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Hoffman wins Deutsche Bank; Tiger still No.1

 
Charley Hoffman couldn't count all the perks that came with winning the Deutsche Bank Championship, just like he lost track of the 11 birdies he made in a Labor Day masterpiece.

He moved up 57 spots to No. 2 in the FedEx Cup standings, giving him a shot at the $10 million bonus.

He gets to play all four majors, after not getting into any of them this year. That includes a trip down Magnolia Lane at Augusta National to compete in his first Masters.

And that might not be all.

"The best perk, hopefully, will be a Ryder Cup berth," Hoffman said after closing with a 9-under 62, the best finish by a winner at the TPC Boston since the tournament began in 2003. "Obviously, I wasn't in contention, but I hope I am now. It would be an honor to play, and I think I can play well."

Tiger Woods shot a 69 and keeps his No. 1 ranking for the 274th week in a row, with an assist from Phil Mickelson, who imploded on the back nine with a triple bogey and double bogey to shoot 76.

Woods is expected to be a Ryder Cup pick, along with Zach Johnson and Stewart Cink. No one stands out for the fourth selection.

Hoffman wasn't on U.S. captain Corey Pavin's list of players to call Monday night, and that might not change. Even if his name is not called when Pavin announces his four selections Tuesday morning in New York, the Hoff isn't about to lose any sleep.

"You're not going to take this one away from me," he said.

Hoffman stole it from everyone else.

Starting the final round four shots behind Jason Day, he erased the deficit with four straight birdies early in his round. Then came a mixture of good breaks and great shots, and a midas touch with the putter for the California kid with blond locks flowing under his cap.

He thought his 4-iron was short and headed for the bunker on No. 11 when it barely cleared, tumbled through the rough and settled 3 feet away. From the front bunker on the 13th, trying to get it close on the firm greens, he holed it for an unlikely birdie.

Once he realized he was in the lead, he poured it on with three more birdies over the final four holes for a five-shot victory over Day (71), Geoff Ogilvy (66) and Luke Donald (69).

Not bad for a guy who was just hoping to stay in the top 70 and advance to the third round of the FedEx Cup playoffs.

"The playoffs, that's what you try to do," Hoffman said. "I wasn't even close to anything for the most part starting the playoffs. Played decent last week, and just got it going this week."

Did he ever. Hoffman finished at 22-under 262 to tie the tournament record first set by Vijay Singh in 2008.

"I had the best seat in the house to watch that," Ogilvy said. "He hit great shots all day. He putted really well and as soon as he got himself in trouble he'd go and hole a bunker shot or something like that. So it was a pretty class act and he never looked like doing anything but winning after about three holes."

It was the second victory of Hoffman's career, and will put him just outside the top 50 in the world.

Day was wild off the tee early, then struggled with his putter coming in. Donald, who also had a share of the lead early, remained winless on the PGA Tour since 2006.

The disappointment was Mickelson, with his best chance at replacing Woods atop the world ranking. He started five shots out of the lead, needing only a fourth-place finish to be No. 1. Mickelson was in range until twice hitting into the hazard on the 10th hole for a triple bogey, sending him to a 41 on the back nine.

A month ago, Mickelson was four shots out of the lead at Firestone and closed with a 78.

"It was a frustrating back nine for me," Mickelson said. "I got off to a poor start. I enjoyed the tournament, I enjoyed the chance I had heading into today, and it was fun to go out there."

It wasn't much fun for a few players who failed to finish among the top 70 to advance to the BMW Championship, which starts Wedneseday at Cog Hill. Steve Marino shot a 76 and John Rollins had a 79 to fall out of the top 70.

The heartbreak beloned to Kris Blanks, who closed with a 70 and appeared to narrowly make the field in Chicago until Charlie Wi birdied the last hole to bump him down to No. 71. The final spot went to Scott Verplank, who withdrew Saturday with a wrist injury.

Upon learning he was No. 70, Verplank planned a cortisone shot Monday night with hopes of playing.

Andres Romero, who started these playoffs at No. 115 and only got to the TPC Boston with a 40-foot birdie putt on the final hole last week, shot a 72 and narrowly made it at No. 68. The surprise was Tom Gillis, who was at No. 92 until a 65-65 weekend gave him a tie for fifth and moved him to No. 48.

Hoffman not only is headed to Chicago, he's starting to set some pretty big goals — about 10 million of them.

"That wasn't anything I was thinking about until this afternoon," Hoffman said of the big bonus for winning the FedEx Cup. "I wasn't really in the race. I guess that's why this format is pretty unique. You can come out of nowhere."

That's exactly what Hoffman did Monday.


- AP/ Getty images

 
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