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Stricker: Stenson will be tough to beat

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Associated Press and Gazette staff
September 21, 2013

ATLANTA—Steve Stricker knows the odds are long of catching Henrik Stenson and win the FedEx Cup championships today.

“It's going to be pretty tough,” Stricker said after the third round of the Tour Champinship on Saturday. “He's playing great. It's going to have to be some ridiculously low by someone, and he's going to have to stumble, which I'm not seeing happen just because of the way he's been playing the last half of the year.”

Stenson takes a four-shot lead into today's final round of the Tour Championship, where he can capture two trophies worth $11.44 million, including the FedEx Cup.

Stricker, who had a 68, could win the FedEx Cup by winning the Tour Championship. He could win with a runner-up finish, provided Stenson finished lower than ninth and Zach Johnson—in the group at 4-under 206—was worse than seventh. 

Stenson had a nine-shot lead at the turn and walked off the 18th green with a three-putt bogey and his lead back to where it was at the start of the day.   

Dustin Johnson is in second and four shots back, and Stricker, who was at 5-under 205, were the only players within six shots of him. 

“He's played so well, and he's been so consistent and hit the ball so solidly that I don't see that happening tomorrow,” Stricker said of the possibility of catching Stenson

Stricker, who took one of the playoff events off and has played a reduced schedule, said fatigue might be affecting the rest of the field.

“I'm surprised by the rest of the field,” Stricker said. “We were talking a little bit about that today. It seems like a lot of lackluster play. I think guys are flat. It seems like a lot of guys are tired. You know, it's the end of the year.”

Stricker wouldn't be surprised if more players follow his routine next season.

“I think we're going to see that happen,” he said. “I think we're going to see some of these guys taking some of these playoff events off, especially next year when there's four in a row leading up.

“And then the guys play Bridgestone and the PGA. Some guys feel they need to play Windham. So there's a lot of golf there at the end of the year.

“And then like I say, four playoff events, a week off, Ryder Cup. I see next year some of those top players taking a break in there maybe to refresh themselves and get ready.”



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