Whiffle: verb – to blow lightly in puffs or gusts; noun – something light or insignificant.

Friday, January 28, 2011

More Stricker Whining

Not Steve Stricker whining ... me whining about Steve not getting enough love!
     I just don't understand why Matt Kuchar (who I love) seems to get so much more buzz for 2010 than Steve Stricker. The latest was in Alan Shipnuk's Mailbag at golf.com. When asked to name the top five players in the world right now (ignoring the official world rankings), he answered Kaymer, McDowell, Westwood, Furyk, and Mickelson/Kuchar (tie).
     Everybody talks about top 10s. Fine. Kuchar had 11 in 26 tournaments (.423), but Stricker had 9 in 19 (.474). Kuchar won the scoring title, but by a whisker over Stricker (69.61 to 69.66). Kuchar won the money title (4,910,477 vs. 4,190,235), but again when you look at it per-tournament, Stricker comes out ahead, 220,500 to 188,900 (rounding off). Stricker (1,697 points) finished well ahead of Kuchar (1,437) in the regular season FedEx Cup standings. Plus, Stricker had two victories in 2010 to Kuchar's one. I'll give the majors to Kuchar, who finished ahead of Stricker in all four, including two top-10s. All in all, it's very close. But overall I'd give Stricker (whose season was shortened by injury) the edge between the two.
     I suppose the disparity is at least in part because Kuchar is younger and his comeback story is fresher. He's an extremely likeable guy who has developed into a very fine player. Stricker's been back at the top for a while now, and if anything is trending (ever so) slightly downward. Kuchar, on the other hand, seems to still be on the rise.
     But they're both great guys, good family men, and fine players. I hope they both have monster years!

(By the way, posting at Whiffling Straits has been erratic lately, to say the least, as I've been concentrating on a book project. But I'll try to pick up the pace a little as the season gets going.)


  1. For what it's worth, Mike, I think it's just a matter of timing. Remember how everybody reacted when Stricker got Comeback Player two years running? He made so progress from so far back that it just overwhelmed everybody.

    I think that's the story with Kuchar. He wasn't down far enough to be Comeback Player (did they even give that award last year?), but his improvement was so dramatic that it just monopolized the media's attention.

    Let Steve get that major this year, and we'll see who gets talked about! ;-)

  2. Stricker is a pretty casual player. He's always at the top of the leader board, seems to be consistent, and never gets in trouble. I think it makes it easier for him to fly under the radar.

    I think they're both great and fun to watch.

  3. BTW, I think it's time that D.A. Points made your "Favorite Golfers - Active" list!!