The Indianapolis Star from Indianapolis, Indiana on April 15, 1985 · Page 17
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The Indianapolis Star from Indianapolis, Indiana · Page 17

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Monday, April 15, 1985
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m m ' m m wmmmmmmm mm mm m-m rnrr t r r r m mm t v r" r o1 i -sr-" 1 mm -yvr Sports The Indianapolis Star MONDAY, APRIL 15, 1985 ArtsLeisure 23, 2 1 PAGE 17 Bill Benner Strange comeback hopes sunk AUGUSTA. GA. - There's been a lot done with the golf ball over the years spanning gutta percha insides to surlyn outsides. Manufacturers have made them fly higher and farther. They've made them hang in the air longer than it takes to dry a load on a clothesline. They've made them so you can't cut them with hacksaw. Or something even sharper like a skulled 1 iron. They've put more dimples in them than you can find in 200 hundred cute 5 year olds. And they've colored them like Easter eggs. , Yep, they've done just about everything that probably can be done with a golf ball. Except one thing. Make them float. No, even on Sunday in the Heaven like atmosphere of Augusta National Golf Club, you can't make a golf ball walk on water. All it will do is sink along with some golfer's hopes. Sunday, that golfer was Curtis Strange. What Curtis, of Kings Mill, Va and the PGA's leading money winner this year, was going to do Sunday was win him a Masters title after shooting an 80 in the first round. "Sure would have been a helluva story." said Strange later. Sure would have. Like none that have ever been written after a Masters championship, a major championship, or any old Quad Cities Open that anyone could remember. With nine holes to play, Curtis Strange had come from that 80 all the way to 7-under par, a gain of 15 strokes below regulation with a 65 in the second round, a 68 in the third and a 4 under 32 on the front nine Sunday. Even when Bernhard Langer suddenly got hot in front of Strange and sliced the lead to two, there seemed to be no reason for panic. Strange had 13 and 15 ahead. Augusta's downwind par 5s, tempting birdie or eagle holes if you conquer the water that guards both. Strange rolled the dice and busted, his approaches taking a dive into a watery grave. The postmortem was two bogeys. Langer tried the gamble and won two birdies and the Masters championship. Strange could have played it safe, of course, laying up short of the trouble and playing for pars, or maybe birdies with good chips. But, he said later, there was simply no doubt in his mind he could pull off the shots a 208-yard 4-wood into 13, a 200-yard 4-iron into 15, both downwind. In both cases, he thought he struck the required shots well, the one at 15 "perfect," Strange said. But the beauty was only in the eye of the beholder and the shots splashed down, a long with some second guesses. "You can't lay up when you just got a regular 4-wood shot," said Strange. "And 15 was playing like a par-4. 1 hit 4-iron and there's no telling what some of the guys hit there. Freddie Couples (one of the tour's longest hitters) probably used a sand wedge. (Playing partner Ray) Floyd hooked a 5-iron around the trees and reached. I guess I just misjudged the wind. "But it's not in my blood to lay up. I was thinking increasing my lead, not just holding onto it." Strange was asked whether he would remember this Masters more for the remarkable recovery he made from that opening 80 or for the four-shot lead that flew from his grasp on Augusta's back nine. "That's a good question ... a real good question," he said. "Time will tell, but I think over the long haul, losing this golf tournament is what will stick with me." It was lost, and won, on the par 5s, of Augusta, those make or break holes the winners, history dictates, must play well. Langer shot 9-under on the 16 long holes he played. Strange was 1-under. "Anytime you make bogeys on the par-5s here, you're not playing smart golf," said Strange. "I played awfully well other than those holes." That, he did, almost well enough to make a golfing miracle, winning the Masters with an 80. "Yeah, I thought about it a See BENNER Page 20 Langer By BILL BENNER STAR STAFF WRITER Augusta, Ga. History says the Masters Tournament is won, or lost, at two places. On Augusta National's par 5s. and on its final nine holes. And Sunday, it was won and lost at both specifically, the two par 5s, the 13th and 15th - on the back nine. There, on those go for it gamble holes. 27-year-old West German Bernhard Langer went birdie birdie. Curtis Strange, meanwhile, went bogey-bogey, his ball getting thirsty and flying into the creek that abuts the 13th and the pond the fronts the 15th. That four-shot swing cost Strange the four-shot lead he carried into the final nine holes and propelled Langer into the green jacket that goes to the Masters champion. Despite a bogey at the 18th which opened the door slightly for Strange, Langer finished his final round with a 4 under par 68 and 6 under 282 total, two shots better than Spain's Seve Ballesteros, third- Jaffa:? , fv mtmi' ASSOCIATED PRESS After setting early pace in final round Sunday, Curtis Strange crumbled. Here, he reacts to missing birdie putt on No. 9. Strange eventually finished two shots behind Masters champ Bernhard Langer. Veteran holds off Sullivan's challenge Andretti By ROBIN MILLER STAR ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR , ' Long Beach, Calif. It wasn't a vintage Mario Andretti victory, one of those races where he runs off and hides from everyone. No, in winning