Stricker rallies, wins Colonial playoff|
Fort Worth, TX (Sports Network) - Steve Stricker needed a chip-in birdie on 17
and a Tim Clark bogey on the 18th in regulation to get into a playoff Sunday
at the Crowne Plaza Invitational.
Stricker, who has five top-seven finishes this year, birdied the second extra
hole to win his fifth PGA Tour title.
"I've had a lot of close calls this year and I finally pulled one out," said
Stricker, who collected $1.116 million for the win. "It is a struggle to win
out here and there are a lot of thoughts and emotions going through your mind
and it is tough to get a 'W'. I've put in a lot of time, worked hard at it and
it paid off."
He closed with a two-under 68 as did Steve Marino to join Clark (70) in the
extra session at 17-under-par 263.
On the first extra hole, No. 18, all three players had birdie chances. Marino
missed first from 31 feet, then Stricker missed a 17-footer. Clark had the
best chance from seven feet, but pulled it left of the hole.
The threesome headed to the 17th for the second extra hole. Marino was in
trouble from the start as he found the left rough off the tee. His second came
up short and he pitched his third to 17 feet, where he two-putted for bogey.
"I felt like I played pretty well all day," said Marino. "I came so close on
making some putts and they just weren't going in for me. I'm disappointed, but
I feel like I played pretty well and looking forward to next week."
Clark and Stricker were in the fairway and Stricker played first. He stuffed
his second within four feet of the cup. Clark looked to be in as good of shape
as Stricker, but his approach ricocheted off the flagstick and rolled 22 feet
The South African missed his birdie effort, opening the door for Stricker.
"I can't take anything positive from today, as I obviously from the last hole
of regulation and the playoff have a lot of work to do when it comes to
closing out golf tournaments," Clark stated. "I saw how close Steve hit it (to
the flagstick) and I knew I had to do something like that as well. Bad break
or not, the tournament should have ended on the first playoff hole. I didn't
make a confident stroke and I pulled it."
Stricker drained the four-footer for birdie and his first win since 2007.
"This means a lot. It is a tough road. It's tough to win out here and I feel
fortunate anytime you get the chance to and finally I was able to chip one in
and make birdie here," said Stricker of the second playoff hole. "It feels
Jason Day finished one stroke out of the playoff as he closed with a one-under
69 to post 16-under-par 264. Paul Casey, who won last week in Europe, ended
alone in fifth at minus-15 after shooting 66 Sunday.
Stricker was as many as three shots back in the final round as Clark opened
with a birdie on the first to move to 18-under. However, Clark tripped to
bogeys on three and five to fall behind Stricker.
The 42-year-old Stricker birdied the fifth from four feet out, then drained a
16-footer for birdie on six to grab the lead at 17-under. That lead was brief
as he stumbled to bogeys on seven and eight.
Marino birdied the first, then bogeyed the second. He grabbed the lead at 17-
under with an eight-footer for birdie on five and a two-footer on six. He
would remain there as he parred the final 12 holes.
Clark joined Marino in the lead with a five-foot birdie putt on seven. Clark
regained the top spot as he birdied the 10th from 14 feet out. He pushed his
lead back to two strokes with a 23-foot birdie putt on the 13th.
Stricker erased his two bogeys with a 25-foot birdie putt on 10 and another
birdie on the 12th. That got him to 17-under, where he was two back.
Clark's lead dipped to one as bogeyed the 14th after finding a bad lie in the
rough off the tee. Stricker slipped two back when he bogeyed the 16th.
Stricker bounced right back with a chip-in birdie on 17 to get back within one
of Clark, who parred three straight after his bogey on 14. Stricker then
parred 18 and watched Clark and Marino play the final hole.
Marino two-putted for par from the fringe to join Stricker at minus-17. Clark
had a 12-foot par putt to secure his first PGA Tour win.
However, he left that putt short and the three men headed to the playoff where
Clark was again denied his first title. He remains the tour's all-time money
leader for those without a tour victory.
Woody Austin (68) and Vijay Singh (69) shared sixth place at 14-under-par 266.
Ian Poulter was two shots back at minus-12 after closing with a 68.
Jim Furyk, a two-time runner-up at Colonial, shared ninth place with Kevin
Sutherland, Kevin Na and Texas Open winner Zach Johnson at 11-under-par 269.
05/31 20:17:42 ET