Steve Stricker earns spot in U.S. Open after winning qualifier

MEMPHIS — A rain delay and the pressure of trying to earn a spot to play in the U.S. Open in his home state couldn’t deter Madison’s Steve Stricker from winning a qualifying round Monday evening.

The 50-year-old shot a 4-under par 67 in round one and a 6-under 65 round two to win the qualifier with an overall 132. Five players finished a stroke behind Stricker, with the top nine finishers earning a spot at Erin Hills June 12-18.

Prior to Monday’s action, Stricker attempted to earn his way to Erin Hills by asking the USGA for an exemption — a request that was quickly denied.

“It means a lot,” Stricker said. “Not getting an exemption was a motivational factor. Not that I deserved one, but it’s been driving me to achieve this goal. And, I’m just happy that I’m going to get to play. It’s a relief to get to play in the first one in my home state.”

Stricker will be participating in another big golf event in his home state beginning on June 23rd — The American Family Insurance Championship at University Ridge in Madison. It’s part of the PGA Champions Tour for golfers aged 50-plus. Stricker spoke with the Wisconsin Sports Zone Network during Media Day about his chances of earning a spot at Erin Hills after failing to earn the exemption.

Stricker hasn’t played in the Open in three years, but has played the Erin Hills course a handful of times. He says his biggest obstacle will be finding a way to gain an extra 20 yards on his drive because of the sheer size of the course.

Stricker finishes fourth at British Open

TROON, SCOTLAND — While Henrik Stenson went on to win the British Open on Sunday to become the first Swedish man to win a major, Wisconsin native Steve Stricker finished fourth.

Stenson shot an 8-under 63 in Sunday’s final round, holding off Phil Mickelson for his first major title. Stricker’s overall 2-under 69 qualifies him for a spot in the Masters, as well as the Open Championship in 2017.

Stricker’s performance was also his best finish at an Open Championship, finishing tied for seventh at Birkdale in 2008.

Wisconsin’s Skip Kendall Will Play In PGA Champions Event In Madison

MADISON, Wis. (June 3, 2016) — Wisconsin native Skip Kendall will play in the first-ever PGA TOUR Champions American Family Insurance Championship, June 24-26, at University Ridge Golf Course in Madison. Kendall received a sponsor’s exemption from American Family, as did fellow PGA TOUR Champions player Stan Utley.

Kendall was born and raised in the Milwaukee area, before playing collegiate golf at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. He then hit the professional golf ranks, winning four times on the Web.com Tour, and earning 26 top-10 finishes on the PGA TOUR and three top-10 finishes on PGA Tour Champions. Kendall won the Wisconsin State Open in 1988 and 1989.

Stan Utley has competed on PGA TOUR Champions since 2011 after a career on both the Web.com and PGA tours. He won his sole PGA TOUR title at the 1989 Chattanooga Classic, along with three Web.Com wins.

Fans can purchase tickets for the American Family Insurance Championship at the tournament website at www.amfamchampionship.com. Options include $25 general admission tickets valid any day of the championship, in addition to three-day general admission and clubhouse passes with special amenities.

Active duty, reserve and retired military personnel can enjoy a free three-day pass and any child 15 and under also gets free admission to the tournament with an adult admission.

Fans can also follow the tournament’s social media channels: Twitter: @amfamchamp; Facebook: American Family Insurance Championship; and Instagram: AmFamChampionship.
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About the American Family Insurance Championship
The PGA TOUR Champions tour, American Family Insurance and 12-time PGA TOUR winner and Wisconsin native Steve Stricker announced last June this new Wisconsin golf event. The inaugural American Family Insurance Championship will feature an 81-player field competing for a $2 million purse. The no-cut event will include two Pro-Am events on June 22-23 followed by three days of tournament play, June 24-26. Proceeds from the event will be donated to the Steve Stricker American Family Insurance Foundation for distribution to the American Family Children’s Hospital and other charities.