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Steve Stricker positive despite playoff loss

American Steve Stricker refused to dwell on the negatives after losing to Swede Daniel Chopra in a playoff for the Mercedes-Benz Championship on Sunday.

Stricker was edged out at the fourth extra hole on Kapalua Resort's Plantation Course, his par five being trumped by Chopra's two-putt birdie.

"I can't be disappointed," the 40-year-old American told reporters after falling short in his bid to win the PGA Tour's season-opening event.

"It was a great start to the year and I'm very pleased with the way I played. I was a couple over after the first nine holes of the tournament and to get it back to 18 under, I did a lot of good things."

Stricker, who booked his place in the winners-only field with his fourth PGA Tour victory at last year's Barclays Classic, forced the playoff with a storming finish to the final round.

After holing out with a lob wedge from 48 yards to eagle the par-four 12th, he birdied 15, 16 and the last for a nine-under-par 64 to take the tournament into extra holes.

"It was a lot of fun," the Wisconsin native said of his last-day charge and an 18-under total of 274.

"I told my caddie I needed to birdie the last three to get to 19 (under).

"I really felt confident that I was going to make the putts and I continued to make birdies," added the American, who needed only 27 putts in the final round. "I just had a target number in mind, and it was a lot of fun trying to get there."

Stricker, the PGA Tour's Comeback Player of the Year for the last two seasons, has already turned his sights on next week's Sony Open at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu.

"I don't know any other way to put it except that I'm excited about the way I'm playing," he said.

"It would have been nice to come away with a victory here, but again, I just continue to improve.

"I feel like I keep building and I keep learning about myself and my game and a lot of great things happened to me again this week."

 

 




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