GREENSBORO, N.C. — Joey Sindelar won his way into the Masters, but said he'll go to Augusta, Ga., by way of Horseheads, N.Y.
"I'm not a negative thinker," Sindelar said after his surprise victory Sunday in wind, rain and cold at the Greater Greensboro Open, his first on the PGA Tour.
"But I only came here with clothes for one week. I've got to go home and regroup," he said.
Sindelar, who collected $116,528 last year as a Tour rookie, hadn't expected to be making the trip to Augusta next week. He'd planned on a week at home in upstate New York.
But, with the extreme weather conditions sweeping away the hopes of some of the game's more glamorous names, Sindelar shot past 15 players with a closing round of 69, then waited around for more than an hour for the rest of the field to finish and confirm his first victory. It was achieved on a 285 total, three under par for four trips over the wind-scoured Forest Oaks Country Club course.
"Unbelievable. I'm so excited I can hardly talk," Sindelar said.
The victory was worth $72,000 from the total purse of $400,000 and pushed his money winnings for the year to $87,044.
Perhaps more importantly, it qualified Sindelar for the Masters at Augusta, Ga., this week, and such exclusive events as the Tournament of Champions and the World Series of Golf.
"I'm thrilled to be going to the Masters. I never played there as an amateur, and it's a big thrill. But my first victory . . . "
Japanese veteran Isao Aoki and former Masters champion Craig Stadler tied for second at 286. Stadler had a 71 in the fierce winds, occasional showers and increasing cold. Aoki, winner of 44 international titles, matched par 72.
Corey Pavin was the only other man to break par for 72 holes. Pavin got in with a 71 and was alone at 287.
U.S. Open champion Fuzzy Zoeller made an early move, with a 32 over the front nine. But he took a double bogey on the 16th and finished at 71--289.
His problems were minor, however, compared with those of veteran Raymond Floyd. From a share of the lead, Floyd struggled in with a 78 and finished the tournament at 290, five strokes back.
Floyd, twice the winner of the PGA and the 1976 Masters champion, had an off-season last year and has, generally, been unproductive this year.
"I've been telling people that I've been playing well and not getting anything out of it," he said. "I hate to keep saying that. After a while, people look at you like you're crazy. But that's what's been happening.
"It's been very, very trying, frustrating, aggravating," he said.