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Muddy ball hurts Stricker’s hopes for $10 million

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Associated Press
September 28, 2009
— Steve Stricker had a shot at $10 million. A muddy ball ruined his hopes.

Stricker was briefly atop the FedEx Cup standings Sunday during an ever-changing final round of the Tour Championship, but an unfortunate tee shot at the 16th hole led to a crushing bogey.


“Overall, it was a good day,” he said. “I gave it a good try until catching a mud ball.”


East Lake Golf Club was pounded by heavy rain shortly after the third round ended, and there were still plenty of damp spots on a warm, sunny final day. Stricker’s 280-yard tee shot at the 16th rolled through some mud, making his next shot difficult to control.


From 211 yards, the Edgerton native flew the ball far left of the hole, plopping down in a thick patch of rough. He failed to get up and-and-down from there, taking a bogey-5 that handed the FedEx Cup lead back to Tiger Woods. The world’s No. 1 player held it the rest of the way to capture the biggest payday in golf.


“I knew (the second shot) was going left, I just didn’t know how much and it’s tough to aim it over in the bleachers somewhere,” Stricker said. “It just took off and went over there.”


He pitched past the flag with his fourth shot, the ball rolling to a stop in the first cut of rough. His par save from 18 feet wasn’t even close, coming up about 3 feet short.


The bad break stymied Edgerton native’s momentum. Knowing he probably needed to close with a pair of birdies, he got too aggressive with a long putt at the next hole and ran it 9 feet past the cup. He missed the comebacker for his second straight bogey.


Stricker finished with a


1-under 69 that left him sixth in the tournament and third in the final FedEx Cup standings, good enough for a $2 million bonus.


Not bad, but not $10 million.


“It was a good run,” said Stricker, who won at Boston and tied for second in New York during the season-ending playoff. “I was confident. I was swinging aggressively at it, and things were going good.”



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