Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Sports

Stricker to start semiretirement

KAPALUA, Hawaii — At the end of another long year, and a month away from the start of another season, Steve Stricker posed a question that sounded out of place for a player with more than $25 million in PGA Tour earnings over the past six years: "What if I went to Kapalua to defend and didn't play again the rest of the year?"

When he arrived for the season-opening Tournament of Champions, the event for last year's winners that begins today, he had reached a compromise. Stricker, 46 next month, is going into semiretirement. When he leaves Kapalua, where he is the tournament's defending champion, he won't return until the Match Play Championship at the end of February.

He'll play the majors and World Golf Championship events in the United States, maybe a few other tournaments and the John Deere Classic in Silvis, Ill., which has become the Wisconsin resident's hometown event

"I had a great run the last six years. I think it's just the travel, the time away," said Stricker, married with a 14-year-old daughter. "When I get home, I'm not there. … I've had enough of being totally focused on golf and my life. And I wanted to not have it be about me anymore."

mcilroy may skip Olympics: Rory McIlroy says he might not play in golf's return to the Games in 2016 to avoid controversy over which country to represent. McIlroy, from Northern Ireland, is eligible for selection by Britain and Ireland. Northern Ireland doesn't field a team. He caused a stir last year when he said he would prefer to represent Britain. "(I) have a connection to Ireland and a connection to the UK," he said on a British Broadcasting Corp. documentary that aired Thursday. "Play for one side or the other, or not play at all because I may upset too many people — those are my three options I'm considering very carefully."

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