Stricker is a stickler of consistency

Consistency is the reason why the amiable Stricker has stayed in the top 10 for almost two years now without hitting any headlines, or too many bad shots.

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Steve Stricker could seem like one of those novelty holiday records that get released every summer in that he has been in the top 10 for ages and nobody really knows why.

Tiger Woods has fallen away, as have other big names such as Ernie Els, and any number of Europeans have come and gone, but the 44-year-old American has remained in one of the top-ranking places while keeping some way below the radar.

Consistency is something every Sunday hacker strives for, never mind a professional. Consistency is the reason why the amiable Stricker has stayed in the top 10 for almost two years now without hitting any headlines, or too many bad shots. And that's the point.

Stricker has gone about his business with the minimum of fuss. A British golf writer once observed: "All that guy ever does is hit fairways and make pars." For a professional golfer, that's not too bad.

Stricker won The Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village in Ohio last week and that officially made him the fourth best player in the world. It was only his 10th PGA Tour title, however, his steady manner of play earned him huge praise from the week's host, Jack Nicklaus, and what more praise do you need?

Stricker is now the top-ranked American in the world and yet he could walk off the driving range at most tournaments and few people would know who he was.

That is the way he likes it, yet if he wins the US Open this month, he might earn more recognition. It is not right that only Nicklaus says nice things about him.