Andrew Magee had to sweat out a 2-hour, 55-minute delay and a reluctant decision by Arnold Palmer before he became the winner Sunday in the rain-shortened Nestle Invitational.
Magee, lifted into the lead on the soggy, sodden wings of a wet eagle, gained the second victory of his seven-year career when heavy rain flooded portions of the course and forced the tournament to be reduced to 54 holes.Magee was among the 18 players stranded by darkness Saturday on Palmer's Bay Hill Club and returned early Sunday to complete third round play.
A drizzle turned into a heavy shower as Magee teed off on the 16th hole, a par-5.
A big drive set up a 3-iron second shot through the rain to the green. And a 30-foot putt dropped into the puddle at the bottom of the cup.
"I was just trying to lag it up close," he said.
The eagle took him from one behind to one in front and he parred in for a 66 - spread over two days - and a 203 total, 13 under par.
Then the rain increased, flooding fairways and making the course unplayable.
Another delay was called, with four players left on the course. Tom Sieckmann, the overnight leader, was among them.
He was 11 under par with two holes to play and, with a birdie-birdie finish, could tie Magee and force a playoff.
It was another 175 minutes before the rain let up enough for Sieckmann to get back on the course and par in for a 70 and second at 205.
Steve Pate, winner of the weather-disrupted Honda Classic a week ago, closed with a 68 and tied for third at 206 with Mark Calcavecchia.
Calcavecchia, who also scored an eagle on the 16th hole Sunday, shot a 71.
Mark O'Meara was next at 70-207 and was followed by Jay Don Blake at 70-208.
All those leaders completed third-round play Sunday.
Despite the loss of 18 holes of play, the full purse of $1 million was paid. Magee collected $180,000, boosting his career earnings over $1 million and putting his season total at $301,904, more than he earned in any previous year.
Masters and British Open champion Nick Faldo tied for seventh in his first start of 1991. Faldo had a third-round 71 and finished at 209.
Palmer, the tournament host, huddled with officials for hours before agreeing to the decision to abandon fourth-round play.
"The course was simply unplayable," said Wade Cagle, tournament supervisor for the PGA Tour. "There was no choice."
"Obviously, I'm very disappointed the rain shortened our tournament," Palmer said.
"I'm not at all unhappy," he said. "It's the highlight of my career, no question about it."In Tarragona, Spain, Spaniard Jose Maria Olazabal recovered from a shaky front nine Sunday to shoot a 1-over-par 73 and win the Catalan Open by six strokes.
Olazabal, who began the round with a 7-shot lead, finished with a 17-under-par 271 in winning his first event of the season. Strong westerly winds swept the new 7,050-yard Bonmont course after three relatively calm days.
David Feherty of Northern Ireland, who once got within three shots of Olazabal, shot a par 72 and was second at 277.
Another shot back was England's Mike McLean, after a 73. Steven Richardson of England and Eduardo Romero of Argentina shared fourth place at 279.
Olazabal saw his big lead quickly sliced to four shots when he bogeyed the first and third holes while Feherty birdied the second.
Olazabal went back up by five when Feherty bogeyed the par-5 seventh. But at the par-4 ninth, Olazabal was in the bunker twice and dropped a shot as Feherty nailed an 8-iron to within four feet and sank the putt for a birdie.
After a front nine 40 and his lead down to three strokes, Olazabal knocked in a difficult 25-foot putt on the 10th for his first birdie. Meanwhile, Feherty took a bogey 5 when his approach bounced over the back of the green.
"I thought for a while that it might be slipping away, especially on the front nine," said Olazabal, whose margin of victory was the biggest in Europe since Colin Montgomerie's 11-stroke triumph in the 1989 Portuguese Open.
"With such a big lead, you cannot play your own game," he said. "But when I holed the long putt at the 10th, I think that was the turning point."
Feherty, who shot an 11-under-par 61 in the third round, thought that bogeys on the sixth and seventh holes hurt him the most.
Olazabal collected $92,500 for his 10th European win and took over first place on the European money list with $173,746 in four events.In Gulfport, Miss., Mitch Adcock may be the only player in the field at the Ben Hogan Mississippi Gulf Coast Classic who wished for rain on Sunday. More moisture could make him a little richer.
Adcock, who shared the first-round lead with Tom Lehman with a six-under par 66, stumbled to a 78 during the second round Saturday at the Windance Country Club.
However, play was cancelled at about 3:30 p.m. CST Saturday after a 100-minute delay due to standing water on the greens.