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1997 NISSAN OPEN / RIVIERA COUNTRY CLUB | NOTES

McCarron Goes From Clothes to Open

March 02, 1997|SHAV GLICK and THOMAS BONK | TIMES STAFF WRITERS

After Scott McCarron graduated from UCLA in 1988, he gave up golf for four years, but not sports.

"I kept busy, I played in two softball leagues, played tennis, racquetball, started a flag-football league and did some sky-diving. I had a great time. I'd never had time for those things when I was a serious college golfer.

"The only golf I played for four years was client golf, trying to sell apparel from my dad's golf-clothing business between shots."

Scott and his wife, Jennifer, met at UCLA and and were both Greeks. Scott was a member of Beta Theta Pi and Jennifer a Delta Delta Delta.

"There'll be a lot of friends from Westwood out there following me Sunday, you can bet on that," McCarron said.

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Craig Stadler of USC and McCarron of UCLA are tied for second at 205, one shot back of Nick Faldo, setting up a battle for the city championship, but overall the Bruins have five players remaining in the tournament to four for the Trojans.

From UCLA: McCarron, Steve Pate, Jay Delsing, Corey Pavin and Duffy Waldorf. From USC: Stadler, Scott Simpson, Dave Stockton Jr. and Jeff Hart.

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As soon as he made consecutive eagles on Nos. 10 and 11, McCarron said the gallery following him started growing.

"I could hear them saying, 'Oh, my God, McCarron, look at that guy!' " he said.

"They probably didn't know who I was."

McCarron nearly had a third eagle on the back nine, but his 42-foot putt on No. 17 traveled only 41 feet 11 inches.

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When McCarron made his consecutive eagles, it marked the first time it had happened on the tour since Dave Stockton Jr. did it in 1994 at the Disney World Classic.

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The presence of Tiger Woods and a picture-postcard day combined to attract 39,128 spectators to the tournament Saturday, more than last year's Sunday round. The three-day total is 86,312.

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Davis Love III, who shot 143 for two rounds, withdrew before Saturday's round because of stomach flu.

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A study in contrasts:

Woods--"I'm not going to practice now. I'm going to go home and see my Pop."

Faldo--"I'm heading for the range. There are a few little things I need to work on."

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