Stricker wins Deutsche Bank, takes over FedEx lead|
Norton, MA (Sports Network) - Steve Stricker birdied the final two holes
Monday to come from behind and win the Deutsche Bank Championship by a single
Stricker closed with a four-under 67 to finish at 17-under-par 267.
"It was tough. Even though the wind wasn't blowing [hard], there was enough of
a breeze that it was swirling around a bit, and that made club selection
difficult at times, and the pins were tough, but I finished one off," said
Stricker, who earned $1.35 million for the victory.
Stricker also moved past Tiger Woods for the No. 1 spot in the FedEx Cup
standings. Woods ended in a share of 11th at 12-under-par 272.
Stricker was one stroke better than Scott Verplank (67) and Jason Dufner (65),
who shared second at minus-16.
Dustin Johnson (66), Masters champion Angel Cabrera (65) and three-time major
winner Padraig Harrington (68) all had a share of the lead late in the final
round but ended in a tie for fourth at 15-under-par 269.
There were eight separate players that owned at least a piece of the lead
during Monday's final round, but it came down to Dufner, Verplank and
Dufner, who had six birdies and a bogey on the front nine, parred his first
eight holes of the second nine. Dufner two-putted for birdie on the par-five
18th to set the clubhouse lead at 16-under.
Verplank had three bogeys and three birdies through 14 holes and was four
behind Dufner. He turned it on late, though; after birdies on 15 and 16,
Verplank poured in a 25-footer for birdie on the par-four 17th.
The 45-year-old Verplank knocked his second onto the fringe at the 18th. He
hit his third within two feet and tapped in for birdie to join Dufner in the
clubhouse at 16-under.
Stricker had a bogey on the sixth to go with three birdies in the first seven
holes. After nine consecutive pars from the eighth, Stricker made his move on
the closing holes.
At the par-four 17th, Stricker left himself 15 feet for birdie. He drained
that putt to grab a share of the lead at minus-16.
Stricker found the fairway off the tee at the last, then hit his second just
off the edge of the green. He pitched to two feet and kicked in the birdie
putt to seal his third win of the 2009 season and seventh of his career.
"It's been at lot of fun and I'm just thrilled to death to be playing the way
I'm playing," said Stricker, who is a combined 86-under par during the three
years of the FedEx Cup playoffs.
Verplank was denied his sixth PGA Tour win but remained undaunted.
"I played really good leading up to today. The first 10 or 12 holes, I was a
little quick and slapping it around not too good," admitted Verplank. "I said
stop wasting the day out here and relax. Once I hit it close on 15, then made
that putt on 16, I knew I was going to birdie 17. I had a nice putt at it on
18, but that was pretty fun."
Dufner collected his sixth top 10 of the season and his first second-place
finish on the PGA Tour.
"The playoffs are set up for a lot of movement, so I knew I needed a solid
week to at least guarantee I could play next week," said Dufner, who entered
this event 57th in the FedEx Cup standings. "This is my fourth year, and I've
been close a couple of times and feel like if I keep playing well one of
these weeks I'm going to win one of them."
Woods was the early story as he fired an eight-under 63 to briefly get within
one stroke of the lead.
After three straight birdies from the second, Woods holed out for eagle on the
par-four sixth to jump to minus-nine. The 2006 champion had a tap-in birdie on
the par-five seventh then parred eight and nine to make the turn in 30
That 30 matched the front-nine TPC Boston record that Adam Scott set en route
to winning in 2003. Woods, in 2006, and Mike Weir, in 2008, also posted 30 on
the front nine.
Woods birdied the 10th to move within two of the leaders at 11-under but found
a bunker off the tee at the par-three 11th and that led to a bogey. He
recovered that stroke on 13 and got within one of the leaders, who still
hadn't teed off, with an eight-foot birdie effort on the 15th.
Needing a pair of birdies and an eagle over the last three holes to shoot 59,
Woods parred 16 before tripping to a bogey on 17. Woods two-putted for birdie
at the last to finish at 12-under, where he trailed by two before Stricker
finished four clear of him.
"It could have been a little bit lower. I made that mistake at 11, hit the
wrong club there and three-putted 17," Woods said. "It probably could have
been a couple less than that, but it still wouldn't have been good enough."
Former U.S. Open champion Geoff Ogilvy closed with a five-under 66 to end
alone in seventh at 14-under-par 270. Retief Goosen (71) and Sean O'Hair (71),
who both shared the lead entering the final round with Stricker, tied for
eighth place with Jim Furyk (68).
Woods ended alongside Jerry Kelly (70), John Senden (69) and Kevin Na (71) at
Next week's BMW Championship is limited to the top 70 on the FedEx Cup points
Sergio Garcia led the group that played their way into the top-70. That group
also included Jason Bohn, Woody Austin, Marc Leishman, Bryce Molder, Stephen
Ames, Jeff Overton and Bubba Watson.
Brett Quigley, Boo Weekley, Lee Janzen, Briny Baird, 2008 FedEx Cup champion
Vijay Singh, J.J. Henry, U.S. Presidents Cup captain Fred Couples and Justin
Rose were among those that played this week and failed to advance.
09/07 18:58:11 ET