The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on March 30, 1998 · Page 39
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March 30, 1998

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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 39

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West Palm Beach, Florida
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Monday, March 30, 1998
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i 6C THE PALM BEACH POST MONDAY, MARCH 30, 1998 c 1 W s hm p o on s Dii o p IKS Janzen starts with lead, ends in 13th Final (cores, money winning! and relation to par Sunday of the $4 million Player Championship, played on the TPC at Sawgrass' 6,950-yard, par-72 Stadium Course: Notebook .72 69-70-67278 -10 Justin Leonard. $720,000 Tom Lehman, $352,000 "". Glen Day, $352,000 . . . . . .72-70-70-68280 . . .66-73-70-71280 . 69-75-68-69281 -7 Mark Calcavecchla, $192,000 .74-71-68-69282 -6 .73-69-70-70282 -6 .69-71-72-70282 -6 Lee Westwood, $146,000 Scott Hoch. $146,000 .. Len Mattiace, $146,000 . three-putt bogey. So much for things getting interesting. "When he made the putt on 13 and I missed the little one, that was it for me," Calcavecchia said. "I missed three short putts today that really hurt." Calcavecchia finished fourth for his third consecutive top-five finish. He won the Honda Classic two weeks ago and finished fourth last week at Bay Hill. That has him looking forward to the Masters in two weeks. "I'm going to take a couple days off and continue to practice hard the rest of the way for the Masters," he said. "Then I'm shelving the clubs for three weeks." home from 217 yards, but the ball barely cleared the water, bounced twice and trickled back in. He had to drop into a divot and moved the ball just 20 yards. He chipped on and two-putted for double-bogey. The round just kept getting worse. After a bogey on No. 13, he was so frustrated, he knocked the ball into the water with his putter, almost hitting his caddie, Andy Prodger, in the head. B Calcavecchla stays hot: Mark Calcavecchia got within two shots of playing partner Justin Leonard's lead after chipping in for birdie on No. 12. Leonard then birdied the 13th and Calcavecchia missed a 4-footer for a By Craig Doled P aim Beach Post Staff Writer PONTE VEDRA BEACH Lee Janzen's checking account wasn't the only thing that took a beating in Sunday's final round of The Players Championship. So did his reputation as one of golfs best front-runners. Janzen shot a 79, turning a three-shot lead into a 13th-place finish. Instead of pocketing a record $720,000 first prize, he took home almost one-tenth of that ($77,333). "If this was my first chance to win a tournament, I'd probably be pretty disappointed," he said. "The greatest players in the game have days like this." Janzen struggled from his opening shot, when he said his thumb slipped off ..72-71-75-65283 -5 .71-72-70 70283 -S ..69-73-70-71283 -5 Payne Stewart, $1 16.000 Nick Price, $116,000 .. Prill Mickelson, $1 16,000 the driver. The drive strayed into a fairway bunker and he bogeyed the hole, a sign of things to come. Janzen's three-shot lead was gone after he bogeyed the fifth hole and Glen Day made birdie. Janzen kept hoping for a great shot to turn the round around, but it never happened. "I needed to hit good shots, and I just never got a birdie to get anything going," said Janzen, who had 12 pars, five bogeys and a double-bogey. Despite shooting a 39 on the front nine, Janzen believed he was still in the tournament when he got to the par-5 11th hole. He tried to a get a 2-iron Scott Verplank, $96,000 71-71-72 70284 -4 Ernie Els. $96,000 71-72 70-71284 -4 .71-73-71-70285 -3 .69-70-74-72285 -3 .70 67-69-79285 -3 John Cook, $77,333 . . Bruce Lietzke, $77,333 Lee Janzen. $77,333 John Daly, $66,000 71-70-76-69286 David Sutherland, $66,000 72-73-69-72286 Leonard's late charge secures win Bob Tway, $48,686 72-71-75-69287 -1 Hal Sutton, $48,686 74-69-74-70287 -1 Doug Barron, $48,686 71-72-74 70287 -1 David Duval, $48,686 69-77-70-71287 -1 Nick Faldo. $48,686 75-69-70-73287 -1 Joe Ozaki, $48,686 69-68-76-74287 -1 Omar Urestl, $48.686 72-71-70-74287 -1 Lee Rmker, $30,533 72-73-72-71288 E Tom Kite, $30,533 72 -66-78 -72 288 E Jasper Pamevlk, $30,533 72-72-72-72288 E Jose Maria Olazabal. $30,533 72-74-70 72 288 E Dudley Hart, $30,533 74-70-71 73 288 E Steve Jones, $30.533 71-71-73-73288 E Larry Mize. $24,250 73 73-73-70289 1 Tommy Armour III, $24,250 71-75-71-72289 1 Jerry Kelly, $24,250 68-71 