While Justin Leonard was thinking birdies and making bogeys, Hal Sutton simply tried to be patient.
His strategy worked as Sutton won the Texas Open by one stroke Sunday after Leonard blew his lead on the final two holes."I'm overwhelmed, to be honest with you. I knew this wasn't going to be easy to do," Sutton said of his first PGA Tour victory since 1995. "I held my patience real well."
Sutton emerged victorious after a battle on the back nine with Leonard and Jay Haas.
The first prize of $306,000, the largest check of his career, moved Sutton from 31st on the money list to 15th, with $1,079,740.
Leading by one stroke entering the final round at LaCantera Golf Club, Sutton had six birdies and two bogeys in a 4-under-par 68.
He held on to par the final two holes and finish with an 18-under 270 total, one stroke ahead of Leonard, who bogeyed the final two holes, and Haas, who couldn't make a birdie down the stretch.
"It's disappointing to give myself that good a chance and not be able to pull through," said Leonard, who shot a 68, as did Haas.
Finishing three strokes back at 273 were Mike Reid, who set a course record with a final-round 62, Steve Lowery (64), Loren Roberts (67) and Andrew Magee (66).
Scott Gump, who was tied with Leonard one stroke back entering Sunday's round, finished four strokes off the lead after shooting a final-round 71. Jeff Maggert, who had a 66, was tied with Gump.
Leonard took a one-stroke lead over Sutton and a two-stroke lead over Haas on the par-4 15th when he made a 10-foot birdie putt. Sutton bogeyed the hole and Haas continued his streak of pars. On No. 16, Leonard and Sutton both made birdies and Leonard remained a stroke ahead at 19 under.
But everything changed on the 17th.
Leonard hit to the right of the green, then chipped the ball to 12 feet. His putt came up short and he bogeyed.
He had problems again on No. 18 when he hit into a bunker then just missed his 5-foot putt for par.
Sutton, knowing all he had to do was par, missed a 10-foot birdie putt on 18 but followed up by making a 2-footer for the championship.
"As long as he didn't get more than two shots away from me I knew I still had a chance to win," Sutton said of Leonard. "I was just trying to stay within one or two."
LPGA BETSY KING CLASSIC: Rachel Hetherington and two-time defending champion Annika Sorenstam both closed their rounds with four consecutive birdies Sunday, then Hetherington made another on the first playoff hole to win the LPGA Betsy King Classic at Kutztown, Pa.
BOONE VALLEY SENIOR CLASSIC: Larry Nelson won the Boone Valley Senior Golf Classic by two strokes Sunday in Augusta, Mo., withstanding a charge in which Graham Marsh eagled two of the last five holes.
Nelson, beset by back problems this year, closed with a 7-under-par 65 and won for the third time this year, his first full season on the tour.