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Golf Roundup : Strange Hits Jackpot in Las Vegas Tourney

March 25, 1985| From Times Wire Services

Curtis Strange celebrated the victory first, dancing around the 18th green with both fists clinched after sinking a six-foot birdie putt to win the Las Vegas Invitational.

Only then did he think about the money--$171,000--the biggest prize in American golf.

"They're all big-money tournaments now," Strange said Sunday after his one-shot victory in the five-day tournament. "I didn't let myself think about it.

"Sure, it's important. But, gosh, winning two times in my last three starts--and fourth in the other one--I guess that means more to me than the money."

Strange's second victory of the season--the other was four weeks ago in the Honda tournament--and the seventh of his career came on a five-under-par 66 in the final round at Los Vegas Country Club and a 338 total, 17 under par.

The victory, the seventh of his career, enabled him to join Lanny Wadkins and Mark O'Meara as double winners this season and stamped him a prime candidate in two important events in the near future--the Masters and next week's Tournament Players Championship.

The huge first prize, the winner's share of a total purse of $1,042,000, lifted Strange's earnings to a career-high $332,346 for the season

He had to survive challenges from Tom Watson, Jay Haas, and--at the end--longshot Mike Smith.

Don January fired a course record-tying eight-under-par 64 to take a three-stroke victory in a $200,000 PGA Seniors tournament at Sun City West, Ariz.

The victory was worth $30,000 for January, who finished 54-holes at 198, 18 under par.

Gene Littler was second and Orville Moody was third, seven shots back.

January started the day with a one-stroke advantage over both Littler and Moody. He eagled three of four par-5 holes en route to the 64.

Next stop on the seniors tour is the 54-hole $250,000 Carta Blanca Seniors Classic at Mountaingate CC in Los Angeles starting Friday.

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