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Monday, September 7, 2009

Steve Stricker Seeks PGA Playoff Win in Boston; Woods Is 9 Back

Steve Stricker, Retief Goosen and Sean O’Hair are tied atop a crowded leaderboard entering the final round of the U.S. PGA Tour’s second playoff event.

The leading trio are 13-under par, while Padraig Harrington is among 17 players within five shots of the lead at the Deutsche Bank Championship in Boston. Tiger Woods is nine strokes back in a tie for 30th place at the tournament, which concludes on today’s U.S. Labor Day holiday. The winner will receive $1.35 million.

Stricker, who’s second to Woods in the FedEx Cup playoff standings, said he’s anxious for another chance at his third title of the year after bogeying the final hole to tie for second at last week’s Barclays event in New Jersey.

“It’s draining for a couple of days, but it was nice to go home and get away from it,” Stricker said at a news conference. “We had an extra day in there because this tournament started on Friday, so I felt a little bit recharged for this event and ready to go. I’m excited again for the opportunity.”

Stricker eagled his final hole in shooting a 6-under-par 65 yesterday at the Tournament Players Club of Boston. Goosen shot 68 and O’Hair fired a 70.

Harrington, Kevin Na and Scott Verplank are tied at 12- under par, one shot ahead of Jerry Kelly and Kevin Sutherland. Jim Furyk, Dustin Johnson, John Senden and Jason Dufner are three shots behind the leaders, while Geoff Ogilvy, Angel Cabrera, Matt Kuchar and Marc Leishman are tied at 9-under.

“There are a lot of good players at the top, so I don’t expect guys like Stricker and Harrington and Goosen to fall backwards,” said O’Hair, who won the Quail Hollow Championship in May. “I don’t know how low you’re going to have to go, but you’re still going to have to have a nice round of golf.”

Tiger Trails

Woods, the No. 1 player in golf’s Official World Ranking, wasn’t able to make a run at the leaders during the third round, shooting a 1-over 72.

“The players are happy that he’s not up top of the leaderboard,” said Goosen, who’s seeking his second win of the season after ending a four-year title drought at the Transitions Championship in March.

The top 70 players in the playoff standings after today’s final round advance to the BMW Championship, beginning Sept. 10 at Cog Hill Golf and Country Club in Lemont, Illinois. The 30 highest-ranked players after that event will vie for the $10 million bonus that the winner of the FedEx Cup will collect at the end of the Tour Championship in Atlanta from Sept. 24-27.

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