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The Tour Report

May 30 2012

6:02 PM

FedExCup: Stricker's time to heat up

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Steve Stricker will seek his second victory of 2012 this week at Murifield Village.
FEDEXCUP: Standings | May's biggest, best | Who's up, down | Leaders | 2012 Winners | More By Chris Dunham, PGATOUR.COM The only player to record multiple victories in each of the last three years on TOUR, Steve Stricker, returns to Murifield Village to defend his title at the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance.
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Stricker, who earned the nickname “Mr. September” because of stellar performances in the FedExCup Playoffs (he’s never finished outside the top 20 in the final standings), may need to find a more summer-suitable nickname. Of his 12 career victories, seven have come after the month of May and two have come in May’s final week. Historically when the weather heats up, so does Stricker’s game. Last season, Stricker entered the Memorial without a victory and at No. 34 in the FedExCup standings. His victory moved him to 11th and then a third-consecutive John Deere Classic win pushed him all the way to No. 2. This season, he has a victory at the season opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions, but at No. 21 in the standings, he’s nearly 1,000 points of Jason Dufner’s pace. Stricker’s streak of 49 consecutive made cuts came to an end in his last outing at THE PLAYERS. After two weeks off, he looks to build on a couple other streaks -- sub par rounds at Murifield Village (9) and consecutive top-10 finishes following missed cuts (3). FIVE GUYS: A quintet of players could unseat Dufner atop the FedExCup standings this week with a victory at the Memorial Tournament. Hunter Mahan (No. 2), Bubba Watson (No. 4), Phil Mickelson (No. 5), Rory McIlroy (No. 7) or Carl Pettersson (No. 8) would move ahead in the season-long race for the FedExCup by winning at Murifield Village. In that group, 2006 champion has arguably the best track record at Murifield Village. McIlroy has top-10 finishes in both of his Memorial starts (including a solo 5th last year). Mickelson also has a pair of top-10 finishes in this event and tied for 13th last season. The two higher-rated players, Mahan and Watson, have combined for 11 starts but no top 10s at Murifield Village. MORE ON THIS WEEK:
The Memorial Tournament hosts seven of the top 10 in the FedExCup standings this week. In addition to the five who could become No. 1 this week are No. 9 Rickie Fowler, who was a 2010 runner-up at Murifield Village, and Johnson Wagner, January’s Player of the Month presented by Avis