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

Where next?

European Tour: Alexander Noren wins Omega European Masters