Bobbi Stricker wants to play on the LPGA. She has always said her golf journey is about seeing how good she can become. Sticker played tennis in high school and only started playing golf in college. Every step she’s taken in golf, she said, is a “dream come true.” As she ticks off goals she has felt deep down in her soul, she begins to say the big one out loud.
“I fully believe that they should be spoken out in the world,” she said. “Say them out loud and you begin to believe them.”
This week, Stricker takes an important next step towards that big dream as she enters Stage II of the LPGA Qualifying School for the first time. Her father, Steve, a 12-time PGA Tour winner and the winning captain of the US squad at the 2021 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits, will once again be in touch.
Steve, 55, has 11 titles on the PGA Tour Champions, including four this season.
LPGA officials were forced to move Phase II from its original October dates in Venice, Florida, after Hurricane Ian caused significant damage to the area. A total of 178 players will tee off November 17-20 in the 72-hole stroke play event at Plantation Golf and Country Club on the Bobcat and Panther courses. There is no cutback and players, who range in age from 16 to 40, will compete in foursomes due to daylight issues. The field consists of 36 amateurs, including 16-year-old Holly Halim from Indonesia.
The top 45 and ties will advance to the LPGA Q-Series, held in Alabama the first two weeks of December. Everyone in the field in Venice, Florida deserves at least Epson Tour status.
Stricker Family: Nicki, Steve, Bobbi and Izzi (courtesy of Bobbi Stricker)
Last December, Bobbi caddie for her uncle, Mario Tiziani, at the PGA Tour Champions Qualifying Tournament. The front row seat was an eye opener, even for a player who has played golf all her life.
“I see and have seen all my life, really kind of way of doing things,” she said. “What my dad does works for him and makes sense, but it was really cool to see that maybe there’s a different way of doing things and to realize that it’s different for everyone and you do what suits you. “
Bobbi reports that everyone in the family is super competitive. There have been times when Bobbi and her younger sister, Izzi, a high school senior who recently won a state title, had competed against their parents in a match. Their mother, Nicki, played golf in Wisconsin. Sometimes Izzi and her dad take on Bobbi and Mom.
“The game keeps us together,” said Bobbi. “We travel with (daddy), we practice with him.”
Last year on Stage I, an excited Bobbi was intimidated by the whole scene at the Mission Hills Country Club. She ran on the Wisconsin golf team as a freshman and her first goal was to consistently break 80 and make the traveling team.
This year, a more seasoned Bobbi on Stage I experienced a profound sense of calm throughout the week. She finished with a 69 on the Dinah Shore Tournament Course to tie for seventh place and advance easily.
“It was the first time in my entire golfing career that I had complete control over the game of golf,” said Bobbi. “My spiritual journey is really aligned with my golf.”
Bobbi said she never considered herself a perfectionist until recently. She is a grinder like her father and came to see the importance of pardoning herself. For that example, she can look to Dad, whose newfound love for the game is palpable after a serious health scare.
“It’s like this joy radiating from him,” she said.
While in college in Wisconsin, Bobbi joined a Christian organization called Athletes in Action where she learned how to apply her faith to other areas of life.
“I’m saying today, golf has become church to me,” said Bobbi. “I find the Lord in nature and I always have.”
The beauty of the desert mountains in Stage I, she said, added to the calm she felt in Mission Hills.
“There’s only one being in this world that’s perfect, and that’s Jesus,” said Bobbi. “It relaxes me knowing I can never achieve that perfection, so golf will never be like that.”
Story originally appeared on GolfWeek