At Pebble Beach, Calif., Tom Kite left the door open slightly for Mark O'Meara to win the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am golf tournament Sunday - and O'Meara charged right through.
Kite, tied with O'Meara at 10-under par, finished his round with a par putt on the 18th hole at the Pebble Beach course.So, it was up to O'Meara, playing one hole behind Kite, to either win the tournament, send it into a playoff, or blow it.
O'Meara won it with style, a 10-foot, straightaway birdie putt on the final hole to take the winner's check of $180,000. He finished at 277, 11-under par. Asked to describe his feelings when the putt disappeared into the cup, O'Meara said: "I almost had a heart attack. The last time I felt like that was when I caught a 10-pound, 7-ounce largemouth bass in a lake near home. When I got it in the boat I was so excited I started hyperventilating."
"It was a difficult putt because I've never had one like that before in all the years I've played here, even in amateur golf, or practice rounds."
The tournament came down to a two-player shoot-out between Kite and O'Meara, who had the lead after the second round and shared it with Nick Price going into the final round.
Kite sank a birdie putt on the 13th hole to tie O'Meara at 9-under par and then went ahead by one stroke with another birdie at the 14th.
However, O'Meara matched Kite's putt with a birdie of his own at the 14th hole.
Then, the leaders parred the next three holes, setting up the climactic finish.> Kite's approach shot on the par-5, 548-yard 18th hole went 15 feet above the hole. His birdie try went slightly to the right of the cup and he got his tap-in for a par.
O'Meara said that from his vantage point on the fairway he couldn't see Kite's putt.
"But from the reaction of the crowd, I knew he had missed it," O'Meara said.> O'Meara then used his sand wedge for his third shot on the 18th, a distance he said of 93 yards to the hole.> His shot stayed to the right of the hole, and he said that he then stroked his putt and hoped for the best.
Even though the 32-year-old O'Meara won here in 1985, the last year he had any victories on the PGA Tour, he wasn't looking forward to a playoff with the 39-year-old Kite, a 17-year veteran of the Tour, who had also won here in 1983.
Jim Carter, Sandy Lyle and Price, who had a final-round 73, finished behind the leaders at 280, 8-under par.
At Boca Raton, Fla., Dottie Mochrie played the first playoff hole a thousand times during a sleepless night and then went out and parred it Monday to win the $300,000 Oldsmobile Classic over Beth Daniel.
A routine two-putt par 4 at the 18th hole of the Stonebridge Country Club gave Mochrie her first LPGA victory over Daniel, who bogeyed the hole out of a bunker.
They had tied at 9-under-par 279 Sunday and played four extra holes in par before darkness halted play.
Daniel bogeyed the hole after hitting her second shot from the deep rough into a bunker fronting the green. She escaped the trap long and her 12-foot putt for a tying par slid past the hole. It was on the same line but twice as long as the birdie putt Daniel made on the final hole of regulation Sunday to tie the match.
It was the opening tournament of the LPGA's 1989 tour, and Mochrie's first victory. As a rookie in 1988, she earned $137,293 for 20th on the money list.>