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A playoff break for McIlroy includes golf at Shinnecock and lunch with Bill Clinton

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NORTON, Mass. - Players have a four-day break between FedEx Cup playoff events because of the Friday start at the Deutsche Bank Championship. Some of them played golf in corporate outings. Others spent a few days in Manhattan.

Rory McIlroy played golf at Shinnecock Hills and spent one afternoon having a long lunch with former President Bill Clinton.

McIlroy said he was supposed to play golf with Clinton on Tuesday morning until something came up.

"I think he promised Hilary he had to do something," McIlroy said. "So he spent the morning with her and her family. But it was great. Anytime you get a chance to spend some time with a person like that — the stories that he can tell and the life experiences that he's had — just a great man to listen to."

McIlroy said the time quickly got away through all the stories, some of them on world affairs, some them involving golf.

"You look at your watch and you've not realized that you've been sitting there for three hours, chatting about any topic you want in the world," he said. "He has enough knowledge to know everything about it. ... It's really interesting and it's almost like you get a lifetime of education on that stuff that you didn't already know.

"It's obviously an honour for me to be in a position where I'm able to do things like that," he said. "So it was a cool afternoon."

Too bad he had to get back to the real golf.

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CADDIE SADNESS: PGA Tour caddies are planning to wear black hats Friday at the Deutsche Bank Championship as a tribute to the wife of one of their own. Lance Bennett's wife, Angela, died Wednesday after suffering a series of seizures.

Bennett works for Matt Kuchar, who is No. 4 in the FedEx Cup and is on the U.S. Ryder Cup team. They have a 4-year-old daughter, Emma.

Two of Bennett's closest friends, James Edmondson (who works for Ryan Palmer) and Gary Yarbrough (Scott Stallings), flew back to Dallas to help Bennett. Kuchar has hired another caddie for the week.

Edmondson tweeted that caddies and even some players would wear black hats and black shirts on Friday.

Kuchar said in a statement that he, wife Sybi and his sons "are sending our thoughts and prayer to Lance and Emma Brace during this devastating time."

"Angela was a cherished friend, a wonderful wife and a loving mother who made a major impact on all who were lucky enough to know her, and she will be greatly missed," Kuchar said.

Funeral services were pending. Edmondson said they would be Terrell, Texas.

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RYDER CUP REST: Sergio Garcia (No. 15) and Justin Rose (No. 20) are in good enough shape in the FedEx Cup that they can afford a week off during the playoff with a big month of four straight tournaments, a week off, and then the Ryder Cup.

Henrik Stenson, the defending FedEx Cup champion, is No. 66 and does not have that luxury. Only the top 70 advance to Denver next week. If he doesn't make it, that would mean three weeks without competition leading to the Ryder Cup.

He also doesn't want to be a statistic when it comes to winning the FedEx Cup. A year ago, Brandt Snedeker became the first FedEx Cup champion to make it back to East Lake the following year for the Tour Championship.

"For me, I'm playing as long as I'm in it," Stenson said. "I need some sort of a result this week to carry on to Denver. I don't need any miracles, but if I want to make it to Atlanta, I have a good showing either this week or next week. And I'd rather do it this week than wait until the last minute."

Stenson won the Deutsche Bank Championship a year ago, and then won at East Lake to capture the FedEx Cup. He hates the idea of not being able to defend, even the FedEx Cup.

"I feel like it would be a shame not to make it to the Tour Championship and defend my second title out of the two that I won here last year," Stenson said.

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DIVOTS: Davis Love III is now a grandfather. His agent, Mac Barnhart, said Lexi Love gave birth to a girl on Tuesday. Love, who turned 50 in April, plans to play every event for which he is eligible with the 2014-15 PGA Tour season starts at the Frys.com Open in October. ... Asked if he had the choice between winning seven British Open titles or one Masters, Rory McIlroy chose the seven claret jugs. It's all about numbers. ... Phil Mickelson is at No. 57 going into the Deutsche Bank Championship. Mickelson and Mahan are the only players with a chance to make it to the Tour Championship every year since the FedEx Cup began in 2007. Mahan already is in. The other player was Steve Stricker, whose season ended last week when he was No. 103 and did not play in The Barclays because of a hip injury.

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