Severiano Ballesteros of Spain posted a record 6 and 5 victory over an ailing Bernhard Langer of West Germany Sunday in the final of the $240,000 World Matchplay Championship at Wentworth, England.
It was the Spaniard’s fourth victory in 10 consecutive appearances in the tournament, just one short of South African Gary Player’s record of five titles.
Ballesteros’ six-hole margin bettered the previous best winning score, Player’s 6 and 4 victory over Jack Nicklaus in 1966.
The 28-year-old Ballesteros, who beat Langer, 2 and 1, in last year’s final, admitted he played “as well as I needed to” against the West German this time.
Langer, also 28, conceded he had “played as badly as I have in a long time.”
He added: “But I was very tired and still suffering from the cold I had before the tournament.”
Ballesteros won $70,000 to bring his earnings in this event to an estimated $450,000. Langer collected $35,000.
In the playoff for third place, South African Denis Watson, 28, defeated Andy North, the U.S. Open champion, 3 and 2.
At Cape Elizabeth, Maine, Billy Casper used a hot putter on the closing holes to post a two-stroke victory in the $160,000 Unionmutual Seniors tournament.
Casper had four birdies over the last nine holes in shooting a three-under-par 67 for a 54-hole total of 200, 10-under par over the 6,239-yard, Purpoodock Club course. The victory was worth $35,000.
Orville Moody shot a course-record 62 on the final 18 holes to finish at 202 and claim second place and $22,000. The record of 63 by club pro Ernie Olson stood since 1971.
Moody’s playing partner, George Lanning, had a 64 and finished another stroke back at 203. At 204 was Don January, who was only two strokes back after 36 holes but could manage only a 69 over the final 18.
Hurricane Gloria’s movement through New England on Friday caused the opening day of the tournament to be postponed, and tournament organizers decided to play 27 holes each on Saturday and Sunday.
At San Antonio, heavy rain wiped out play in the storm-delayed $350,000 Texas Open. Rain forced delays in the third round Saturday, and play was eventually halted due to darkness. The third round will be completed this morning, with the fourth round following immediately.
Leader Jodie Mudd and 14 others have yet to complete the third round. With five holes to play in the third round, Mudd was at 13-under and held a five-stroke lead.
At Woodlands, Tex., the second round of the $125,000 PGA Scramble was washed out by the rain. Twenty-four five-man teams will tee off this morning in the championship division, while the rest of the 92 teams that began play Saturday will compete in a consolation “skins” game. A team captained by club pro Steve Applegate of Palmdale had the low score Saturday, a 18-under-par 54.
At Linville, S.C., Scott Verplank of Oklahoma State, winner of this year’s PGA Western Open, shot out of trouble on the final hole to win individual honors at the Grandfather Collegiate Invitation tournament by one stroke. Verplank, taking a nine on the par-4 16th hole and a bogey on the par-5 17th, had a final-round 74 for a 217 total.