K.J. Choi and Steve Stricker posted matching course-record 62s on Friday to open the 2023 Sanford International.
Stricker then went 66-66 over the weekend at Minnehaha Country Club in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to earn a one-stroke win, his sixth victory of the 2023 season and 17th overall on the PGA Tour Champions.
One of two Ryder Cup vice captains in the field (Jim Furyk is the other), Stricker had 16 birdies – including five in a row on the back nine during the first round – and two eagles over 54 holes. The eagles came on the 12th hole on Saturday and Sunday. He had only four bogeys on the week, including one the 18th Sunday, but a two-shot cushion before that hole assured him some wiggle room.
Bernhard Langer finished solo fourth, marking his seventh straight top-10 finish of the season, a streak that started when he won the U.S. Senior Open in July. He shot a final-round 64 and was 12 under for the week, four shots back of Stricker.
John Daly, meanwhile, had had his best finish in more than a year with a tie for eighth. Daly’s average finish this season is 65th and he has WD’d from two events. This week, he went 66-64-70.
There were two holes-in-one during the first round. Fred Funk aced the 17th hole using a hybrid from 199 yards while John Senden got his on No. 8 with a pitching wedge from 132 yards. There was another ace on Sunday when Jerry Kelly got one on the 17th hole.
Shooting his age or better
Dick Mast, 72, got in the field after Monday qualifying and bettered his age with even-par 70 in the first round. He matched his age with a 72 in Saturday’s third round. He beat his age by a shot during Sunday’s final round and tied for 67th, beating nine golfers, including Jim Furyk and European Ryder Cup vice captain Jose Maria Olazabal.