Lee Janzen, who said he desperately needed a good tournament, got more than that when he shot a 71 Sunday to win The Players Championship in a survival test over the treacherous TPC-Sawgrass course.
Janzen came into the final round trailing Corey Pavin and Bernhard Langer by a single shot but had more than made that up when he birdied No. 9 to make the turn all alone in the lead.
He then held steady while all around him shots were bouncing into the water and putts were spinning out of the cup on the slick, wind-dried greens.
Janzen, who said after Saturday’s round, “I feel like I desperately need a good tournament,” looked desperate at times in Sunday’s final round. But despite backing off shots and stalling at times he made every big shot he needed.
The biggest may have been on No. 17 when he missed the island green and was saved from the water by a tiny pot bunker short of the green.
He played a brilliant sand shot that left him a tap-in for par.
He closed the win with a gutsy par on the water-lined 18th hole when he rolled in a 5-footer.
Janzen 5-under-par total of 283 was 19 strokes higher than Greg Norman’s winning score last year but was one stroke better than Langer and two better than Pavin, Payne Stewart and Gene Sauers.But he increased his $55,000 in earnings tenfold with the $540,000 first-place money.
With LPGA stars Nancy Lopez, Tammie Green and Laura Davies locked in an intense struggle down to the finish, the winner of the Nabisco Dinah Shore in Rancho Mirage, Calif., was - Nanci Bowen.
As Lopez and Green selfdestructed and Davies failed to gain any ground over the final few holes, Bowen, who had never won an LPGA tournament, shot a 2-under-par 70 to win the Dinah Shore, the first of the women’s major championships.
Bowen, who first joined the tour in 1991 but did not qualify in 1993, finished 3-under par, one shot in front of Susie Redman.
Isao Aoki won the American Express Grand Slam senior golf tournament in Kurimoto, Japan, when the final round was shortened to nine holes because of snow, rain and cold.
Aoki, maintaining his two-stroke lead, shot a 35. The Japanese star finished with a 7-under-par 173 for 45 holes and won $100,000.
Local journalism is essential.
The journalists of The Spokesman-Review are a part of the community. They live here. They work here. They care. You can help keep local journalism strong right now with your contribution. Thank you.
Subscribe to the sports newsletter
Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.