YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Golf Roundup : Pavin Soars Like an Eagle in Hawaii

February 17, 1986| From Times Wire Services

It took Corey Pavin's best to overcome Tom Watson.

Pavin's best shot of the day set up an eagle on the 13th hole to destroy Watson's hopes and propel Pavin to a two-shot victory Sunday in the Hawaiian Open at Honolulu.

"One of the best rounds I've ever played," Pavin said. "With the wind, and the pressure, definitely one of the best I've ever played."

Pavin, formerly of UCLA, finished with a six-under-par 66 in gusty winds and a 272 total, 16 under par.

Of the 66 shots he played, the 5-iron second shot on the par-5 13th was easily the best.

"It definitely was the key shot," said Pavin, who gained his third victory in as many years on the PGA Tour.

"I played it into the wind and let the wind bring it back to the hole. It came off just the way I'd pictured it."

The ball came to rest within tap-in distance of the hole for the eagle-3 that put him three shots ahead.

Pavin, 26, started the day knowing he had problems.

"It's tough to start out three back of Tom Watson," Pavin said. "I knew I had to get the pressure on him early."

While the five-time British Open champion was struggling on the wind-raked Waialae Country Club course, Pavin holed three birdie putts from 20 feet or more, turned the front in 31 and had a two-shot lead.

Paul Azinger, who had a chance to win a week ago in San Diego, came on with a 70 and claimed second at 274.

Watson, attempting to break a long non-winning string, couldn't keep pace. A non-winner since the summer of 1984, Watson finished bogey-bogey for a 73 that dropped him back into a tie for third at 276 with Masters champion Bernhard Langer of West Germany. Langer had a closing 68.

PGA champion Hubert Green, Dave Ogrin and Andy Dillard were another shot back at 277. Ogrin had a 67, Dillard 68 and Green a 70.

Jack Nicklaus, never in contention, struggled to a 74 and was far back at 284.

The next stop on the PGA Tour is the L.A. Open this week at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades.

Gary Player shot an even-par 72 in the final round to hold off hard-charging Lee Elder and gain a two-stroke victory in the $250,000 PGA Seniors Championship at Palm Gardens, Fla.

Player, scoring his second victory in his first three tournaments on the PGA Seniors Tour, finished the 72-hole event with a seven-under-par 281. He piled up a seven-stroke lead in the first two rounds and coasted in, playing one-over-par in the last two days.

"I'm pleased to have won and I'm pleased with my total," said Player, who won the PGA Championship in 1962 and 1972. "Before we started, I said even-par would win."

Elder trailed by five strokes at the turn Sunday but made it close by shooting four birdies in the final nine holes. A 30-foot birdie putt at the 17th hole brought Elder as close as he could get, however, as he and Player parred the final hole.

The victory was worth $45,000 to Player, and Elder earned $28,000.

Player and Elder were the only players to beat par for the tournament.

Charles Owens and Jim King tied for third at 290, with Owens shooting a 72 and King a 73 in the final round. Chi Chi Rodriguez and Billy Casper were next at 291.

Miller Barber, who shared the first-round lead with Player, closed with a 71 to finish in 12th place at 296. The $5,500 he earned pushed his Senior Tour earnings since 1981 over the $1 million mark at $1,001,908. The only other player to top $1 million in Seniors' earnings is Don January.

Los Angeles Times Articles