Steve Stricker's Amazing Shot From A Fairway Bunker To Win The John Deere Classic


Posted by Dexter Francois | Posted in , , | Posted on Monday, July 11, 2011

Steve Stricker pulled off one of the greatest shots I have ever seen this past weekend to win the John Deere Classic. The usually mild mannered Stricker showed some real emotion and we were treated with the "Stricker Fist Pump" after he holed his winning putt. This was one of the most exciting moments in a non-major event that we have seen so far in 2011. If you missed it, here it is.

Everything was difficult about this shot. The stance. One foot in the bunker. One foot out. The lie. Way below his feet. The shot length. 182 yards out of a fairway bunker(some say one of the hardest shots in golf). The situation. In need of a birdie for the win.

I didn't think Stricker had a chance. At best I thought he and Kyle Stanley would be going to a playoff. Unfortunately for Stanley, who missed his par putt, Stricker had nothing but 3-peat on his mind.
Everyone was impressed that he made the 25 foot putt to clinch the victory, but as I was watching it, I was much more impressed with the shot that gave him the chance at birdie. A seasoned veteran who has won "come back player of the year" twice, he took his time, analyzed the situation, and nailed it.

Like most amateurs, I fear being in a fairway bunker. Let me rephrase that. I don't fear it, but I do get a queasy feeling in my belly when I find my ball in a sand trap that is not close to the green.  And it is sure that I would have never been able to pull of that shot. Even under the most relaxed of conditions. Knowing how to execute this shot, however, can help to shave a few strokes during a round.

I would have loved to have found a video of Stricker demonstrating how to hit this shot, but there wasn't any that I could find. Instead I found a video from Phil Milckelson's DVD. Not a bad substitute considering he is a four time major winner.

I know most of us are right handed but just think of Phil as your mirror image. For the lefties, this is one of the rare occasions when you can get instruction from a fellow south paw.

Listen to what Phil has to say and remember Stricker's shot the next time you are faced with a similar situation. More importantly, don't put so much pressure on yourself. This will surely cause you and me, as I am talking to myself as well right now, no chance at hitting a good shot. Have a great round and always hit your target. 

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Comments (2)

  1. July 15, 2011 at 10:11 AM

    Great video find I saw it happen live but I was looking for a video of that shot and couldn't find it. Glad to see Stricker get excited about this definitely well deserved.

  2. July 15, 2011 at 4:58 PM

    What a great shot and putt. I seriously thought he had no chance even though Stanley had missed his par putt. This why they say, "These guys are good."