The opening round of the Regions Tradition looked awfully familiar to fans at Greystone Golf & Country Club.
2019 Tradition champ Steve Stricker birdied all five Par-5s Thursday, setting the pace with a 7-under 65 in the first major of the PGA TOUR Champions season.
It’s a storybook comeback for Stricker. After helping lead the U.S. to a Ryder Cup win last November, Stricker came down with an illness that led to rapid weight loss, a heart scare and a week-plus stay at the University of Wisconsin Hospital. The mystery illness slowed his return to the Champions Tour this season.
Once cleared to play he came back with a vengeance two weeks ago, finishing second at the Insperity Invitational outside Houston. Last week, he recorded a top 10 finish at the Mitsubishi Electric Classic in Atlanta.
Now, back in the familiar environs of Birmingham, Alabama, Stricker holds a two-shot lead over Miguel Ángel Jiménez and Wes Short Jr. Stricker finished second at the 2021 Tradition, losing a sudden-death playoff to Alex Cejka.
One of the most significant events on the Birmingham sports scene, Regions and the PGA TOUR announced on Wednesday an extension to keep the Tradition here for nine more years, through 2032.
Since its inception more than 30 years ago, the Tradition has raised more than $20 million charitable dollars, with the bulk going to Children’s of Alabama, which serves the medical needs of children from across the Southeast.
In addition, the tournament has an annual economic impact of more than $25 million, helping fuel small businesses, nonprofits and community development throughout the Birmingham metro.
In case you missed it, prior to the beginning of championship play, the PGA Champions took to the course with some marquee names from the world of college football, the NBA and Major League Baseball in the annual Celebrity Pro-Am. Find more on that here.
Stay with Doing More Today for the duration of the Regions Tradition for continued coverage of the tournament.