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.)