Nursing a torn labrum in his left hip, 47-year-old Steve Stricker was celebrating being named a vice-captain of the U.S. Ryder Cup squad scheduled to play this fall at in Scotland.
After a 3-under par 68 in Friday’s second round of the PGA Championship at the Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky., the longtime tour pro from Madison might still be in the mix to be swinging the clubs for the American squad at the PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles in Perthshire, Scotland, next month.
Stricker, who has never won a major championship, is right in the thick of things heading into the weekend, four shots off the lead with a 5-under par 137 after 36 holes.
“I would have to do something very special and that would be either win or maybe finish second,” Stricker said after his round. “I’m obviously going to try to do the best I can this weekend, but it hasn’t really crossed my mind as a player just because I haven’t played that much. I haven’t played all that well this year and I’m just trying to have a good tournament here this week.”
Rory McIlroy, coming off a win at The Open Championship last month at Royal Liverpool and ranked No. 1 in the world, fired a 4-under par 67 and has a one-shot lead after two rounds at 9-under.
Jason Day and Jim Furyk are tied at 8-under, while Rickie Fowler, Ryan Palmer and Mikko Ilonen are at 7-under.
Four-time major winner Phil Mickelson and Bernd Wiesberger are tied at 6-under, while Stricker is in a group of seven golfers tied at 5-under.
Here are some highlights of Stricker’s second round:
Fellow Madison golfer Jerry Kelly got off to a strong start with an opening-round 67, but struggled to a 3-over par 74 on Friday and is nine shots off the pace. In just his second major since 2011, however, Kelly will be there for the weekend.
Stricker will be paired with Canadian Graham DeLaet for Saturday’s third round, scheduled to go off the tee at 1:20 p.m. Central. Television coverage begins on TNT at 10 a.m. Central and will switch over to CBS at 1 p.m.