions career.
Stricker had carded 30 consecutive rounds under par, which is the fourth-longest streak in the history of the tour.
“It was a tough day, but that was a big birdie in my mind,” Stricker said of his birdie on the 18th hole. “It kept me a little bit closer. I mean, no one ran away with this thing today and three shots back, a lot of guys between me and the lead. Yeah, it was a good putt to make and finally get a birdie.
“It was just one of those days where I didn’t have a lot of energy. Nothing — hit very few good shots really. The couple that I did hit well, I was in bad spots, and a couple of bad shots even got worse. So nothing really went my way today except for that last putt.”
Stricker will begin the final round on Sunday tied for 14th at 6-under. He will tee off at 10 a.m. CT.
Madison’s other resident
With Stricker being the host of the tournament, it’s sometimes easy to forget about the other Madison resident playing in the tournament. Jerry Kelly certainly had a better day than Stricker on Saturday.
After shooting a 4-under 68 on Friday, Kelly followed that up with a 3-under 69 Saturday at University Ridge. He’s currently sitting at 7-under for the weekend and finds himself in a tie for sixth with seven other players.
Leader in the clubhouse
Esteban Toledo entered the day five shots off the lead after posting a 3-under 69 on Friday. Saturday was a much better day for him as he was 6-under, climbing all the way up to first on the leaderboard.
Toldeo holds a one-stroke lead over David Toms, Kent Jones, Fred Couples, and Billy Mayfair for the lead. The final group of Toledo, Toms, and Jones will tee off at 11 a.m. CT on Sunday morning.