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GOLF ROUNDUP : 18-Year Drought Ends With Bryant's Victory

October 09, 1995|From Associated Press

After 18 seasons and 460 PGA Tour events, persistence paid off for Brad Bryant, golf's ultimate grinder.

With a bogey-free four-under-par 68, the man nicknamed Dr. Dirt won for the first time on the tour Sunday, edging Ted Tryba and Hal Sutton by a stroke in the Walt Disney Classic at Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

Bryant, who has seven second-place finishes in his career and until Sunday was the PGA Tour's all-time money leader among players without a victory, finished the rain-shortened 54-hole event at 18-under 198.

"It's been so long coming," Bryant said. "I don't know what to say. I do know I just gave hope to every golfer in the world. They're going to say if that old, fat guy can do it, so can I. They'll have 2,000 applications for tour school now."

There was never a question what the 40-year-old Texan needed to do for a victory. Because of the one-round cancellation from rain and the three different courses being used, players went off Sunday with their assigned third-round tee times instead of sending the leaders off last.

That meant both Sutton, with a final-round 66, and Tryba, who finished with a 65, were in the clubhouse at 17-under well before Bryant teed off.

"I think that was really good for me," Bryant said. "That took the pressure off me. I knew I didn't need a lot of birdies if I didn't make any bogeys. I played 16 holes without any pressure on me. There was only pressure on the last two holes when I knew it was my tournament to win or lose."

Bryant dropped a 35-foot putt on his third hole, made an 18-footer on his 10th and moved into a tie for the lead with a 10-footer on 13.

Finally he took the lead on the 16th with a seven-iron to eight feet before making the putt.

"I almost broke down after I made that putt," he said. "I almost started crying right there."

He earned $216,000 and a two-year PGA Tour exemption.

*

Lee Trevino, knowing he needed to finish strong, shot a 32 on the back nine on his way to a six-under 66 and a three-stroke victory in the Transamerica senior tournament at Napa, Calif.

*

Sweden's Anders Forsbrand wasted a five-stroke lead but held on to win the $1.2 Mercedes German Masters at Motzen by two strokes over Bernhard Langer.

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