By Fergus Bisset published
Steve Stricker climbed to the top of the FedEx Cup standings with a one-stroke victory over Jason Dufner and Scott Verplank in the Deutsche Bank Championship in Massachusetts.
Stricker emerged from a congested pack, making back-to-back birdies on his last two holes. He recorded a closing 67 and won by a single shot. “Knowing I had to make a couple of birdies and actually doing it means a lot.” He said.
With the victory, not only does Stricker take over from Tiger Woods at the head of the FedEx Cup standings but he’s also climbed to a career high of second on the Official World Golf Ranking. “It’s been a blast and I want to keep riding it out.” He said.
Jason Dufner posted a target of -16 after playing an excellent final round of 65 that included five birdies in his first seven holes. Scott Verplank then joined Dufner on that total with birdies at his last four holes. At that stage a playoff looked imminent but Stricker had other ideas. “I knew Strick would be tough to catch today,” said Verplank. “He may be the second-best player, at least on this tour. The guy is really playing good.”
Padraig Harrington led by a shot heading into the back nine of the final round but a hooked drive that ended in a hazard on the 10th then another hook on the 12th that resulted in a lost ball, cost him the title. He finished in a tie for fourth with Dustin Johnson and Masters Champion Angel Cabrera. After contending then failing to win at both the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and the USPGA Championship, this will go down as another missed opportunity for the Irishman.
“I'm disappointed with today because it was in my control,” said Harrington. “I was leading the tournament, and going into the back nine it was mine to lose. And I lost it. I'll feel this one a lot more than some of the others.”
Tiger Woods who began the final day nine strokes back, fired a closing 63 to finish in a tie for 11th. The World Number 1 went out in 30 and it briefly looked like a 59 might be on the cards before he made a bogey at the 17th.
Deutsche Bank Championship TPC Boston, Massachusetts Sep 3-6, purse $7,500,000, par 71
1 Steve Stricker (USA) 63 72 65 67 267 $1,350,000 T2 Jason Dufner (USA) 66 69 68 65 268 $660,000 T2 Scott Verplank (USA) 65 68 68 67 268 $660,000 T4 Angel Cabrera (Arg) 65 69 70 65 269 $310,000 T4 Padraig Harrington (Ire) 67 67 67 68 269 $310,000 T4 Dustin Johnson (USA) 68 65 70 66 269 $310,000 7 Geoff Ogilvy (Aus) 66 68 70 66 270 $251,250 T8 Jim Furyk (USA) 63 67 73 68 271 $217,500 T8 Retief Goosen (RSA) 65 67 68 71 271 $217,500 T8 Sean O’Hair (USA) 66 64 70 71 271 $217,500
Player scores listed in bold signifies Titleist ball usage only
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Fergus is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and it was concentrated by his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin (also of Golf Monthly)... Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?
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