GOLF ROUNDUP : Putter Powers Rodriguez Past $3-Million Level

From Associated Press

Chi Chi Rodriguez, putting better than at any time in his career, had eight birdies en route to a four-under-par 68 Sunday and won the Sunwest Bank Senior tournament at Albuquerque, N.M.

Rodriguez, who began the day one shot behind Charles Coody and Joe Jimenez, birdied four of the first six holes as he overcame a double-bogey and two bogeys.

Rodriguez finished the 54-hole tournament at 11-under-par 205, two shots ahead of Jim Ferree, Jim Dent and Coody. Ferree and Dent both shot 68, while Coody shot 71.

Rodriguez's second shot on the 427-yard final hole found the left bunker and Coody hit a six-iron through the trees to within 20 feet. Rodriguez left his sand shot short, but Coody's birdie attempt slid by. Rodriguez then sank the par putt.

George Archer (68), Robert Betley (69) and Larry Mowry (70) finished four shots back at 209.

The victory, the third this season for Rodriguez, was worth $52,500 and increased his earnings for the year to $458,796. His career earnings are $3,001,272, making him the ninth player to reach the $3 million level.

Cathy Gerring birdied the first playoff hole to beat Caroline Keggi in the LPGA Stratton Mountain (Vt.) Classic.

Gerring and Keggi, who each started the day two shots out of the lead, shot four-under-par 68s to gain the playoff at 281, two strokes clear of the field.

Gerring, one of the longer hitters on the tour, then hit an iron out of the rough about 165 yards from the green to within three feet of the cup on the first playoff hole. Keggi's iron rolled up to a spectator stand and, after a free drop, she chipped to within two feet.

But Gerring, 29, rolled in her putt to win a playoff for the first time in four tries in six years on the tour. Her other victory this season was in the Lady Keystone, and she also finished second in another tournament.

Amy Benz, who shared the third-round lead with Karen Davies, had a chance to get into the playoff heading to the 18th hole. But Benz hit an approach shot into a trap on the way to a double bogey and a round of 73. Davies shot a 76.

Pat Hurst of San Jose State rallied from three holes down after the morning 18, caught Stephanie Davis in the afternoon and then won the U.S. Women's Amateur title with a conceded par on the 37th hole at Summit, N.J.

Hurst's victory came a year after the 1989 NCAA champion lost in the first round of match play after winning medalist honors in qualifying.

Hurst, 21, of San Leandro, Calif., had come into the 36-hole final at 13-under in five matches and with victories over defending champion Vicki Goetze and French Amateur champion Delphine Bourson.

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