Steve Stricker may be nearly ready to collect a pension from the PGA Tour (he’s playing a reduced, “semi-retirement” schedule this year), but the 12-time tour winner knows how to close out a golf tourney.
Stricker teamed with fellow tour golfer Bo Van Pelt to win the two-day CVS Caremark Charity Classic at Rhode Island Country Club in Barrington by four strokes. At 12-under in the 36-hole event, the duo had a one-shot lead after Monday’s opening round and kept the heat on the other nine two-person teams, finishing at 25-under. Their nearest competitors, event co-host (along with Brad Faxon) Billy Andrade and Bill Haas, closed at 21-under.
Ocean State natives Andrade and Faxon have hosted the tourney, which attracts top golfers from the LPGA, PGA, and Champions Tours, since 1999. Played immediately after the Travelers Championship, just down the road in Cromwell, Conn., the New England contest has raised more than $16 million for New England charities.
Among those taking part this year were Bubba Watson and Rickie Fowler, who finished fourth and T13, respectively, at TPC River Highlands and fourth as a team on Tuesday.
Morgan Pressel, Lexi Thompson, and Juli Inkster stopped off at the Donald Ross-designed track on their way to the U.S. Women’s Open at Sebonack Golf Club in Southampton, N.Y.
While not teeing it up at Sebonack, Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstam will cover the women’s third major of the season for Golf Channel. She and partner Billy Horschel (sans his infamous “octopus pants”) brought up the rear in the scoring department at RICC, coming in at 10-under.
Sorenstam was making her second start in the event.
“I’ve always been impressed with Brad and Billy,” Sorenstam told us in a recent phone interview. “It’s a top-notch event so I want to be a part of it.”