Morris Hatalsky won his first tournament in five years by downing defending champion Tom Kite in the second
playoff hole in the $800,000 Kemper Open.
The 13-year PGA Tour veteran, however, did not sound much like the winner despite netting the largest payday of his career."I've been saying all week that I wanted to enjoy my golf. But I didn't enjoy this at all," said Hatalsky, who led by two strokes heading into Sunday's final round but blew a fat final round lead by bogeying three of the final four holes of regulation.
"My stomach started in and my nerves were shaking."
Battling a swirling wind at the Tournament Players Club at Avenel, Hatalsky said he needed a "miracle" to get past Kite, who he led by six strokes six holes into Sunday's round.
It came in the form of a sensational wedge shot from behind the spectator gallery that rolled just four feet from the pin on the second playoff hole when Hatalsky appeared headed for a certain bogey.
"I got over the putt and I hit it," said Hatalsky of the winning shot. "It was a strange feeling. I went blank and then looked up and watched it roll the last three inches."
Hatalsky dropped his putter, leaped in the air and hugged his caddie, former major league baseball shortstop Tim Foli, after the winning shot.
Hatalsky, who had missed the cut in his last three tournaments, led the field by as many as four strokes in the final round before collapsing on the back nine with bogeys on the 15th, 16th and 18th holes. But after his two-iron approach shot sailed right and behind the gallery on the 444-yard, par-4 18th hole, he delivered his miraculous wedge shot and drilled the putt that gave him the $144,000 first place check.
Kite, the only golfer to win a tournament in each of the past seven years, sent an 8-foot putt just inches wide to the right on the decisive playoff hole, then tapped in for bogey.
Hatalsky shot a one-over-par 72 Sunday and a four-round 10-under 274. Kite, who won last year's Kemper by a record-tying seven strokes, shot a 69 Sunday.
Both golfers hit short par putts on the first playoff hole, the par-3 17th.
Hatalsky claimed his third career tournament title and first since the 1983 Greater Milwaukee Open.
At Dallas, Orville Moody refused to let a tree stand in the way of winning the Senior Players ReUnion Pro-Am. Moody, who hit a tree on the 10th hole three times in as many tries during regulation play, ignored the temptation to play it safe when the tournament went to a four-way sudden-death playoff Sunday.
Moody hit a perfect drive and later used his 50-inch putter to roll in a 16-footer and win the top prize in the $285,000 event.
"In a playoff, I think you've got to go for broke. There's no sense playing it safe," Moody said.
Moody, the Senior Tour money leader, said his putting made the difference at the par-72 Bent Tree Country Club course.
"Every time I got over a putt I thought I could make it," Moody said. "The whole week I putted as well as I ever have. It was definitely the putter that won it for me."
At Toledo, Ohio, England's Laura Davies sandwiched an eagle between two birdies to overtake Nancy Lopez on the final nine holes Sunday, shooting a 3-under-par 69 for a three-stroke victory in the LPGA Jamie Farr Toledo Classic.
The 24-year-old Davies, one of the longest hitters on the tour and the winner of the 1987 U.S. Women's Open, started the day one behind Lopez and remained one down after 10 holes.
But Davies dropped in a short birdie putt on the par-5 11th, while the 31-year-old Lopez three-putted for her first bogey of the day, giving Davies a one-shot lead.
Davies then chipped in her third shot from the side of a hill just left of the green on the par-5, 432-yard 12th hole, while Lopez made a birdie to drop two back. Davies nailed a long birdie putt on No. 13 to take a three-shot lead and held on from there, matching bogeys with Lopez on Nos. 15 and 17.
Davies' 11-under-par 277 beat the record for the tournament, 278, shared by Lauri Peterson and Penny Hammel.
And at Woburn, England, Sandy Lyle added the British Masters championship to the more prestigious U.S. Masters title he won in April, holding off longtime British rival Nick Faldo in the final round Sunday to become a golfing millionaire.
The 30-year old Scot won by two shots with a final round of 71 for a 15-under-par 273 total, his first victory on home soil for three years.
The $76,237 first prize boosted Lyle's official European career earnings since he turned professional 11 years ago to $1.892 million at today's exchange rate.