Greg Twiggs earned spending money in college by playing skins games several times a week at Torrey Pines Golf Course, betting $5 and $10 per hole against other amateurs.
The course knowledge that helped support Twiggs then paid off in a big way Sunday as he won the $700,000 San Diego Open, his first victory in five years on the PGA Tour."I know the course and the greens so well because I played here so much in college (at San Diego State) . . . and it made it a lot easier to play because Iknow where (the trouble) is," said Twiggs, who collected $126,000.
"There isn't a putt on these greens that I don't know where it's breaking. It's just (a matter of judging) the speed. If I didn't know the greens like I do it would have been a lot harder to hit my putts the right speed. It takes a lot of pressure off when you can do that."
Twiggs' final round of 3-under-par 69 gave him a 72-hole score of 17-under-par 271 and a two-shot victory.
Third-round leader Steve Elkington of Australia struggled to a 73 Sunday to finish in a second-place tie at 273 with Mark Wiebe, Brad Faxon and Mark O'Meara, who matched the day's best round with a 66.> Twiggs, whose previous best finish was a tie for third in the 1985 Greater Milwaukee Open, carded five birdies against just two bogeys on the 7,021-yard, par-72 Torrey Pines South course.
"It's a course that everybody knows you have to shoot a low score to win," Twiggs said. "I didn't think 17-under would win it. It's hard to think of anything else to say except how happy I am."
Twiggs, who played at Torrey Pines "at least three times a week" during college, also displayed his course knowledge from tee to green by teeing off with an iron on several of the par-4s.
At Tampa, Fla., Bob Charles dropped a 15-foot birdie putt on the third playoff hole Sunday to win the GTE Suncoast Seniors Classic, which had ended in a four-way tie after regulation play at Tampa Palms Golf and Country Club.
Charles closed with a 6-under-par 66 for a 54-hole total of 207, 9 under par, and tied Harold Henning, Jim Ferree, and second-round leader Dave Hill.
At Honolulu, Sherri Turner rewrote the record book en route to a four-stroke victory in the $300,000 LPGA Hawaiian Open.
Turner fired a record-tying 6-under-par 66 Saturday and finished with a tournament record 54-hole total of 11-under 205.> She started the round one stroke behind Alice Ritzman and Sara Ann McGetrick, but had the tournament in hand by the turn.