Sunday's Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Andretti was simply "street smart." The defending Championship Auto Racing Teams' king christened the 1985 Indy-car season with a calculated drive to the checkered flag in his Beatrice Lola T-900. In recording his 43rd career victory, and third here on the public streets of Long Beach, Andretti averaged 87.694 miles per hour and covered the 90 laps in 1:42.50.. .And even though Mario wound up 60 seconds ahead of runnerup Emerson Fittipaldi, that figure is deceiving because it really wasn't a rout. On the contrary, it was a helluva show that featured a great chase between a rabbit Danny Sullivan - and CART's 45-year-old fox, Mr.. Andretti. Starting on the pole for the eighth consecutive time at a road race, Mario moved out to a comfortable 10-second lead for the first 58 laps. Ana just when it looked like rallies to take Masters round leader Ray Floyd and Strange. Strange, of course, was trying to accomplish the unthinkable to win the Masters after an opening round of 80. And when he made the turn in 32 to open up that four shot command, it looked like that dream could come true. "It would have been a helluva story, wouldn't it," he said later. But it started to become a nightmare when he three-putted the 10th from 45 feet for his first bogey. He got that back at the tricky par 3 12th, making a tough 20 foot down-hiller from the back fringe for birdie. Langer, meanwhile, was heating up, and drawing near. He also bird-ted the 12th, and reached the par 5 13th in two blows, two putting for another birdie. Suddenly, Strange's lead was halved to two and it was on his way to one. Instead of laying up at the 13th, Strange went for the green with his second shot using a 4 wood from 208 yards. But his ball bounced into the creek, half covered with water. outfoxes another benefit for Andretti, along came Sullivan to save the day and wake up the crowd. Sullivan, making his debut with Roger Penske's operation, brought 67,000 people to their collective feet when he swept past Mario on Lap 59. The fans had a good reason to 1 be excited because that was the first time Andretti had been out of the lead here in two years. , From there, Danny proceeded to . build up an impressive 15-second advantage in his Miller High Life March 85C. But there were some' reasons for this sudden change of command. , First off, Andretti had pitted on Lap 44 and it was obvious he was planning to go the distance on one stop. ...... . In order to do that, he had to turn back his manifold pressure to conserve fuel. Sullivan, who had pitted on Lap 37, was facing a second stop so he . had no choice. He had to put as much space as possible between himself and Mario. When it came time for Sullivan to pause for a few gallons of methanol on Lap 79, he owned a 13-second speadi But as he came off the last corne.- and turned for the pits, he He chose to blast it out, and failed, the ball rolling back in. The second time his fourth shot he lofted it to 8 feet from the flag, but missed the putt and bogeyed. Both Langer, playing with Ballesteros in the twosome ahead, and Strange, paired with Floyd, parred the 14th. But on 15. Langer again reached the. par 5 in two shots and two-putted for birdie. Along came Strange, and away went his lead. Strange tried a 4 iron from 200 yards, downhill and downwind. But it splashed into the pond. After taking a drop. Strange pitched short, then missed the par putt He trailed Langer by one shot and, when the West German birdied 17, the deficit grew to two. "Sure I saw the leaderboards," said Langer. "But I didn't want to get too excited. I just tried to remember that my next shot was my most important shot. "After 17. Seve told me, 'well done, it's all yours now.' " Not quite, however. Langer bunkered his approach at the 18th, blasted out and missed the par putt, leaving Strange the opportunity to field for ran out of fuel. By the time he rejoined the action, Andretti had a huge lead and what could have been a super finish was ruined. "My only hope was that he (Sullivan) had to stop but I wasn't counting on him running out of fuel," said Andretti. "I had to back my boost down to 45 inches (instead of 48) after my pit stop and I took my lumps. What should have happened did happen I got passed. "But the end result came around." Sullivan, who wound up third, had second sewed up until he ran out of fuel again on the last lap. "We pitted earlier than we had planned on the first stop and I was alerted to a fuel problem then," said Sullivan. "Obviously what killed us was running out just before our second stop and coasting in with a dead motor." Andretti was asked if one stop was his team's pre-race strategy. "Yes," he answered, "this race is an odd distance and it puts you in a crack. I thought we might have an birdie 18 and tie. But Strange "just hit a bad shot" with a his 4 iron approach to 18 and left it short And when his chip from 45 feet slid past the hole. Langer not only had the Masters championship, but his first American title and $126,000. "This a dream come true." said Langer, who whipped the putting "yips" four years ago and has won numerous international titles despite an unorthodox, cross-handed putting style. "I'm disappointed, very much so," said Strange. "Any tournament you lose you feel bad and I'm sure I'll feel worse tomorrow. "But if I had to do it all over again, I'd do it the same way. The 4-wood at 13 was not a difficult shot at all and at 15, I hit that 4 iron perfect. I'd go out there right now and hit the same club and just hope I hit it as flush. But it wasn't even close." After missing