The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on March 29, 1998 · Page 46
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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 46

West Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Sunday, March 29, 1998
Page 46
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ST.. i . w i i "l ' I " " ' " ' ' I ' """ ' " " " " tt" " " m m m m m w-w w mm, i . . . , .1 ... . THE PALM BEACH POST SUNDAY, MARCH 29, 1998 7C- 01 p 0 LTD - Price can't forget Squeeky at his side I players at 213 are Jupiter Is-land's Nick Price (70), Ernie -Els (70), Westwood (68), Billy .. Mayfair (69), Fred Couples . (73) and Craig Stadler (72). ' Any of these players could : win if they shoot somewhere in the mid-60s, which Els looked to be doing Saturday when he shot 31 on the front nine. But;, he came in with a 39. l "If you make a mistake on ' this course, it will jump up and bite you," Els said. J. Janzen has avoided most of the pitfalls to position himself for his first Tour win since 1995. He won three times that : . year, including the Players in a ' U.S. Open-type winning score ' of five-under 283. He hasn't held a fourth-' round lead since the 1994 Buick Classic, so Janzen is in i: somewhat unfamiliar territory ,: today as well. He said he won't. : change his approach. "You have to be patient out here and this is probably as patient as I've been in a long; time," he said. "I want to start'- out well. I don't want to get'" into the mode of scrambling, early." Day knows not too manyj fans expect him to win. But; they also didn't expect him to'' hang around after he became the first player to eagle the; 18th hole Thursday and lead: with a 66. : "I'm sure I'll be a little nervous, but I'm looking for-; ward to it," he said. "What's, the worst that can happen? If I don't win, I know I made it to-the final group on Sunday at. The Players. That's not too-bad." When Janzen was asked whether he thought a 72 today would be good enough to win,, he refused to get into the; handicapping business. "I'm not going to pick a score," he said. "I'm just going" to go out on the first hole and-try and hit a good shot. If I play I the way I have the last three! days, I know I'll have a chance,' on the final few holes." But Lee Janzen would prefer a little bigger lead than his three-shot margin at The Players. By Craig Dolch Palm Beach Post Staff Writer PONTE VEDRA BEACH The Players Championship is Lee Janzen's to lose. Logic says that and so does previous history. Janzen is known as one of the game's best front-runners, he excels on tough courses and has a three-shot lead over journeyman Glen Day entering today's final round. Janzen has won a U.S. Open, a Players and five other PGA Tour events. Day has no Tour wins and has never played in the final group on Sunday. Yet Janzen hasn't started mentally spending the record $720,000 first prize mainly because he's mentally spent after three trips around the Stadium Course, where the greens are drier than Day's throat will be on the first tee today. "I don't think three shots is enough," Janzen said. "I think the only way I would be comfortable is if I had a 10-shot lead going into the last round. Because the course is tough, that makes it harder on the guys who are in the lead because they still have to play well." Janzen proved adept at protecting his one-shot lead Saturday, shooting a three-under 69 to create a working margin for today at 10-under 206. Day knows if Janzen plays to his reputation, he'll be playing for second place. "He is definitely in the driver's seat," Day said. "If he plays well, he's going to be extremely hard to catch. He's been there (in contention), he's won here and he knows what's going on." The player Janzen might be Craig Dolch used Medlen to guide him around Crooked Stick for that startling victory. Not surprisingly, Price's success slowed after Medlen was diagnosed with the illness in 1996. Price ended a three-year winless Tour drought with last