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Golf Roundup : Ballesteros Is Winner of USF&G

March 18, 1985| From Times Wire Services

Severiano Ballesteros made three birdies on the back nine and survived a bogey on his final hole to win the $400,000 USF&G tournament Sunday at New Orleans when John Mahaffey double-bogeyed the 18th.

The victory gave Ballesteros the $72,000 winner's share of the purse.

The Spaniard's bogey on the 18th left him at 205, tied with Mahaffey at 11-under-par, with Mahaffey on the 17th tee.

Mahaffey parred the 17th, but knocked his first shot on the 18th into tree roots on the right side of the fairway, his second into the trees on the left, chipped back onto the fairway, then two-putted from about eight feet after a chip onto the green. His six left him at 207.

Saturday's rain washed out the third round, making the tournament a 54-hole event.

Tony Sills and Brett Upper shared the lead going into Sunday, but Sills shot 73 and Upper shot 75.

Ballesteros had birdies on holes Nos. 6, 8, 11, 16 and 17 and kept himself out of any serious trouble until his bogey on 18.

Mahaffey said that if he had known Ballesteros had bogeyed the hole, he might have played his final shot a little differently, but no less aggressively.

"I'd still try to do the same thing at 18," he said. "I made up my mind a long time ago--you don't win a golf tournament by backing off. I gave it my best shot."

Peter Jacobsen and Mahaffey won $35,200 each for their second-place tie. Mark Lye and Sills were tied for fourth at 208.

Jane Blalock, winless since 1980, rolled in a 15-foot par putt on the final hole to win the $300,000 Women's Kemper Open at Kaanapali, Hawaii, by one stroke over Pat Bradley.

Blalock trailed Bradley by a stroke going into the 72nd hole at the 6,182-yard Royal Kaanapali Course and appeared to knock herself out of contention when she hit her third shot on the par-5, 440-yard hole into a lateral water hazard.

But Bradley, hitting from the middle of the fairway, placed her third shot into the water, dropping into a tie.

After Blalock rolled in her tie-breaking putt, Bradley was short on her eight-foot attempt which would have put the tournament into a playoff.

Blalock struggled to a 75 in gusty afternoon winds to finish at five-under-par 287, one stroke ahead of Bradley. Alice Miller was the only other player under par at 289 after a 71.

Peter Thomson of Australia birdied the last two holes en route to a three-under-par 69 and a one-stroke victory over Arnold Palmer and Billy Casper in the $300,000 Vintage Invitational seniors tournament at Indian Wells.

Thompson, 55, finished the 72-hole tournament at seven-under-par 280 to earn $40,000 with his third seniors victory.

Palmer, who eagled the 18th hole, had a 70 to tie Casper, who had a four-under-par 68--the lowest final round of the senior PGA tour event.

Gene Littler, a two-time Vintage winner, and Jim Ferree finished the tournament at 282, two shots back. Littler, who shared the third-round lead with Harold Henning, had a 73, while Ferree shot a 69. Henning had a 75.

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