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Golf Roundup : O'Grady Shoots a 62 to Tie, Wins Playoff

July 07, 1986| From Times Wire Services

Mac O'Grady's course-record 62 wasn't good enough for his first career PGA victory. He needed a one-hole playoff.

O'Grady, who is playing while appealing a six-week suspension and $5,000 fine by PGA Commissioner Deane Beman, won the $700,000 Greater Hartford Open Sunday when Roger Maltbie missed a three-foot putt on the first hole of a playoff at Cromwell, Conn.

"There are times when you spread your wings and your molecules rise higher than they ever have before," said O'Grady, who needed 17 attempts before finally qualifying for the PGA Tour in 1982. He first went through qualifying school in 1971.

"For the dreamers of the world, the people whose spirits have been fragmented along the yellow brick road, this is a day I share with them.

"Last night I worked on the practice-putting green until 10 o'clock. In the first three rounds I couldn't make a putt."

The best previous tournament for O'Grady was a third-place finish at the Las Vegas Invitational last year. He tied for fifth in the Doral Open in March and tied for sixth in the Canadian Open last week.

O'Grady missed a four-foot putt that would have given him a birdie on the playoff hole, but collected the $126,000 first prize when Maltbie's putt spun out of the cup.

"The sun is still going to shine and my wife is still going to love me," Maltbie said. "I got beat by a 62, why should I be ashamed of that?

"I thought I made my putt. I just made a bad putt at the wrong time. I wasn't nervous. I just missed the shot."

Despite temperatures in the mid-90s with 75% humidity, O'Grady finished with an eagle, eight birdies and one bogey in the final round. His four-day total was a 15-under-par 269.

O'Grady has been embroiled in a running feud with Beman since the 1984 USF&G tournament in New Orleans when O'Grady allegedly verbally abused a tournament worker.

O'Grady presented his case last week to a three-member appeal board at the Canadian Open and a decision is expected soon.

"I'm not here to stick it to the PGA Tour or grind any axes," O'Grady said. "It's just that they've been inconsistent in applying their regulations. We'll just have to wait and see what the decision will be."

The former course record of 63 was set by Peter Jacobsen and Mark O'Meara in 1984 and matched by David Lundstrom in 1985.

Maltbie started the day at 10 under and had six birdies and one bogey for a final-round 66. He birdied the 17th hole to force the playoff with O'Grady.

O'Meara, Scott Hoch and Paul Azinger finished in a three-way tie for third at 12 under par.

Tom Watson, who was the co-leader along with Ken Knox going into the final round, shot his second consecutive 70 and ended up four strokes off the pace. Watson has not won a PGA Tour event in two years.

Tim Simpson, the leader through the first two rounds, and Curtis Strange tied Watson for sixth place.

Amy Alcott ran in a long birdie putt on the first playoff hole to beat Lauren Howe and win the $300,000 LPGA Mazda Hall of Fame Championship at Sugar Land, Tex.

Alcott's 25th career victory and first of this season gave her at least one victory in each of her 12 seasons on the LPGA Tour.

Howe, overcoming a series of injuries and ailments, charged into contention with a final-round 68 but couldn't sustain the momentum on the first playoff hole, the par-3, 188-yard 16th hole.

Alcott missed a birdie putt on No. 17 to drop into a tie with Howe, and finished regulation play with her second straight par round of 72, tying Howe at 284, four-under-par.

Howe started the day at even par, but caught Alcott with a birdie on No. 17. Howe missed a birdie putt at No. 18 that would have given her the victory.

Amy Benz, who led through the first two rounds of the tournament and fell behind Alcott on the final hole of Saturday's third round, shot a 73 for a total of 286 and third place--the best finish of her career.

Lori Garbacz, who started the final round at four over par, shot a 67 to tie for the low round of the tournament and finished with a 287 total. Garbacz missed a short par putt on 18 that would have given her a 66.

Seve Ballesteros of Spain shot a final-round 69 for a two-shot victory in the $195,000 French Open at Versailles, France, to become the first golfer to win four straight events on the European tour.

Ballesteros, who finished with a 19-under-par 269, earlier won the British Masters, Irish Open and Monte Carlo Open.

Argentina's Vicente Fernandez finished with a 68 to finish at 271. West Germany's Bernhard Langer, who fired a final-round 68, was third with a 272.

Ballesteros, a strong contender for this month's British Open at Turnberry, Scotland, is just $60,000 short of becoming the first player to win $1.5 million on the European tour.

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