year's victory at Hilton Head, but that proved to be a bittersweet moment. When he visited Medlen afterward, it was the first time he had seen him since Medlen's bone marrow transplant (the two had talked daily on the phone). Price couldn't believe how frail and weak he looked. "The wind went out of my sails for a long time there, for probably five or six months," Price said. "When you see someone close to you die, you realize golf is not everything. There was a lesson for me to learn from his illness: You only have one life, and you've got to make the most of it." Price played in last year's U.S. Open knowing Medlen's battle was almost over. During a backup at the 16th tee, Price was asked by Tom Watson how Squeeky was doing. An emotional Price bogeyed the next two holes. "He wasn't upset that Tom had asked him," said Price's current caddy, Jimmy Johnson. "He just knew (Medlen's) battle was coming to an end." Medlen died the day after the U.S. Open ended. It wasn't until late in the year that Price said he pulled out of his funk. "I knew if he was still around, he'd actually be really mad at me that I'm not putting my nose to the grindstone," Price said. So Price is back trying to become the world's top player, knowing that's no longer the most important thing in his life. Especially when he gets to those places on the golf course for those reminders. "I miss him," Price said. "I miss him a lot." ! It will happen without warning. Nick Price will be walking down a fairway when he'll see something to remind him of a funny incident he enjoyed with former caddy Jeff "Squeeky" Medlen. Outside, Price might be smiling. Inside, his gut will be wrenching. ;"We shared so much together, just the two of us," Price said. "And now half that is gone." It has been more than nine months since Medlen died of leukemia, and Price still struggles with the memories of the man who spent seven years carrying his bag and his dreams. For some players, hiring a caddy isn't much more than a business proposition. Mark Calcavecchia doesn't even have a regular caddy; he rotates several of them. Price and Medlen were a team, much like Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. Price may have hit the shots, but many times Medlen called them in his high-pitched voice. 'Says Price, "When I would face a 1 shot that was one of my nemesis, like a wedge into the wind, he would say, 'Remember two weeks ago, when you did this. You did it then, so go ahead and do it now.' lie put a little confidence in me that I hadn't had." When Medlen was hired in 1990, Price was known more for his unlimited potential. But with Squeeky at his side, Price fulfilled that promise by winning three majors and 14 PGA Tour events. He was easily the world's top player in the mid-1990s, winning 13 times in a two-year stretch. Price can view these trophies any time he wants at his Jupiter Island home. But those memories don't feel the same without Squeeky. "There isn't anyone who is out there on the golf course with me when I won the PGA Championship twice, the British Open and all those other wins I had," Price said. "My wife (Sue) was around, but she wasn't there on the bag enjoying it. He knew how well I played." , Medlen helped Price become a star, and Price inadvertently returned the favor in 1991. With Sue about to deliver their first baby, Price pulled out of the PGA Championship. His place was taken by John Daly, who L WHERE: Ponte Vedra Beach. WHEN: Ends today. TV: Todav 3 D.m.. WPTV-5. WTVJ-6. Arta playtrt In bold r (Ed Be THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Joe Ozaki, the co-leader after two rounds, is trapped seven shots behind Lee Janzen after a third-round 76. looking at in his rearview mirror is reigning British Open champion Justin Leonard, who remained in contention with a 70 that left him five shots back. Like Janzen, Leonard has won a major, has shown to be tenacious near the lead he shot a final-round 65 to win the British and doesn't mind playing on a course