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Added June 6th, 2011 by Chalk

Stricker Wins Memorial, Becomes Top-Ranked American

Steve Stricker held on for a one-shot victory over Matt Kuchar to win The Memorial on Sunday. The victory moved Stricker past Phil Mickelson to No. 4 in the world rankings, making Stricker the top-ranked American golfer for the first time in his career. Mickelson, who finished T13, fell to No. 5, while Kuchar moved up to No. 6, passing Rory McIlroy who finished fifth.

Luke Donald, in his first tournament as World No. 1, finished tied for seventh. Donald has now finished in the top 10 in his last 10 events since missing the cut at the Northern Trust Open 15 weeks ago.

The Memorial victory is Stricker’s first since last July. He now has 18 career victories, including 10 on the PGA Tour. He also has a big supporter in the host of The Memorial, legend Jack Nicklaus. “He’s a superstar in more ways than his golf game,” said Nicklaus of Stricker. “I think he’s been a superstar from the way he’s behaved himself, the way he handles his game, the way he handles people and the way he handles fans. He’s always done that. And that, to me, is equally as important as how well you score. I’ve always felt that about Steve.”

McIlroy, who collapsed in the final round of The Masters, feels his fifth place finish after sharing the first round lead at The Memorial will help his preparations for the US Open later this month. “I putted the ball really good this week… and that’s a huge positive to take into the US Open,” said McIlroy. “If anything, I just need a little bit of strategy more than anything else. If you’re going to miss shots, miss it in the right places. This week if you miss greens it’s very penal here and you get punished quite easily. It’s the same as the US Open. If you miss it in the wrong places there, you’re looking at a five or a six.”

 
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