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It’s pretty crazy to fathom that Bobbi Stricker (Madison, Wisconsin) did not play competitive golf until the summer after her senior year at Waunakee High School, but with her family lineage in the game, maybe it’s not too out of the ordinary after all.
A redshirt sophomore walk-on for the University of Wisconsin (UW) women’s golf team, Stricker chose to play tennis since the two sports fell in the same season.
“I did pretty well with it and had a lot of friends that played tennis, so when I got to high school it was more I wanted to be where my friends were,” said Stricker. “I always played golf for fun, but never to the extreme of practicing everyday.”
Although a short time span, Stricker has rapidly picked up the pace when it comes to refining her game and developing different aspects of it. The culmination shined bright last Tuesday at Brown Deer Park Golf Course when she won the Badger Mutual Insurance Women’s Amateur, earning Stricker exemption into the fourth annual PHC Classic.
“It was really special and means a lot,” Stricker said. “I’ve been putting in a lot of hard work and it’s paying off. Getting to the spots and levels that I want to get to, but at a faster pace, is super cool. I’m really excited for the experience.”
Stricker’s grandfather Dennis Tiziani coached the Badgers men’s golf team from 1977-2003, and also served as the women’s coach from 1989-2003. In addition, her mother Nicki earned four letters on the UW women’s golf team and finished fourth in the 1991 Big Ten Championships.
Then of course, Stricker’s father Steve is a 12-time PGA TOUR winner.
“He was always very supportive either way, it was never you need to do this or that,” said Stricker. “It’s been really cool now that I have been playing golf that I can go out and learn way more than I could have appreciated before I played. He has a lot of advice and he comes to watch all my stuff when he is home.”
Even though there might be some pressure that comes with the bloodlines, Stricker hasn’t felt any along her journey so far.
“My family made it really clear to not feel that way,” Stricker said. “I have my family background, but I personally don’t have a background because I had never done it. To win and then have this opportunity really does validate a lot.”
Just like in the Badger Mutual Insurance Women’s Amateur, Stricker will be joined by her mom on the bag to help navigate the same venue she just won at. It’ll be the first professional tournament experience for Stricker, as well as her first taste of a LPGA Tour family event—both as a competitor and from a fan perspective.
“I’ve been to a good chunk of PGA events and have wanted to see the difference between the two,” said Stricker. “I’m going to try and play well, but if I don’t, it’ll be a great opportunity to meet some new people. Obviously, I have only seen the collegiate level, so to see this level of competition will be different, but an awesome experience.”