where par is a good score. "I feel that plays to my strengths of managing my game and avoiding mistakes," Leonard said. "The more difficult a course, the more advantage I feel I have from a mental aspect." If Janzen and Day were to struggle, there are several high-profile players in a group six shots back waiting to pounce. These include two more former British Open winners, West Palm Beach's Mark Calcavecchia and Tom Lehman. Calcavecchia shot a 68 tying Lee Westwood for the day's low round and Lehman a 70. "It's within reach," Lehman said. Also at 212 are Phil Mickel-son (70), Scott Hoch (70) and Len Mattiace (72). Among the Calcavecchia (68) surges back into I1.: ! By Craig Dolch Palm Beach Post Staff Writer PONTE VEDRA BEACH Mark Calcavecchia started the day in 37th place. He had almost cracked the top 10 when he completed his round of four-under 68. By day's end, he was tied for fourth. No wonder they call Saturday "moving day" on the PGA Tour. "I read where Tiger (Woods) said that anybody who made the cut could win the way the course is playing," Calcavecchia said. "I wanted to come out and shoot a good score and at least make tomorrow interesting." Calcavecchia enters today's final round of The Players Championship in the next-to-last group, six shots behind leader Lee Janzen. The 68 tied Lee Westwood for the day's low round and came after Calcavecchia had ended a Leejanien 70-67-49-206 -10 Glee Day M-73-70- 209 -7 Juelln Leonard 7249-70-2II -S Mark Calcavtcchla W75-M-211 -4 Phil MlckeHon 49-73-70-212 -4 Tom Lehman 72-70-70-212 -4 Scott Hoch 73-49-70-212 -4 Len Mattiace 49 71-72 -212 -4 anyone on the Tour. That gives him a chance to hold more greens and maybe take some chances today where others can't. "There are some pins you can't go at here on Sunday, and I know that," he said. "I've got a long way to go. I'm not thinking about winning yet. Hopefully, it can get interesting on the back nine." Woods waits: Tiger Woods will stretch his winless streak on the PGA Tour to 15 consecutive events his 73 Saturday left him 12 back but he's still upbeat heading into the Masters in two weeks. "It's tuning up pretty good, it's right in there," Woods said when asked the state of his game. "I feel a lot better about my game now than I did going into last year's Masters (where he won by a record 12 shots)." Woods won the 1994 U.S. Amateur No. 14, 450 yards, par 4 PLAYER: Mark Calcavecchia. WHAT HE DID: Calcavecchia was one of just seven players (along with leader Lee Janzen) to birdie what has quietly become one of the Stadium Course's most difficult holes. He took advantage of downwind conditions to hit a 9 iron approach from 150 yards. The birdie keyed his four-under 68, tying for the day's lowest score. WHAT HE SAID: 'That's always one of the toughest holes out here. I hit a really hard drive and Hl'1 1 if' l't ;,;.., contention on the Stadium Course here, but has yet to better 71 in seven rounds in the: Players. He's shot 72-73-73218 this; week. j "I'm really not that far off," he said.; "This place requires you to hit at such; small areas, you can miss by a foot or two and be in trouble." Not that his play this week is too! troubling. I "Two weeks from now is a little bit; bigger tournament," he said. J Noteworthy: It wasn't an 18, but: John Daly finished with two double-, bogeys to shoot 76. He then left to pickl up his one-year sobriety pin at a local! Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. . . 4 Hobe Sound's Jerry Kelly shot a 77 tot fall from fourth place to 30th. His undo-: ing was a triple-bogey on the par-4 fifth hole. He hit his tee shot and an approach: shot into the water. 