As Steve Stricker grinded to hit it past Nelly Korda at PNC Championship, daughter Izzi Stricker took notes

ORLANDO — Izzi Stricker said she felt numb on the first hole of the PNC Championship, though she did pipe her drive down the middle. Partnering with her father Steve in their first PNC, oddsmakers had the Strickers as a favorite to win this week, enjoying the same odds as Tiger Woods and his son Charlie and Justin Thomas and his father Mike.

Izzi, a two-time Wisconsin girls state champion, has committed to play college golf at Wisconsin, where she’ll be a freshman in the fall of 2024. Both her mother, Nicki, and sister, Bobbi, played golf at Wisconsin.

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Izzi Stricker daughter of Steve Stricker of the United States embraces her mother Nikki Stricker as sister Bobbi Stricker looks on from the 18th green during the first round of the PNC Championship at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club on December 16, 2023 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images)

A 12-time winner on the PGA Tour, Steve won six times this season on the PGA Tour Champions, including three majors.

In Saturday’s opening round of the PNC, the Strickers were paired alongside former No. 1 Nelly Korda and her father Petr. Izzi was hoping she’d get the chance to play alongside Korda, a major champion and Olympic gold medalist.

Steve noted he often pulls up videos of Nelly’s swing when working with his daughters.

Photos: 2023 PNC Championship

“I mean, she has got one of the best swings in the game of golf,” said Stricker. “You know, men or women.”

The Strickers opened with an 8-under 64 in the scramble format, tied with the Kordas, and trail Matt Kuchar and his teenage son Cameron by seven.

Steve, 56, who was invited into the field after a rule change was made to allow PGA Tour Champions major winners, said he was grinding to make sure he could hit it past Nelly on a waterlogged day at Ritz-Carlton Golf Club. Four sets of tees are in place this week. Steve and Nelly are both playing from 6,578 yards. Izzy and Petr are playing from 6,036 yards.

“I was grinding to make sure that I could hit it past her on a few holes,” said Steve with a smile. “She got me once and she let me know it, too. So from that point on, I swung a little bit harder to make sure I could get it past her, but she’s got some length.”

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