November 23, 2015

When do no majors trump two majors? When it’s a head-to-head duel for Badger State honors between Steve Stricker and Andy North. Thorp native Andy North carries plenty of ammo into this fight, thanks to two U.S. Open wins, in 1978 and ’85, plus a third PGA Tour title at Westchester and one Champions Tour win (co-victory with Tom Watson) in an injury-plagued career. North was raised in Monona. He graduated from Monona Grove High in 1968 and a year later won the 1969 Wisconsin State Amateur. He became an All-American at the University of Florida, played on the 1985 Ryder Cup team and in later life has become one of the game’s most respected broadcasters. But a lack of consistency on Tour and mediocre results in the majors outside of his two wins relegate the Madison resident to second place. Edgerton’s Steve Stricker, on the other hand, has made a career out of comebacks, winning Comeback Player of the Year twice in succession in 2006 and ’07. He has 12 PGA Tour wins and a rank of eighth on the all-time money list. That’s rarified air. Among his 12 wins are one World Golf Championship and two FedEx Cup playoff events, as well as three straight John Deere Classic titles. Stricker took care of business locally as well, winning five Wisconsin State Opens, the first (in 1997) while still an amateur. Stricks, who also lives in Madison, reached a career high of No. 2 in the World Ranking in 2009 and ’10. That’s sufficient for No. 1 honors in Wisconsin.