What are the odds of one PGA Tour professional giving a fellow professional a putting tip that helps the latter pro notch a tournament victory four days later? Now, what are the odds of the teacher finishing second to the student by a mere two strokes in that same tournament?
Well, that’s exactly what happened at the WGC-Cadillac Championship on Sunday as Tiger Woods edged Steve Stricker by a pair of strokes, netting $1.5 million along the way. Stricker’s second-place check was more than $600,000 less than that.
You may recall that, on the eve of the tournament, Stricker generously provided a bit of informal putting instruction to Woods, which led to Woods’ putter catching fire amid a hailstorm of birdies. Next thing you know, Tiger was looking like the old Tiger, writing a familiar script. Except that this script had an unusual twist, as it turned out that Stricker himself had the most to lose from Woods making a few extra putts. Those extra putts came courtesy of a refreshed putting stroke, courtesy of some putting tips from…Steve Stricker!
Now, you won’t hear any complaints from Stricker. He’s not just a winner on the golf course, he’s a winner at life. That’s why he didn’t hesitate to offer a fellow pro and friend some helpful putting tips in the first place. And it’s not like he’s hurting for money.
But let’s just say that in the “I owe you one, buddy” category, Tiger Woods just racked up a big debt to Steve Stricker.
P.S. Tiger Woods’ putter is the Nike Method 001 model, which he first started using at the 2010 British Open.