SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Steve Stricker defeated Robert Karlsson in a sudden-death playoff to capture the 2022 Sanford International title.
Steve Stricker found himself 6 shots back of the lead after the first round of the Sanford International.
“I just felt why didn’t I take advantage of day one. The conditions were perfect, the greens were soft, receptive, no wind. I knew I was behind the 8 ball after the first day and I needed a little bit of that wind on Saturday to have a good round and make conditions a little bit tougher,” 2022 Sanford International Champion Steve Stricker said.
Stricker took advantage of Saturday’s conditions, carding a 6 under 64, and sat two back of Robert Karlsson and Jeff Maggert heading into the final round.
“I was nervous all the way around today. I knew that I really couldn’t afford to give any shots away. I just had to continue to do what I was doing and not make a mistake really but yet make some birdies,” Stricker said.
He’d make 6 birdies in his final round, and the one on 16 gave him the outright lead at 14 under par.
“I was lucky to see Robert hit his shot into the green at 17 after I hit my tee ball at 18, so I knew he had a really good birdie opportunity at 17 and I knew that I probably needed to birdie to win outright in regulation,” Stricker said.
Stricker missed his birdie try on 18 while Karlsson would birdie 17 and par 18, tying Stricker for the lead, sending the Sanford International to a sudden-death playoff for the 2nd straight year.
Karlsson narrowly missing a long birdie in the playoff opened the door for Stricker, who knocked in the tournament-winning birdie putt.
“I had a good feeling for the speed here in the playoff. You know, you’re trying to hit a good putt, it’s a tough putt to make, but fortunate that it went in. It was a cool feeling. To make a putt last hole in a playoff in front of all these people is pretty cool,” Stricker said.
Stricker becomes the first player to win 2 Sanford Internationals; he also won the inaugural event back in 2018.