Jason Dufner was hitting balls on the range, prepping for the possible playoff. Scott Verplank was scoreboard gazing. Steve Stricker was birdieing the 72nd hole to win the Deutsche Bank Championship, the 2nd leg of the contrived FedEx Cup. Locked with Dufner and Verplank at -16 going into the par five 18th, Stricker calmly got up and down from a lie in the rough just left of the flag. The 18th played as the easiest hole on the course today, more like a long par four. Still, Stricker had to card the bird and card the bird he did. That leap- frogged him past Tiger Woods into first place in the FedEx Cup standings going into next week's BMW Championship at Cog Hill. Woods shot the round of the day with a 63, but was still five behind Stricker. Just proves the adage that you can't win the tournament on the first day, but you can lose it. Woods' failure to go low on days one and two, while others were piling up red numbers like Michael Moore at a $10 buffet, was his downfall. Don't feel too sorry for him however if he fails in this cup quest. He still has an extra bazillion or three and should survive. Angel Cabrera, Padraig Harrington, and Dustin Johnson finished tied for third at -15. Final Full Field Scores.
Stricker has "Big Mo" on his side and is more than earning the moniker of Mr. September. Nobody's hotter going into week three, with Steve having won three of his last nine events and coming in second last week. He's played well at Cog Hill with a win and a 3rd on his resume. Woods likes the layout as well and it will be fun to see if he can dismount the roller coaster that's been his scorecard of late and notch a win. This Average Golfer is of the opinion that Woods' game is just fine, it's the others that are getting better.
The bottom side of the field saw Vijay Singh, FedEx Cup defender, fall out of the chase, ending the week in 78th place. The top 70 advanced. Unlucky #71 was tagged on Sergio Garcia. Expect to see Sergio on TV earlier in the morning in Euro events. I'd chalk up Vijay's year to a knee rehab and Sergio's to a bad attitude. Remember Sergio, "Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean the whole world's not out to get you". On the upside, Verplank's 2nd place may have cemented him a spot on Freddy's President's Cup squad. Verplank can flat out putt, verified by his closing four birdies today, and putters are huge in a team event.
It's short wait until Cog Hill with the Monday finish, so polish up the leather recliner and keep the beer cold. In the meantime, enjoy the sterling weather (here anyway), and get out and lose some balls!