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Stricker ends 6 year drought with playoff win

Tiger Woods tumbled to No. 4 in the standings, 4,950 points behind Stricker, after skipping the first of four playoff events. Woods will join the chase for the $10 million deferred prize Friday outside Boston in the Deutsche Bank Championship.

All Stricker cared about was winning.

"I wasn't out there thinking about the FedEx Cup points," he said. "Obviously, winning the tournament is foremost. Everything that comes after that is icing on the cake. But yeah, I'm in great position now."

The victory was his first in the United States since the 1996 Western Open, when he was considered one of the bright young American players. But his game dropped off until he lost his PGA Tour card two years ago, and he spent the winter in Wisconsin hitting balls from a trailer to a frozen driving range.

After the four close calls this year - two in majors - the hard work paid off.

"I didn't see them as disappointments," Stricker said. "I thought that was another building block in what I was doing. ... I was moving in the right direction."

Geoff Ogilvy, the U.S. Open winner last year at nearby Winged Foot, shot a 69 to tie for fourth at 12 under with Mark Calcavecchia and two-time Westchester winner Ernie Els. Calcavecchia closed with consecutive 65s after opening with rounds of 67 and 75.

"I just lost it on Friday," Calcavecchia said.

Els finished with a 68.

Phil Mickelson (67) and Rich Beem (72) tied for seventh at 11 under.

Beem jumped from 134th to 113th in the FedEx Cup standings to stick around for at least another week. The top 120 advanced to the Deutsche Bank, where the field will be cut to 70 for the BMW Championship outside Chicago. After that, the top 30 will complete the playoffs in the Tour Championship at East Lake in Atlanta.

"You know if you don't play well you're going to get eliminated," Beem said.

Doug LaBelle II also moved into the top 120, birdieing the final hole to avoid elimination. He tied for 41st to move up one spot to 120th.

Steve Allan and Mathew Goggin dropped out after missing the cut. Allan began the week 119th, and Goggin was 120th.

Divots: With groupings for the first two rounds of FedEx Cup events set by the standings, Stricker will tee it up with Choi and Sabbatini in the Deutsche Bank. Woods will play with Mickelson and Vijay Singh, who missed the cut in his title defense. ... Beem's second shot on No. 18 deflected into CBS analyst Ian Baker-Finch's face after hitting a rail behind the green. Baker-Finch dropped to the ground, but was back on his feet a little later and appeared to be OK.

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