Kirk plays his way out of FedEx play- offs, then plays his way right back in

Chris Kirk at the Deutsche Bank Championship
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Chris Kirk birdied four of the last five holes at the Deutsche Bank Championship to barely advance to the next round.
Associated Press

Series: PGA Tour

Published: Tuesday, September 04, 2012 | 11:03 a.m.

NORTON, Mass. -- Chris Kirk was No. 81 in the FedExCup, needing a solid final round to get into the top 70 and move on to the next playoff event. This was not the start he envisioned -- six bogeys through 13 holes against only one birdie at the Deutsche Bank Championship as he tumbled down the leaderboard and seemingly out of the playoffs.

What followed was just as surprising. He holed a 40-foot birdie putt on the 14th, and Kirk was on his way. He birdied four of the last five holes to barely advance.

"A little shocked that I put myself in that position," Kirk said. "And then very shocked that I managed to dig myself out. It just shows how crazy this game is."

He wasn't alone.

Dicky Pride birdied his last two holes to advance to the BMW Championship, keeping alive his hopes of reaching the Tour Championship. He knew he was close, but tried not to look at a leaderboard so he could concentrate on his golf.

Pride turned to his caddie on the 18th when he stood over a chip for eagle and said, "Do I need to make this?"

"He said, `No, let's just play.' Which is what I was trying to do," Pride said. "He helped me get back to where I needed to be."

John Merrick needed an eagle on the 18th to knock Pride out of the 70th position, but it came up short. Jonas Blixt finished in 71st on the FedExCup and goes home.

Oddly enough, Pride, Blixt and Merrick came into the TPC Boston at No. 96, No. 97 and No. 98 in the standings. Each of them had a 6-under 278. Each of them moved up 26 spots in the standings. It was Pride, however, who got the last spot.