There is a very divided line between PGA Tour golfers that are fighting each year to retain their tour card and those that are so successful they can pick and choose which events to play in. It's one of the benefits of being a top player, and each year guys like Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson can pick whatever events they want to play on the schedule and leave off even more.
Steve Stricker is taking that theory to a whole other level. Talking with Golfweek, Stricker said he plays to play just 10 PGA Tour events in 2013, a serious drop in play for the 45-year-old who has played in 19 events in each of his last three season (Tiger played in 19 events this past season as well).
The idea is to allow Stricker to spend more time with his family, and he said while he doesn't plan to quit professional golf at any point, he is sick of the tour grind.
“I’m not quitting,” Stricker told Golfweek. “I want to spend more time (at home). I still enjoy playing, but I don’t enjoy the travel.”
It is crazy the turnaround Stricker has gone through over the past four years, winning three times in 2009, twice in '10 and '11 and once this past year at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions (At one point before all this, Stricker had such a bad case of the driver yips that it seemed he might have to quit the game entirely).
His plan is to show up in Hawaii to defend his title, and then hit up the Accenture Match Play followed by Doral and then the Masters.
If a young player did this, I might get a little peeved, but Stricker has turned his career around to the point that he is absolutely secure for the rest of his life if he never played another event, and with his sponsors on board, good for Stricker. Professional golf is important, but you can never call a guy out for wanting to spend more time with his family.