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GOLF ROUNDUP

Calcavecchia Keeps On Going for It and Wins

March 16, 1998|From Associated Press

Mark Calcavecchia made five birdies on the final seven holes to run away from Vijay Singh and the rest of the field at the Honda Classic at Coral Springs, Fla., closing with a 65 for a three-stroke victory Sunday.

Calcavecchia, who had promised to go at every pin, didn't have a choice on a calm, soft day ripe for low scores. He kept his pledge to the end, firing at the flag on the 18th for a birdie that put him at 18-under 271.

His ninth PGA Tour victory was worth $324,000 and made him only the 11th player to surpass $8 million in career earnings.

"Chasing a leader who doesn't make any mistakes makes a difference," said Singh, who closed with a 67. "I was just trying to keep up with him."

Colin Montgomerie finished with a 66. He was alone in third at 275, but is 0-for-46 on the PGA Tour.

John Daly rebounded from a 76 in the second round with great play on the weekend. He tied the course record of 8-under 64 and wound up tied for fourth with Jeff Maggert and defending champion Stuart Appleby.

Maggert, whose 41 on the back nine Saturday afternoon knocked him six strokes off the lead, tied a tournament record with a 7-under 29 on the front to briefly take the lead. But he played the back even par for a 65.

Calcavecchia didn't have to look at the lifeless trees or feel the heavy, muggy air to realize what it would take to win. Not long after his drive landed softly in the first fairway, he no longer had the lead.

That belonged to Maggert, who stormed back from a third-round 76 to birdie six of the first seven holes.

One group ahead, Daly thrilled a large following with a 2-iron from 252 yards that settled 15 feet away on the fringe on the par-5 14th. He holed it for eagle, putting him within two strokes of the lead.

But Daly's approach on the par-5 16th veered left into a bunker and he failed to get up and down for birdie.

Still, his 64 was good enough to match the course record that Craig Parry and Tommy Armour III set on the TPC at Heron Bay last year.

*

Dana Dormann's heartache became Helen Alfredsson's triumph, and another milestone in her battle to overcome an injury that affected her career for years.

Alfredsson showed that her recovery is complete, sinking a three-foot birdie putt on the last hole to win the Welch's-Circle K Championship in Tucson by one stroke with a 14-under 274 score.

"I think it's constant," she said about rehabilitation to stretch a right hamstring that atrophied after it tore in a 1985 bicycle accident and was reattached 14 months ago. "But I feel like I'm getting a little better, a little more consistent."

The dramatic finish came minutes after Dormann two-putted from 18 inches to bogey No. 18.

Liselotte Neumann shot a 4-under

68 to tie for second, and Alfredsson teed off on the last hole virtually certain of needing a birdie to avoid a three-way playoff.

While Dormann battled the yips, Alfredsson was lining up her second shot on the 458-yard par-5 and pondering the wildness of her final round. She then hit a 5-iron onto the green about 25 feet from the hole and two-putted.

"I thought she was 14-under, so I thought I had to have a birdie to tie it and force a playoff," Alfredsson said. "It wasn't until I was walking over the bridge onto the green that I realized what happened."

Alfredsson finished the round with a 72, the highest score by a winner on the LPGA Tour this year.

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