the chip shot that could have tied Langer on the 18th, Strange missed the comeback putt and bogeyed for a closing 71 and 284. Floyd, who fell out of conten-See MASTERS Page 20 Expect war from Hagler, Hcarns UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL Las Vegas, Nev. Middleweight champion Marvin Hagler has been parading around for a week with a screaming red cap covering his slick, shaved head. Emblazoned on the cap is one word WAR. That's what he said he expects tonight's championship fight against Thomas Hearns to be. The intensity of what figures to be a wild brawl could be likened to a war. But a review of the careers of the two mule kick punchers indi- cates this war might end in a real hurry. In piling up a 60-2-2 record, the fierce Hagler has averaged only 5.83 rounds per fight, knocking out 23 opponents in the first three rounds. Hearns, who has compiled a 401 record, mostly as a welterweight, has worked even less, averaging just 5.02 rounds per fight while knocking out 24 opponents in the first three rounds. The two have fought 105 times as professionals. Only eight of their bouts have gone into the 12th round. Very important statistics. Especially to the 15.088 fans who have paid between $600 and $100 to see the fight live and another two million who have coughed up about $23 each to watch the scheduled 12-round fight on closed circuit TV. The fight is scheduled to start at 10:45 p.m. EST. By 11 o'clock, either Hagler or Hearns might be counting sheep. The bout is being fought under the sanction of the World Boxing Council, thus the scheduled 12 rounds instead of 15. Hagler said it's insignificant. "It makes no difference," he said. "This fight is not going to last very long. It's gonna' end real quick. This will not be a 12-round fight. "Hearns might try to run all night and win a decision, but I won't let that happen." Hearns agrees with Hagler that the fight will end quickly. He disagrees on a minor detail, however. "Hagler will be gone by the third Long Beach win advantage in strategy. "Our radios weren't working correctly and I could talk to the crew but they couldn't talk to me so there wasn't any room for discussion after the race began." Did he finish with a dry tank? Peoria downs STAR SPECIAL REPORT Peoria, 111. The Peoria River-men defeated the Indianapolis Checkers 7-2 Sunday afternoon to clinch the Huber Cup, signifying the highest point total in the International Hockey League's regular season. Peoria went into the game with a two point lead over East Division champ Muskegon and needed to beat the Checkers to clinch the Huber Cup. A tie with the Mohawks, who defeated Salt Lake 64, would have given Muskegon the title by virtue of victories. Peoria took the season series from Indianapolis 7-2-1 and will host the Checkers Wednesday at 8:05 p.m. for a first-round playoff game. The Rivermen took a 2-0 lead in the first period. John Goodwin skated by twij defenders on the right f" rV 1" 2fj8y ASSOCIATED PRESS Bernhard Langer, makes history at Augusta National. MSA show at 9 p.m. The closed circuit television broadcast of tonight's Marvelous Marvin Hagler-Thomas Hearns middleweight championship fight at Market Square Arena begins at 9 o'clock with preliminary bouts. The main event is expected to get under way shortly after 10:30. Tickets $25 reserved, $20 general admission can be purchased at MSA. round," the WBC super welterweight champion said. "The Hit Man is back. I'll knock him out, and it might be sooner . than the third round." Both fighters concluded all training Saturday, and Sunday they had a full day of rest for the first time in several months. Most observers feel Hearns. who moved up from the 147-pound welterweight class to become the 154-pound super welterweight (also known as junior middleweight) champ, is several pounds below the 160-pound limit. The weigh-in was scheduled for 11 a.m. EST today. The only junior middleweight who jumped to the middleweight class and won the title was Italy's Nino Benvenuti in 1967. It will be Hagler's 11th defense of the crown he won in a bloody beating of Alan Minter in London in 1980. If he beats Hearns, he said he wants to continue fighting to break the middleweight record held by Carlos Monzon of 14 successful title defenses. The fight could be the largest grossing money matchup in boxing history with the live gate exceeding $6 million and an expected total gross of $25 million. Hagler has been guaranteed $5.7 million and 45 percent of all money over $14 million. His purse could leap to as much as $10 million. Hearns has been guaranteed $5.4 million plus 35 percent of everything over $14 million. "Oh yeah, when I arrived that was all she wrote," he replied with a smile. Fittipaldi, loking like his racy old self starting his second year in CART, was the only other driver to See MARIO Page 18 Checkers, 7-2 side and found the net just 1:15 into the game. Brian Shaw got his 29th at 15:40 on a deflection of Brad Kempthorne's shot. Shaw scored on a breakaway at at 2:01 of the second period to make it 3 0. The lead grew to 4 0 when Doug Evans took the puck away from Checkers' goalie Todd Lum-bard behind the net and passed to Doug Evans, who hit the empty net from 15 feet out at 11:25. The Checkers closed to within 4-1 on Garry Lacey's rebound goal at 3:30 in the third period. But Perry Ganchar and Shaw scored goals 20 seconds apart to put the game on ice. Bob Lakso scored the game's final goal at 18:42. The Checkers finish their first season in the IHL with a 31-46-4 record and fourth in the West Division.

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