YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Golf Roundup : Watson Left Clear Path for Wadkins

February 15, 1988| From Times Wire Services

Lanny Wadkins didn't officially win the Hawaiian Open until Richard Zokol's chip for an eagle came up one foot short on the 72nd hole.

But the door to his one-shot victory was opened Sunday when Tom Watson four-putted for a triple-bogey on the 10th hole, leaving the veteran Wadkins alone among a host of also-rans.

"There are some names that kind of attract attention," Wadkins said. "I figured the best thing that could happen was for Tom and me to get off to a good start and put some heat on 'em."

They did that, Wadkins took the lead with a birdie on the ninth hole.

Watson was one stroke off the pace when he clipped a palm tree with his second shot, took three to reach the green on the 10th hole and faced a downhill, 35-foot par putt.

Watson's putt grazed the hole, then ran 10 feet beyond.

"That hurt him," Wadkins said. "You could tell. I wasn't surprised to see him miss the next one. But I was surprised to see him miss the one after that."

Although threatened, Wadkins had the lead alone the rest of the way and scored the 17th victory of his 18-year PGA Tour career.

Zokol had a two-under-par 70 and finished at 272.

"It was right on line, just a little short," Zokol said of his shot on the final hole.

Wadkins, three shots off the lead at the start of the day, won it with a second consecutive 66 and a 271 total, 17-under-par on the rain-soaked Waialae Country Club course. He earned $108,000.

Rookie John Huston had a 66 and was third at 274, followed by Gene Sauers, 69-275, and South African Fulton Allem, 70-276.

Watson could do no better than 72 and was tied with Loren Roberts (73) and Bob Eastwood (66) at 277.

Patty Sheehan fired a five-under-par 67 at Sarasota, Fla., to overtake Beth Daniel and earn her third Sarasota tournament victory.

Sheehan finished at six-under-par 282 to earn the $33,750 first prize. JoAnne Carner, who had a final-round 68, and Jody Rosenthal, who shot a 70, finished three shots back. Daniel, who led by two shots entering the final round, shot a 73 and tied for fourth with Sherri Turner, who had a 70.

Sheehan became the first player to win the Sarasota tournament three times. She also won in 1985 and 1987. The victory was the 18th for Sheehan, but her first in more than a year.

Daniel, who won the tournament in 1982, played head-to-head with Sheehan. Sheehan took control on the par-4 13th when she birdied the 357-yard hole, and Daniel bogeyed to fall out of the lead.

Sheehan added a birdie on the par-4 15th and closed with a birdie on 18, and Daniel had another bogey on the par-3 17th. Sheehan's round included seven birdies and two bogeys.

Gary Player shot a two-under-par 70 to win the PGA Seniors Championship for the second time at Palm Gardens, Fla.

Player started the day one stroke behind Al Geiberger and defending champion Chi Chi Rodriguez at the 6,530-yard PGA National Golf Club. Player had two birdies and a bogey on both the front and back nine.

Player's 284 total was three strokes better than Rodriguez, who shot a final-round 74. Geiberger shot a 75 during the final round and was tied for third with Miller Barber, who had a 70.

Player, 52, turned pro in 1953 and has won 128 tournaments and nearly $2.5 million dollars in his career.

Los Angeles Times Articles