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Golf Roundup : Okamoto Keeps Head and Three-Shot Lead

June 01, 1986|From Times Wire Services

Ayako Okamoto of Japan went back to what she knows best and held a three-stroke lead Saturday heading into the final round of the $300,000 LPGA Championship at Mason, Ohio.

Okamoto, who admitted she played with a slight hangover Friday after drinking too much American beer the night before, said she was clear-headed during her three-under-par 69 in the third round.

"I just had one beer and a little bit of Saki last night," said a smiling Okamoto, who is at 205 after birdies on the last three holes and four of the last five.

Okamoto, seeking her seventh American LPGA tour win since 1982, had a three-stroke lead over Cindy Mackey, who shot a 68. Mackey eagled the par-five, 427-yard first hole and held or shared the lead for most of the back nine until Okamoto made her late charge.

At 209 were Pat Bradley, the tour's leading money-winner this season, along with Mindy Moore.

Larry Mize said he knows what to do this time.

Mize shot a five-under-par 67 and took a one-stroke lead at 208 after three rounds of the Kemper Open at Bethesda, Md., where he blew a five-shot lead in the final round a year ago.

"I can't describe it," Mize said. "It's just being there before. It's just being in that position before that makes you feel comfortable and gives you confidence."

Mike Reid shot a 71 to take second place.

Tied for third at 211 were Greg Norman, Mike McCullough, Curtis Strange and Dan Forsman.

Chi Chi Rodriguez, sinking the birdie putts that eluded him in the first round, fired a five-under-par 67 for a one-stroke lead after two rounds of the Denver Post Champions senior tournament at Castle Rock, Colo.

Rodriguez, a PGA Senior Tour rookie who is seeking his first victory on the circuit, blistered the front nine with four birdies to move past first-round leader Roberto De Vicenzo.

He added two more birdies on the back nine before missing the green at the 18th hole and taking his lone bogey and finishing with a two-round total of 136.

De Vicenzo had a 71 and is tied for second with Gary Player, who had a 67, at 137.

Oklahoma State's Scott Verplank had tears in his eyes after winning the NCAA men's championship at Winston-Salem, N.C., but they weren't tears of joy.

"Now, I guess you'll believe me when I tell you the team is more important," Verplank said after the Cowboys lost their lead and the team championship to Wake Forest.

Verplank, who will turn professional in a few days, shot a one-over-par 73 to finish at 282.

Wake Forest claimed the team title by three shots with a 1,156.

Medalist Page Dunlap led Florida to its second straight NCAA women's championship at Columbus, Ohio. The Gators, with a total score of 1,180, won by eight strokes over Miami (Fla.).

Dunlap, a junior, shot a three-over-par 76 Saturday for a 72-hole total of 291. Dunlap held off challengers Michelle Estill of Arizona State and Caroline Keggi of New Mexico, who each finished at 292. Estill shot a final-round 72, while Keggi turned in the day's best round, a 71.

USC finished in third place at 1,202.

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