Final Score: Nicki Stricker 20, Muirfield 0
By Torleif Sorenson on 7/12/13
Nathan wrote on March 28 that he thought it was only a matter of time before Steve Stricker decides to retire. In fact, Stricker was only planning on playing about ten PGA Tour events this year.

Now, as both Ryan Lavner and Will Gray of Golf Channel are reporting, Stricker has decided not to play in the 142nd Open Championship next week at Muirfield in Scotland. And while he has never had much success in the Open, there's a better and more immediate reason why Stricker's not going across the pond:

He and his wife Nicki are celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary.

Some people, including a college professor named Ken Carpenter, have panned the decision on Lavner's Twitter feed, but Lavner himself called it a "veteran husband move." This writer refuses to criticize Stricker, who obviously has a happy marriage and isn't gutted by the prospect of missing an event, even if it is a major being playing over a cruel and punishing course. After all, Stricker had a taste of that last month at Merion.

1000 points for Steve Stricker for doing the right thing — as he has done so many times already in his life.

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Image via Flickr, Keith Allison

[ comments ]
mustang6560 says:
"1000 points for Steve Stricker for doing the right thing"

This is not a matter of right or wrong, because that implies the golfers who skip their anniversary (and celebrate it later) in lieu of a golf tournament are wrong. It's simply a personal decision, and in my opinion, it reveals (even further) where professional golf ranks in his life - really low.
bducharm says:
I agree with Nathan. In Steve's life, it is the correct decision and he definitely has continued to have me for a fan!!! Good on ya' Stricks!!!
Kurt the Knife says:
20 years. thats a lot of work. All happiness to them.
joe jones says:
How small to criticize him. He should be congratulated.
srogers13 says:
I guess this is her pay for all of the caddying she has done for him this year.
mustang6560 says:
Who's criticising him?
Torleif Sorenson says:
Joe Jones may be referring to Ken Carpenter, who torched Stricker after TGC's Ryan Lavner posted it on his Twitter feed. Twice, in fact.
legitimatebeef says:
I have no issue with Steve Stricker's personal decisions but as a fan of his game I am disappointed. I felt he had as good a chance to win this as a lot of the field. But what do I know. I suspect that if he really liked his chances over there, he'd be there. I agree with Nathan, it is a personal decision and as such I don't feel it should merit such an extreme reaction either way. Let's say he did choose to play, and postpone his anniversary thing a couple days, would that make him a bad person? Hell no.
golfingbumunderpar64 says:
One of many reasons kids now days should be looking up to Steve and athletes like him as role models instead of people like Aaron Hernandaz. Good for Steve. I hope him and his wife have a great anniversary.
mjaber says:
It's no different than Phil skipping events for planned family vacations, or Tiger only playing 'X' number of events, and skipping the courses he doesn't like. Maybe Steve and his wife were tired of celebrating their anniversary in England/Scotland and wanted to go some place else. Good for them, and good for him.
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