Sport They are little bulldogs - Stricker in awe of golf's 'fearless' new generation

12:51  19 june  2017
12:51  19 june  2017 Source:   omnisport.performgroup.com

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stevestricker - cropped: Steve Stricker © Provided by Omnisport Steve Stricker

Steve Stricker sat back and watched in awe at Erin Hills on Sunday as golf's next generation took centre stage at the U.S. Open.

The 50-year-old enjoyed a profitable week at the second major of 2017 as he finished in a tie for 16th position on five-under par, impressive given he needed to come through qualifying to play.

He remained 11 shots off champion Brooks Koepka, though, the 27-year-old claiming his first major by four shots from Hideki Matsuyama.

Throughout the four days in Wisconsin the likes of Rickie Fowler, Justin Thomas, Tommy Fleetwood and Xander Schauffele all impressed - Fowler the oldest of the quintet quartet at 28.

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The power and fearless attitude of the new generation is something Stricker has huge respect for, admitting his game cannot compete.

"Minus five doesn't mean anything. At the start of the week I was thinking five-under would maybe win this thing, and I was pretty far off," he said.

"I don't know if I have 14-under in my bag to play. These guys play a different game. A three-wood 300 yards [on Saturday] for Justin Thomas. I don't hit my driver 300 yards!

"These guys have a lot of firepower. This is the new age of golf. They bomb it. If they hit it crooked, they'll bomb it again.

"They've got no fear and they're gutsy players, and they're little bulldogs and they're just relentless."

He added: "I sit back and look at their games and I'm in awe of a lot of their games. Tiger Woods came out and he showed us that style back in the '90s, but now it seems like more and more of these kids are coming out all the time with that firepower.

"I never had that firepower. And it gets me into trouble when I think that I do. So it's something that I just sit back and marvel at, really. It's fun to watch."

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