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PGA TOUR: Stroud finishes tied for seventh in Phoenix Open

Chris Stroud made sure his 37th birthday was memorable with another remarkable display of short game magic in the final round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

Despite hitting only six fairways and eight greens, the Port Neches-Groves ex salvaged a closing two-under-par 69 that moved him into a tie for seventh with a 72-hole total of 273. Rickie Fowler, after blowing a four-stroke lead, shot 74 to win with 267.

For Stroud, the bottom line was much bigger than his $221,283 paycheck. In a year when he’s under the gun to retain his PGA Tour playing card, and has missed two months with a shoulder injury, the T7 shot him up 83 places to 115 in Fed Ex Cup points. And he did it despite week-long woes with his driver.

Stroud hit only 27 of 56 fairways, which ranked 60 out of the 73 players who played the weekend. Bad drives led to a triple bogey on day one and a double bogey Saturday. Numerous errant tee shots kept him in a perpetual scramble mode.

That was reflected in some mind boggling post-tourney stats. He finished first in putts per greens in regulation, second in strokes gained putting, T1 in sand saves, seventh in strokes gained total and eighth in strokes gained around the green.

Stroud played only one hole Sunday before trouble off the tee led to a bogey. He quickly got that shot back with a tap-in birdie on the par-5 third, stayed even through eight with par-saving putts of 10 feet and 8 feet, then reached one under by chipping in from 39 feet on 9.

There were more dramatics on 10 when he rolled in a 29-foot birdie to get to two under. He lost a shot at 12, then again quickly rebounded with a 3-foot birdie at the par 5, 13, after hitting the green for eagle.

There was one more huge save necessary to insure a top-10 finish. On the par-5 15th, his second shot landed in water fronting the green. Par was salvaged by rolling in a 22-foot putt.

Nothing eventful happened the final three holes, with the highlight being some 50,000 fans serenading him him by singing happy birthday.

While it was a great day and a highly successful week for Stroud, things continued to go south for Andrew Landry. Landry made a triple bogey on his second hole and wound up shooting 75. After starting the weekend tied for 11th, rounds of 74-75 dropped him all the way to T60 at 284.

The payout for Landry was $15,194.