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CHAMP News: Steve Stricker captures Furyk & Friends for fourth title of season

Steve Stricker shot a 3-under 69 to win the Constellation Furyk & Friends for his fourth PGA Tour Champions title of the year Sunday in Jacksonville, Fla.

Stricker entered the day with a three-stroke lead and finished the event at 14-under 202 to beat Harrison Frazar by two.

Stricker had a blistering 8-under-par 64 Saturday to launch into the lead before playing steady golf on Sunday. His four birdies came at each of the four par-5 holes at Timuquana Country Club.

He played 46 straight holes without a bogey before dropping a shot at the par-4 18th Sunday.

“I felt like if I could go around here and not make a bogey today and take care of the par 5s, birdie two or three of them, shoot 3 under par or 4 under par,” Stricker said, “it was going to take a really special round (for somebody to catch me).”

Stricker’s stellar season comes after he had a bout with what he termed a “mystery illness” that left him hospitalized for two weeks over the winter. He lost 25 pounds at the time and only returned to competition in April.

“I really didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know where I was going to be, I didn’t know where my game was going to be. When I was starting to come back and hitting it super short and my body felt awful, I was just hoping to play really more than anything.

“I’m blessed to be out here to play and to do the thing I love to do.”

Frazar shot the round of the day with a bogey-free, 7-under 65 to climb the leaderboard, though he didn’t get close enough to challenge Stricker. Frazar made seven birdies, including each of Timuquana’s first three holes.

Frazar was projected to move from 70th place to 52nd in the Charles Schwab Cup money list, cementing his place in the first leg of the Schwab Cup playoffs later this month at the Dominion Energy Charity Classic.

“That was goal No. 1 was to try to make enough money to get into the playoffs,” Frazar said. “After I got off to the hot start early, I looked up and kind of realized that it was just me and Strick there for a little bit, so maybe I’ll try to make a few more and see what happens. So the goals changed as the week went on.”

Tournament host Jim Furyk (69 Sunday) finished third at 11 under. Bernhard Langer of Germany (68) and Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand (69) tied for fourth at 10 under, and Ireland’s Padraig Harrington (69) placed sixth at 9 under.

Formerly a one-day charity exhibition, the Furyk & Friends was elevated to a regular Champions event last year. Furyk tied for fourth last year and was tied for the lead after Friday’s opening round before finishing with consecutive rounds of 69.

–Field Level Media

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