Rocco Mediate's 8-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole beat Curtis Strange in the storm-delayed finish of the Doral Open today and gave him the first PGA Tour victory of his career.
Mediate, one of the few regulars who use the ultra-long putter, birdied the last two holes of regulation play to match Strange's 276 total for 72 holes and force the playoff.Strange, attempting to snap a winless string that began after his 1989 U.S. Open triumph, missed a 15-foot birdie putt on the playoff hole moments before Mediate dropped the winner on the par-5 first at Doral's Blue Monster.
The victory, worth $252,000 from the total purse of $1.4 million capped a remarkable early-season stretch for Mediate, who has been on the tour for six years.
He had not been lower than 13th in five previous starts this year and had four top-10 finishes.
"Never mind the long putter, he's been striking the ball very well. He's turned his game around. He's been the most consistent player on our tour," Strange said.
Strange and Mediate were among the 22 players stranded on the course Sunday by a late-afternoon thunderstorm that caused an overnight delay in the conclusion of the final round.
Strange, a one-stroke loser in Phoenix earlier this year, played the final round in 67 - the best in the field by three strokes.
Andy Bean and lefty Russ Cochran, who shared the lead when play was halted Sunday, each parred the nine holes he played today.
They missed the playoff by a single stroke at 277, 11 under par. Bean, a three time winner of title, had a closing 74 and Cochran 73.
Jack Nicklaus, 51, seeking his first regular-tour victory since the 1986 Masters, simply could not get a putt to drop today and fell back to a tie for fifth at 279 with Davis Love III.At Wailea, Hawaii, Deb Richard didn't make many putts in the Women's Kemper Open, but she sank the ones that counted most.
Richard made a six-footer for birdie on the second playoff hole and made two key birdies down the stretch Saturday to beat Cindy Rarick, who had led throughout.
Richard finished with a 1-under-par 70 and Rarick shot a 72 for 9-under 275 totals on the Wailea Country Club course.
Dawn Coe finished third, two strokes back. Ok-Hee Ku and Patty Sheehan tied for fourth, another stroke back.And at Ojai, Calif., Chi Chi Rodriguez shot a final-round 66 for a one-stroke margin over Gary Player and Bruce Crampton in the rain-shortened Senior PGA Tour's GTE West Classic on Sunday.
Rodriguez also had a 66 in Saturday's opening round for an 8-under 132 total on the Ojai Valley Inn & Country Club course. Friday's scheduled round was postponed by much-needed rain in drought-stricken California.
Player finished with a 67 and Crampton had 68.