77-73289 1 Craig Stadler, $24.250 71-70-72-76289 1 -290 2 -290 2 -290 2 -290 2 -290 2 -290 2 -290 2 . .70-74-75-7 1 -. .70-75-73-72-. .72-73-73-72 .72-72-71-75- Billy Andrade. $18,886 .. JlmFuryk, $18,886 Tiger Woods, $18,886 . . . Brad Faxon, $18,886 ... Tom Watson. $18,886 .. Kirk Triplett, $18,886 ... Scott McCarron, $ 1 8,886 TPC From 1C was within reach." Most observers believed the tournament was Janzen's to lose. He had a three-shot lead over non-winner Day and the comfort of being one of the PGA Tour's best closers. But Janzen's lead was gone by the fifth hole, putting Day into the unfamiliar role as the leader. Day had a two-shot lead after eight holes, only to surrender that role -291 3 -291 3 -291 3 -291 3 -291 3 -291 3 -291 3 -291 3 Brandel Chamblee, $12,560 72-73-76-70- StewartCink, $12,560 7173-74-73- MarkO Meara. $12,560 70-75-72-74- Bob Estes. $ 1 2,560 72 70-74 75- Steve Pate, $ 1 2.560 7 1 -7 1 -74-75- Kevin Sutherland. $ 12.560 72-70-73-76- Fred Couples. $12,560 67-73-73-78- David Frost. $12,560 69-71-73-78- Billy Mavfair, $ 1 2.560 69-75-69-78- Michael Bradley. $9,627 74-72-76-70 292 4 Jeff Maggert, $9,627 69-71-76-76292 4 Steve Strieker. $9,627 74-72-70-76292 4 " Per-Ulrik Johansson, $9,200 69-74-78-72293 5 - Vijay Singh, $9,200 72-71-75-75293 5 Scott Gump. $9,200 72-68-76-77293 5 Paul Goydos, $8,920 72-70-80-72294 6 Nolan Henke, $8,920 ' 69-73-77-75 294 6 Rocco Mediate. $8,920 67-73-77-77294 6 Davis Love III. $8.920 73-72-69-80294 6 Joey Sindelar. $8,680 73-69-81-72295 7 Ted Tryba. $8.680 70-74-72-79295 7 Robert Gamez, $8,480 74-72-77-73296 8 Grant Waite. $8,480 76-70-75-75296 8 Frank Nobilo, $8.480 72-72-75-77296 8 Phil Blackmar, $8,280 72-74-76-75297 9 Bnan Henmnger, $8.280 73-72-73-79297 9 SklpKendall.$8.160 74-72-73- 79298 1 0 Fred Funk, $8,040 73-73-75-78299 11 Donnie Hammond, $8,040 71-75-72-81299 11 Larry Rmker. $7,880 78-67-81-74300 12 ; Mark Wiebe, $7,880 76-69-76-79300 12 Selected spotlights on four rounds: y R to Len Mattiace, another non-winner who had no idea of the disaster waiting for him. , Just when it seemed nobody wanted to win this tournament (hey, maybe it should be considr ered a major), Leonard seized control early on the back nine, He reeled off five birdies in seven holes one-putting six consecutive greens to take the lead for the first time after 13 holes. , "Today did remind me of Troon," Leonard said. "There was a stretch there where I was one-putting every green, and only two of those putts were less than 10 feet." Mark Calcavecchia, who was paired with Leonard, said: "He made everything he looked at except the last two holes. By then, he knew he had it." Leonard became the first player to rally from more than a four-shot deficit entering the final round in the 17 years The Players has been held on the Stadium Course. The victory was also worth a record $720,000 first prize, helping him become No. 1 on the money list at $952,963. But this victory was worth so much more for Leonard, 25. It reaffirmed the British Open win and showed he may be joining the sport's elite. He has four career Tour victories, which is more than anyone else his age with the- exception of Tiger Woods' six. I "Justin probably has more shots in his bag than anyone out here," Day said. "He has to because he's not the longest hitter." The 5-foot-9, 160-pound Leonard said he's on a workout program that's added strength to his game. "It seems like the more I think I have learned, the more I have to learn," Leonard said. "Last year with the British Open and coming close in the PGA Championship (he was second) and the Ryder Cup, I had a lot of information there I needed to digest in the offseason. This just adds to that " Day also gained some pointers this week. He has yet to win in 126 career Tour starts, but he looked more comfortable than seven-time winner Janzen. Day birdied three of the first six holes to grab the lead. But Day's day turned sour on the back nine. He bogeyed three of the first four holes and he didn't make another birdie until the 17th hole. That left Mattiace as Leonard's only serious threat. Mattiace moved within a shot of Leonard i after a birdie on No. 16, but then made an "8" on the par-3 17th j hole when he hit two balls into the j water. ; Leonard still had to get past the 17th, but when he hit a 9-iron to 10 feet, he could stroll in. A three-putt on the final hole left his margin at two. Leonard wouldn't put this victory on the same level as the British Open because The Players still isn't viewed as a major. At j least