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Steve Stricker wins Champions Tour’s Sanford International

Steve Stricker is a three-time winner on the Champions Tour in 2018. (Morry Gash / Associated Press)
Steve Stricker is a three-time winner on the Champions Tour in 2018. (Morry Gash / Associated Press)
Associated Press

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Steve Stricker won the inaugural Sanford International on Sunday for his third PGA Tour Champions title of the year, closing with a 3-under 67 for a four-stroke victory.

Stricker led wire-to-wire at Minnehaha Country Club after rain limited him to only seven pre-tournament holes.

“I’ve never felt so unprepared in my life playing a golf tournament,” Stricker said. “You usually get around it a couple times at least. But there’s something to be said about that, too, where you can just kind of plod your way around, kind of learn as you go around and take each shot really one shot at a time and keep plugging away. That’s kind of what my mentality was this week. I didn’t know some of the spots to miss it. I wasn’t very familiar with it, but all in all, it worked out.”

The 51-year-old Stricker birdied three of the first four holes and offset bogeys on 13 and 18 with birdies on 15 and 16. He shared the lead after each of the first two rounds.

“I came out feeling really good, really comfortable,” Stricker said. “Hit two really good shots and really played the first five, six, seven holes really solidly. Then once you get that lead, it’s like a different mentality sets in. You’re trying not to make a mistake. It gets a little bit harder to play. I did my best. I was just trying to make pars and keep moving along, so it was good to hang on.”

Stricker also won in Arizona and Mississippi in consecutive starts in May for his first senior victories. Next week in France, he will be one of U.S. Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk’s assistants.

Stricker finished at 13-under 197, and match Paul Broadhurst for the tour victory lead.

Tim Petrovic (65) and Jerry Smith (70) tied for second.

Brandt Jobe, tied for the second-round lead, had a 72 to drop into a tie for fourth with Kevin Sutherland (67) at 8 under.

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