Hoffman wins by five shots; Tiger holds on to No. 1 ranking
Charley Hoffman was rolling in so many putts he lost track of how many birdies he made Monday. His final stroke on a Labor Day masterpiece was his 11th birdie, more than enough to win the Deutsche Bank Championship in Norton, Mass.
The question is whether it was enough to make him a last-minute pick for the Ryder Cup.
"Hopefully, I'm on the real short list," he said.
Hoffman ran off four straight birdies early to erase a four-shot deficit, seized control by holing a bunker shot on the 13th and closed with a 9-under 62 on the TPC Boston for a five-shot victory over Geoff Ogilvy, Jason Day and Luke Donald.
Tiger Woods had three rounds in the 60s for the first time this year. He closed with a 69 to tie for 11th, and kept his No. 1 ranking in the world when Phil Mickelson imploded again.
Mickelson needed only to finish fourth to become No. 1 for the first time in his career. Instead, he opened the back nine with a triple bogey, made a double bogey on the 17th and shot 76 to finish 15 shots behind in a tie for 25th. A month ago, Mickelson had an equally good chance at Firestone and shot 78.
Even if he doesn't make the Ryder Cup, the FedEx Cup is looking pretty good for Hoffman. He was No. 59 in the standings and arrived at the TPC Boston wanting to make sure he advanced to the third round of the playoffs next week outside Chicago. He wound up a winner, moving to No. 2 in the standings. That assures him a shot at the $10 million bonus, and puts him in all four majors next year after not playing any of them this year.
That includes his first trip to the Masters, one of many perks.
"The best perk would be the Ryder Cup," Hoffman said. "No question I think I can contribute to that team. If I can shoot 62 here in the playoffs, I'm pretty sure I can handle the Ryder Cup."
U.S. captain Corey Pavin will make his four selections Tuesday morning in New York. The frontrunners are Woods, Zach Johnson and Stewart Cink, with no one standing out as the fourth choice.
■ David Snyder of Somerset finished third at the Woodward Video Junior at The Greenbrier, an American Junior Golf Association tournament played in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. Snyder shot a 1-over par 214 over three rounds, including a 69 on Monday.
"I played pretty well," Snyder said. "The top five feels pretty good."
Brendan Connolly of Castle Rock, Colo., who was 2-under par overall, won the tournament. Fred Allen Meyer of Nicholasville was eight shots back at 219.
Wozniacki, Djokovic advance at U.S. Open
Three-time major champion Maria Sharapova lost to top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki 6-3, 6-4 Monday in the fourth round of the U.S. Open. Sharapova, who won the 2006 title at Flushing Meadows, hurt herself with nine double-faults and a total of 36 unforced errors — 26 more than 2009 U.S. Open runner-up Wozniacki. In the quarterfinals, Wozniacki will face 45th-ranked Dominika Cibulkova, who eliminated 2004 U.S. Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova 7-5, 7-6 (4).
Third-seeded Novak Djokovic rolled into his sixth straight Grand Slam quarterfinals, defeating American Mardy Fish in straight sets. Djokovic beat the 19th-seeded Fish 6-3, 6-4, 6-1. Djokovic converted six of eight break points. Djokovic improved to 6-0 against Fish.
■ Patrick McEnroe resigned as U.S. Davis Cup captain Monday, saying his 10-year tenure will end after the Americans' playoff against Colombia this month. McEnroe led the United States to a Davis Cup title in 2007. This year, though, the Americans must win in the playoffs to secure a spot in the top tier of the Davis Cup, the first time they have found themselves in that position since 2005.
Behanan to announce college choice
Chane Behanan, a 6-foot-7, 255-pound power forward from Bowling Green who is a leading candidate for Mr. Basketball honors, will choose a college on Tuesday. "He's going to make an announcement tomorrow morning," Bowling Green High coach D.G. Sherrill told Scout.com on Monday.
Behanan, who was the MVP of the NBA Top 100 Camp at Charlottesville, Va., in mid-June, took a visit to Louisville over the weekend. He's also considering Kentucky, Ohio State and West Virginia.
Scout.com ranks Behanan at No. 29 overall in the 2011 class.
■ Chauncey Billups scored 19 points, Kevin Durant had 17, and the United States powered into the quarterfinals of the world championship with a 121-66 victory over Angola on Monday in Istanbul. Eric Gordon and Rudy Gay also scored 17 for the Americans, who will face Russia on Thursday night. Russia defeated New Zealand 78-56 behind Andrey Vorontsevich's 18 points and 11 rebounds.
10 drivers locked into NASCAR's Chase
Ten drivers have secured spots in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. No one is feeling better about his chances than Tony Stewart. The car owner raced the No. 14 Chevy to his first win of the year, pulling away from Carl Edwards off the final restart Sunday night at Atlanta Motor Speedway. It was his 38th career victory, and third at Atlanta.
"I don't know if we have peaked yet," said Stewart, who snapped a 31-race winless streak that was the second-longest of his 12-year career. "I think we've got room to be better."
With one race to go before the 12-man Chase for the Sprint Cup championship, the points leader is Kevin Harvick. Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch, Stewart, Carl Edwards, Jeff Burton, Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Busch, Matt Kenseth and Denny Hamlin have also earned spots in the 10-race playoff. Still looking to lock up spots heading into next weekend's race at Richmond — essentially the regular-season finale — are No. 11 Greg Biffle and No. 12 Clint Bowyer.
Bowyer has a 117-point lead on No. 13 Ryan Newman and merely needs to finish 28th in Richmond, Va., to clinch his spot. Sentimental favorite Mark Martin, trying to win his first Cup championship at age 51, slipped a spot in the standings and is now 15th — a daunting 147 points out of the playoff.
Velazquez, Pletcher take Saratoga titles
John Velazquez finished Saratoga's meet as the top jockey with 57 wins to Javier Castellano's 54. Ramon Dominguez, who was going for his 10th consecutive meet title on the NYRA circuit, finished third with 46.
Todd Pletcher was the top trainer with 36 wins, 16 ahead of last year's top trainer Linda Rice. It was Pletcher's seventh Saratoga meet title and his win total eclipsed a previous personal best of 35. Pletcher saddled eight of owner Mike Repole's meet-best 13 winners.
■ One More Laugh set a course record while rolling to a wire-to-wire win in the $300,000 Cane Pace at Freehold Raceway on Monday, beating Rockin Image by 4¼ lengths at the New Jersey track. Driven by Tim Tetrick, the gelding covered the mile in 1:50.3 to win the opening leg of pacing's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds. The Little Brown Jug on Sept. 23 and the Messenger Stakes on Nov. 6 are the other two races in pacing's Triple Crown.
The last word
Chad Campbell was disqualified Saturday from the PGA Tour's Deutsche Bank Championship after officials realized he never registered for the tournament. Much like the formality of signing a scorecard at the end of a round, PGA Tour players must register when they get to a tournament before it starts. Campbell even played the first round, shooting a 1-over 72, before his oversight was discovered. He was 83rd on the FedEx Cup points list, meaning he will not advance to the next tournament, which is open to the top 70 on the list. It was his second administrative blunder. A year ago, he was on a plane to Hawaii for the Sony Open when he realized he never entered the tournament. Said Campbell:
"It's starting to be a trend."