not yet. j "There's a reason why the j major championships are labeled that," he said. . J THE ASSOCIATED PRESS the Tournament Players Championship, topping Tom Lehman and Glen Day by two strokes. Payne Stewart Stewart used an eagle on the second hole and birdies on three of the last four to shoot seven-un-der 65 the low round of the tournament. That vaulted him from 49th to eighth. "It's been a while since I posted a low score on Sunday," he said. "What a great tournament to do it on." Justin Leonard's birdie putt on the 14th hole led to a final-day 67 and helped him rally from five strokes down to win : Fred Couples ! After opening 'with a 67, Couples bailed to break par ; the rest of the way, ' .'-finishing with a 78 -:. "on Sunday. Any Kchance he had of ; ; winning his third Players ended when : he started with a .'double-bogey and a "bogey. Couples' ! -problem this week was his ball-striking :'. he hit 43-of-72 greens (59.7 per-;cent) and 28-of-56 fairways. HE Mattiace's quintuple-bogey wasn't his main concern 132 Yards Par 3 0 O t ' " 0 I i t ... r Nick Price J . i 3 PLAYER: Len Mattiace. WHAT HE DID: Trailing leader Justin Leonard by a shot, Mattiace made an eight on the hole. His approach shot flew the green, landing in the water behind the green on the fly. His third shot from the drop area landed in the front bunker. He skulled the sand wedge into the water, he dropped again, blasted onto the green and two-putted for an eight. WHAT HE SAID: "I hit a really solid tee shot. The adrenaline was pumping because it was a big shock to me when it went in. On the bunker shot, I basically skulled it and I was disgusted with myself because I wasn"t ready." was the sudden surge of Adrenalin for the nine-year pro who has yet to win on the PGA or Nike tours. His 9-iron went directly at the pin, then over it and into the water. "When I hit it, it felt good," said Mattiace, who lives in Ponte Vedra Beach. "When it went into the water, my heart came out of my body two or three times. It was a shock to hit a ball that good and get penalized." Mattiace's third shot from the drop area landed short and kicked right into the bunker. He compounded his earlier mistake by skulling his fourth shot into almost the same spot in the water. He dropped again, chipped on and two-putted for the snowman. "That hole broke my heart," Joyce Mattiace said of the 17th. But mother and son both know there are more important factors in life. "It's not good that (cancer) is in her and the doctors can't go in," Mattiace said. "But she's kind of holding on and that's all we can ask for." By Craig DoJch Palm Beach Post Staff Writer PONTE VEDRA BEACH It would be easy to describe the "8" Len Mattiace made on the par-3 17th hole Sunday as a tragic event. A par there and Mattiace would have won The Players Championship. But Mattiace knows a tragedy, and that wasn't one. As he walked off the 17th hole after knocking two balls into the water, and himself out of contention, he saw his mother, Joyce, in a wheelchair in the gallery. She has inoperable lung cancer. "When I got to the 18th tee, I tried to acknowledge her," Mattiace said. "I thought, 'Well, it's a game. Some people are in wheelchairs and I'm out here trying to hit a golf shot' What she's going through is kind of bigger than the game itself." Yet Mattiace said he wasn't too reflective while he was hitting the eight shots. He came to the 17th hole just one shot behind leader Justin Leonard after a birdie on No. 16 and was six under. Mattiace had played the 17th in one under during the first three rounds and was convinced it was a 9-iron. What he forgot to account for Scott Verplank Verplank had gone home to noma last weekend when he was told he had virtually no chance to get in as an alternate. But after several players dropped out, he flew in Wednesday and slept on a cot in Bob Tway's hotel room. He got into the tournament when Greg Norman pulled out with a sore left shoulder. Verplank took advantage by finishing 1 1th. Price used an eagle on the 1 6th hole to propel him to his first top-1 0 finish here since winning The Players in 1993. Pnce shot 70 to finish tied for eighth. "The front today was awful, but I came back on the final nine and held my game together," he said. "I'm working on a couple of things. My putting is good though, and I'm realty happy about that." SCORING SUMMARY: 0 eagles, 10 birdies, 44 pars, 11 bogeys. 5 double bogeys, 2 others. Scoring average: 3.264. 4 .j MM.

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