Golf Roundup : Bradley Holds Off Lopez for Win
Pat Bradley endured rain, two lightning delays and a late charge by Nancy Lopez to end a two-year victory drought Sunday, posting a final round of even-par 72 to win the $250,000 LPGA Rochester Invitational at Pittsford, N.Y.
Starting the final round with a five-stroke lead, Bradley played cautiously and bogeyed the sixth hole. However, she used strong wedge shots and clutch putting to save par elsewhere and finished with an eight-under-par 280 for four rounds. Her efforts were good enough for a two-stroke victory over Lopez, who closed with a 68.
Bradley’s biggest putt came on the 18th hole after Lopez, playing in the previous threesome, birdied the hole to pull within one stroke. Bradley needed a par to win in regulation. She went one better, sinking a 10-foot putt for her only birdie of the day. The final threesomes completed Sunday’s round in a driving rain.
With her $38,250 winner’s check, Bradley ended nearly two years of frustration dating back to her last victory in the 1983 Mazda Japan tournament. Bradley’s bid to win was twice delayed by electrical storms on the front nine. The first delay lasted almost two hours and the second lasted 20 minutes. The golfers played through the rain but stopped on the order of LPGA official Jack Warfield when the thunder and lightning seemed to be directly overhead.
Bonnie Lauer also closed with a 68 to finish in third at 284.
At Dallas, Australian Peter Thomson, who is rapidly turning the Senior tour into his personal playground, birdied four consecutive holes on the front nine, then put his game on cruise control to win a $260,000 tournament with a 14-under-par 202.
Thomson parlayed his sizzling start into a four-under 32 on the front nine and a final round of 68.
Lee Elder, who was born in Dallas but has never won there, shot a 69 to finish two shots behind Thomson at 204. Finishing in a tie for third at 207 were Don January and Gay Brewer. January closed with a 67 and Brewer had 69.
The 55-year-old Thompson, leading money-winner on the Senior tour, earned $26,000 as he collected his fifth tournament championship of the season and second in a row.
Thomson, who won The Champions tournament at Reno last week, calmly beat back the challenges by Elder, January and Brewer on a steamy, 95-degree day that turned Bent Tree Country Club into an outdoor sauna.
“It’s never easy to lead all the way,” said Thomson, five-time winner of the British Open. “It’s quite a burden.”
Thomson has $197,667 in earnings this year and $517,755 in five years on the Seniors tour.
Bob Lasken of Candlewood Country Club shot a 70 at Rancho Park to give him a four-round total of 275 and a victory in the L.A. City men’s golf championships.
Lasken finished six shots ahead of Tom Stankowski and Jay Lundstrom of Sepulveda Golf Club. Stankowski earned second place when he defeated Lundstrom in a playoff.