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Hoffman's big victory aids bid for Ryder Cup

NORTON, Mass. — 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 FedEx Cup points, giving him a shot at the $10 million bonus.

He gets to play all four majors in 2011 after not getting into any this year. That includes a trip to 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 9-under 62, the best finish by a winner at 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 69 to keep his No. 1 ranking for the 274th straight week — with an assist from Phil Mickelson (76), who imploded on the back nine with a triple bogey and double bogey.

"I feel good about what I've been working on," Woods told PGATour.com. " … You're not going to hit every shot perfect. To be able to go out there and understand what my fixes are going to have to be and then be able to rectify it out there is pretty good."

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.

Pavin announces his four selections this morning in New York.

Starting the final round four shots behind Jason Day, Hoffman erased the deficit with four straight birdies early in his round. Then came a mixture of good breaks and great shots and a golden 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 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.

Hoffman closed 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."

Mickelson had his best chance at dethroning Woods. Mickelson needed only to finish fourth to be No. 1 and was in range until twice hitting into the hazard on No. 10 for triple bogey, sending him to 41 on the back nine.

Steve Stricker entered with a shot to supplant Woods at No. 1 but finished ninth.

The real heartbreak belonged to Kris Blanks (70), who appeared to make the field for next week's event in Chicago until Charlie Wi birdied the last hole to bump him to No. 71 in FedEx Cup points. The final spot went to Scott Verplank, who withdrew Saturday with a wrist injury.

Hoffman's big victory aids bid for Ryder Cup 09/06/10 [Last modified: Monday, September 6, 2010 10:34pm]
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