A good day for watching Wisconsin sports
My wife, Cheryl, and I attended our first Brewers game of the season Saturday night. Friends of friends invited us to join them in a luxury suite, and we enjoyed the amenities and company if not the game’s outcome.
A long game got even longer when it went to the 10th inning and Brewer reliever Marco Estrada imploded and gave up five runs.
It was almost midnight before we got home. After that late night, and with Sunday’s hot and humid weather, I didn’t feel much like golfing or bike riding or doing much of anything outdoors Sunday.
We tuned in to watch Steve Stricker, who led the John Deere Classic in Silvis, Ill., heading into Sunday’s final round. That picture of the Edgerton native on the front of the sports page today says it all.
Stricker hit an amazing 50-foot putt on No. 9 to push his lead to five shots. It looked like everything was going his way and that he was destined to coast to his third straight victory in this tournament.
Then everything came crashing down like a Marco Estrada extra-inning outing.
It wasn’t that Stricker was playing the back nine as poorly as Estrada pitched the night before. It was more like Stricker kept leaving birdie putts too long to make, and rookie Kyle Stanley went on a torrid run to stun Stricker and grab a two-shot lead with two holes to go.
Stricker wasn’t done yet, however.
Sometime amid it all, we switched over to the Brewers game just in time to watch Nyjer Morgan ignite a dramatic two-run, ninth-inning rally that topped Cincinnati, 4-3, and kept the Brewers tied for first heading into the all-star break.
The drama was just beginning for Wisconsin sports fans. Stricker birdied the 17th after Stanley hit par, leaving the rookie just one stroke ahead. Stanley’s 9-foot par putt rimmed out on 18. Stricker played a fairway bunker shot with one foot in the trap and the other foot half in—an awkward stance to be sure. He rolled the shot over the green, onto the fringe. Stricker then sank that 25-foot birdie putt from the fringe, sparking that look of jubilation you see in today’s photograph.
Cheryl and I cheered from our living room. It almost made me scramble for the golf clubs—almost.
Did you catch any of this weekend action? Did you find Sunday’s viewing as delightful as we did?
At the all-star break, do the Brewers have what it takes to make the playoffs? Does Sunday's victory give Stricker enough momentum for a shot at winning his first major tournament, this week's British Open?