It was four years ago that Steve Stricker and his wife, Nicki, were driving on Oahu during Monday of Sony Open week when a friend from home phoned Nicki with some interesting news. Stricker, coming off a runner-up finish at the Mercedes-Benz Championships at Kapalua, had climbed to No. 3 in the Official World Golf Ranking.
That's right. At the time it was Tiger, Phil ... and Wisconsin's favorite son, Stricker.
Nicki said good-bye to her friend, hung up the phone, then looked playfully at her husband, who drove along innocently, not aware of the conversation topic.
"You are so overrated," she told him.
Nicki laughed when the story was recounted late Monday afternoon on Maui. Her husband was holding the silver Hyundai Tournament of Champions trophy, his eighth victory in his past 50 PGA Tour starts.
Suffice to say, as the top-ranked American in the game today -- he's ranked sixth overall despite turning 45 next month -- Stricker seems to be quite a bit more ...