The old adage about tournaments not beginning until the final nine holes didn’t hold up in the Buick Open. Justin Leonard had his first professional victory locked up a lot sooner.
Leonard, who shot 4-under-par 68 for a 22-under 266 total, beat Chip Beck by five strokes to become the seventh first-time winner on the PGA Tour this season.
The 24-year-old Texan played the front nine at Warwick Hills Golf & Country Club in Grand Blanc, Mich., in 4-under 32, opening a six-stroke lead over the rest of the field.
Beck, the 1990 winner, birdied the last three holes for a 67. Defending champion Woody Austin closed with a 68 to tie for third at 273 with Jim Carter (69), Dave Stockton Jr. (72) and Rick Fehr (72).
Karrie Webb needed only two rounds to reach 11-under in the du Maurier Classic in Edmonton, Alberta. Laura Davies used every bit of the 72 holes to get there.
Avoiding the inconsistency that derailed front-runners Webb and Meg Mallon, Davies shot a 6-under-par 66 for a two-stroke victory in the final women’s major championship of the year.
Webb shot a 72 and Nancy Lopez closed with a 71 to tie for second.
Dave Eichelberger, struggling all year on the Senior PGA Tour, outdueled local favorite Jim Colbert for a two-stroke victory in the VFW Senior Championship in Belton, Mo.
Eichelberger, 52, shot a 2-under-par 68, closing with a birdie on the tough par-4 18th after hitting his approach to 3 feet. He had a 10-under 200 total.
Stanford’s Joel Kribel beat Australia’s Brett Partridge 2 and 1 at Benton Harbor, Mich., to become the first qualifying medalist to win the Western Amateur since Phil Mickelson in 1991.
The only other medalists to win the championship in 28 years at Point O’Woods are current PGA Tour players Ben Crenshaw (1973), Curtis Strange (1974), Rick Fehr (1982) and Scott Verplank (1985). Jack Nicklaus also is a past winner along with Tom Weiskopf, Lanny Wadkins and Justin Leonard.
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