2 Club talk GLEN DAY Like many professionals, Day has switched to the Titleist 945 driver. He uses a Ping 3-wood. His irons are a combination of Mizuno (2- and 3-irons) and fat-shafted Wilson Staffs (4-through L-wedge). He also has a 56-degree Wilson sand wedge and he uses an Odyssey 330 putter. On his cap he wears a button with a picture of his two young girls. Updates Call 5 1 1 and enter cate- ! gory 3816 to J hear frequent updates throughout the TPC. 50 for up five minutes. See 2A for more details. Selected spotlights on four rounds: Notebook string of nine consecutive sub-par rounds with Friday's 75. With a victory at Honda two weeks ago and a fourth last week at Bay Hill, Calcavecchia is the Tour's hottest player. He started quickly with birdies on three of the first four holes. After a couple of bogeys, he made three more birdies in another four-hole stretch in the back nine. "I did everything a little better today," Calcavecchia said. "I played with Tom Lehman the first two rounds and his approach is to fully commit to every shot. That's been a big key for me." Unlike most players, Calcavecchia prefers playing on hard, dry greens because he spins the ball as much as PHIL MICKELS0N It was as boring a round as someone can have on this course 1 6 pars and a pair of birdies on par-5 holes for a 70. That left Mickelson tied for fourth, six shots back of the lead. "I hit a lot of good shots and putts that didn't go in." he said. "But I made some good par-saving putts." LEE WESTWOOD Considered England's finest young golfer, he closed with five birdies on his last 10 holes to improve from 49th to fifth place. Westwood hit 1 5-of-1 8 greens to give himself a chance today. "I'm starting to get the hang of the course." Westwood. 23, finished 13th last week at Bay Hill. Lee Westwood B'Hy Mayfair Nick Price Emie El Omar Urestl Creig Stadler Fred Couples David Frost ruceLietzke Joe Oiakl 74-7141-213 49-75-49 -213 71-72 70 -213 71- 72-70- 213 72- 71-70-213 71-70-72 -213 47-73-73 -213 49-71-73-213 49-70-74-213 49-41-74-213 David Sutherland Davis Love III Nick Faldo Scott verpiank Jon Cook Scott McCerron Dealer Hart Steve Jones Kevin Sutherland Kirk Tripien 72- 79-214 -2 73- 72-49 - 214 -2 75-69-70- 214 -2 71-71-72-214 -2 71-73-71-215 -I 72 77-71-215 -I 74- 70-71-215 -I 71- 71-73-215 -I 72- 70-73-215 -I 71-71-71-215 -I Steve Strieker David Duval Jose Maria Otaiabel Tom Watson Ted Tryba Brad Faxon Jesear Pamevtli Steve Pate Bo Estes JeH Magged 74-72-70-214 49 77-70-214 72-74-70-214 71-74-71-214 70- 74- 72-2 14 71- 73-72- 214 77-72-72 -214 71-71-74-214 77 70-74- 214 49-71-74 -214 Scetl Gump Jerry Kelly Tom Kite Tommy Armour III Mark O'Meera Lee Pinker Hat Sutton Doug Barron John Daly Rocco Mediate 72-4174-7)4 E 41-71-77-214 77-46-70-714 E 71-75-71-717 ! 7 75-77-717 1 77-73-77- 717 ! 7474-717 71 77-74-217 I I 71774-717 l 4773-77-217 1 Donriie Hammond Tiger woods J'T.Fry Bian Henninger S'ewart Cink V at Sing Par Stewart BO Tvay Sip (ended Larry Miie 71777-7 ! 77 71-71-7H 1 T0-7V77-7H 73 7J7J-2H J 71 73-74-7H ! 77 7I71-2H 77 7I7S-7I 7 W-71-TS-l'i t 7 77 7J-2t9 ! 7773-210 1 B Of Anerede Fran ktoO'ie holr Henne F-ed Fn Geet waie Mart Wieoe B'endet C tiemt'tee Per -oiri jonenssen Pf eierfcmer Meei aVadtey T77S-79 ! 77 77 75- 719 67J77-7I9 J 7rTS77l H 74- 771 5 77 7a-7JI 5 40 71-771 5 72 74 -4 - 777 772 74-772 kwl Gevdos -' Gemef Jeer Voeer Lorry ft inter 77 06-777 M 7-7'7-ri t 7JI-771 7 TtO.el-23 DAVID DUVAL He had six birdies and an eagle and failed to break 70. That's because Duval had four bogeys and a double bogey. In an eight-hole stretch, he went birdie, birdie, birdie, birdie, double bogey, bogey, birdie, eagle. "'I didn't know what was going on there for a vhiie." Duval said. NICK FALDO He had the day's best round going five-under through 12 holes but then went to fall six shots back. "I was going great until two bad chips," Faldo said. "Maybe I was trying to get too cute, it ruined my momentum." Faldo finished with four pars. only had a 9-iron left. Despite the fact that green is getting really hard. I flew it short and it actually stopped 25 feet short. That was the only long putt I made all day." SCORING SUMMARY: 0 eagles. 7 birdies. 40 pars. 21 bogeys. 4 double bogeys. Scoring average: 4.306 (third most difficult). i n e,ei e in , t,4. ,'' 'a

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