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Steve Stricker's victory is a moving experience

His one-shot win at the Deutsche Bank Championship vaults him to the top of the FedEx Cup standings and to No. 2 in the world rankings.

September 08, 2009|Associated Press

NORTON, MASS — . -- Steve Stricker can build a strong case for the Deutsche Bank Championship as the biggest victory of his career.

It was his first win with Tiger Woods in the tournament. His third victory of the season moved him up to a career-high No. 2 in the world ranking. And he replaced Woods atop the FedEx Cup standings.

What satisfied Stricker the most, however, was how he won.

In a wild Labor Day finish on the TPC Boston, where half a dozen players came to the par-five 18th hole with hopes of winning, Stricker finished with consecutive birdies for a four-under-par 67 and a one-shot victory Monday.

"Knowing I had to make a couple of birdies and actually doing it means a lot," he said.

The names kept changing atop the leaderboard throughout the back nine, and Stricker only found comfort from seeing his name in the mix. Jason Dufner was the first player to break out of the tie with a two-putt birdie on the 18th. Standing in the 17th fairway, Stricker heard another cheer through the trees and figured it was Scott Verplank making birdie -- his fourth in a row -- to tie for the lead.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Friday, September 11, 2009 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 4 National Desk 1 inches; 47 words Type of Material: Correction
Golf: A Sports article Tuesday on the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship said Tiger Woods shot a 63 and tied for 11th at eight under par. Woods was eight under in the final round with that 63. But he was 12 under for the tournament.

That's when Stricker took over. He knocked in a 15-foot birdie on the 17th, helped by getting a good read on the tricky putt from Retief Goosen. Then, he split the middle of the 18th fairway and hit a hybrid just over the green. He hit a delicate chip to tap-in range for the win.

Stricker finished at 17-under 267 and earned $1.35 million. He also built a 909-point lead over Woods in the FedEx Cup with two tournaments remaining. Because the points are reset after next week in Chicago, Stricker is assured of being no worse than the No. 2-seeded player in the Tour Championship with a chance to win the $10-million prize.

Dufner and Verplank finished a shot back, and Angel Cabrera, Dustin Johnson and Padraig Harrington tied for fourth at 15 under.

Woods shot a 63 and tied for 11th at eight under.

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