Classy Stricker snatches Deutsche Bank
BY Bruce Young | US PGA Tour | 2009 Deutsche Bank Championship | Round Four | 08 Sep 2009
Steve Stricker today birdied the final two holes of the Deutsche Bank Championship at the TPC Boston to win his third event of the year and take the lead in the race for FedEx Cup riches.
Stricker converted his share of the overnight third round lead he had with Sean O’Hair and Retief Goosen with an almost faultless display on day four, the only blemish coming when he was short with his approach at the par four 6th and took three to get down.
By the time he reached the par four 17th, Sticker trailed Jason Dufner by one shot with Scott Verplank about to join Dufner in the lead after putting the finishing touches to four consecutive birdies to complete his round.
That left Stricker with work to do if he was to either join the playoff or win outright. At the par four 17th he pulled his tee shot a little but got a lucky break as it ran thought the thick fescue rough into the fairway. A wedge from 138 yards downhill to the 14 feet set up a curling right to left birdie putt which he made to move into a share of the lead at 16 under.
A perfect drive at the last set up a fairway wood approach which he pulled a little but it finished just off the edge of the green. As Verplank and Dufner warmed up on the adjacent practice fairway, Stricker hit his pitch to 2 feet and the resultant birdie sealed the outcome.
Stricker’s victory takes his earnings to US$6,045,000, moving him well past his previous record year in 2007 and with the likelihood of a lot more to come, especially given next week’s BMW Championship is played on a golf course on which Stricker has won previously.
The 42-year-old Stricker has now won seven PGA Tour events, four of those coming in his forties.
Dufner and Verplank tied for second position, Dufner still seeking his first victory although despite not winning he will be delighted with his best ever finish on the PGA Tour, by far his biggest cheque and the chance for more next week in Chicago.
Verplank appeared only a ’bit player’ with four holes to play and a top ten finish seemed his only hope before reeling off the four consecutive birdies. His finish not only opened the possibility of victory but might well have given Fred Couples food for thought as far as Presidents Cup selections are concerned. It is hard to imagine that Couples will not choose Lucas Glover and Hunter Mahan but Verplank lifted his hopes.
Angel Cabrera, Dustin Johnson tied for 4th, just one shot out of the playoff while Geoff Ogilvy eagled the final hole to move to 14 under par and a 7th place finish to be the leading Australian.
Tiger Woods created a lot of excitement early today when he stormed through his opening seven holes in six under after starting the final round nine shots behind the lead. That run included a holed wedge at the par four 6th. He finished with 63 and in a share of 11th.
The next best of the Australians was John Senden, who finished 11th while Marc Leishman forced his way into the field for Chicago with an eagle at the last to finish in a share of 15th and just sneak inside the top 70 who advance to Cog Hill. Leishman’s week also guaranteed him of full status on the USPGA Tour in 2010, this week’s effort moving the talented Victorian close to US$1 million in earnings in his rookie season.
Jason Day was 19th, Greg Chalmers 36th and Mathew Goggin 46th.
Australians who will progress to the BMW starting in Chicago this week are Geoff Ogilvy, John Senden, Jason Day, Robert Allenby, Nathan Green and Marc Leishman.