GOLF ROUNDUP : Coody Rides the Wind to Two-Stroke Victory

From Associated Press

Charles Coody welcomed the strong winds that gusted from 25 to 30 m.p.h. at Silverado Country Club in Napa, Calif., Sunday.

He knew it would make it difficult for any player to make a run at him in the $500,000 Seniors tournament.

Coody was right. He started the day with a two-stroke lead over Jim Colbert and shot a one-under-par 71 over the South Course to finish the 54-hole tournament at 12-under 204. That was two strokes better than defending champion Lee Trevino, who shot a 69, and one stroke better than the tournament record Trevino set last year.

Coody's fourth Senior PGA Tour career victory earned him $75,000, increasing his 1991 earnings to $479,517. Trevino won $44,000, boosting his 1991 earnings to $609,472.

Tommy Aaron birdied the final three holes to finish third at 207 (69-70-68) and earn $36,000. George Archer, who had won two consecutive senior tour tournaments, Arnold Palmer and Dale Douglass tied for fourth with eight-under 208s, earning $26,666 apiece.

Trevino had pulled within two strokes of the lead when Coody followed Trevino's birdie on No. 17 with a three-putt bogey. But after Trevino narrowly missed a birdie putt on No. 18, the tournament was Coody's to lose, a fate he avoided with a conservative par on the final hole.

Coody began the day at 11-under through 36 holes and never let anyone else get within two strokes of his lead.

After playing par on the front nine, Trevino began his charge with birdies on Nos. 12, 14 and 15 to move within three strokes of Coody.

Colbert, who was one of three players to move within two strokes of Coody early on the back nine, took himself out of contention with a triple-bogey seven on No. 12.

Meanwhile, Coody, who had birdied No. 11, also birdied No. 12 to pull seven strokes ahead of Colbert and three strokes ahead of DeWitt Weaver, his closest challenger at that point. Weaver promptly took a double bogey on No. 13 to drop to seven-under.

Bob Charles became the first Senior PGA Tour golfer to surpass $3 million in career earnings. Charles' three-under 213 earned him $9,000, boosting his earnings total to $3,005,575 since he joined the senior tour in 1986.

Seve Ballesteros hasn't won as many major championships as he would have liked at this stage of his career, but he is proud of his record in World Match Play tournaments.

When he defeated Zimbabwe's Nick Price, 3 and 2, in the final at Virginia Water, England, the victory equaled Gary Player's record of five World Match Play titles.

It was an exceptional round by the Spaniard, who played a bogeyless round and made 10 birdies.

"This has to be the best final of all five," the Ballesteros said after earning the biggest check of the European tour golf, $255,000.

Ballesteros, who has won three British Open titles and two Masters', also won in Match Play in 1981, '82, '84 and '85.

Player's Match Play titles were in 1965, '66, '68, '71 and '73.

Battling flu, a bad back and a sore foot, Ballesteros rallied from three down after only four holes against Price. It was his 49th victory in Europe, his 64th overall and his eighth at Wentworth.

"I think it is a miracle the way I was feeling," he said. "But I know this course as well as my own in Santander. I know where to go and all the breaks on the greens."

Price, who beat England's Steven Richardson, Australia's British Open titlist Ian Baker-Finch and two-time Masters champion Nick Faldo on the way to the final, was impressed by Ballesteros' form.

"It was vintage Seve," he said. "His putter has given him so much confidence and he didn't give me an opportunity."

Price birdied four of the first seven holes, but Ballesteros equaled that on the second nine and they were tied at the halfway point of the 36-hole match.

Ballesteros went ahead at the 20th hole, however, and never trailed after that. Price bogeyed that hole and the 21st, and a five-iron shot to within two feet on the short 23rd put Ballesteros three in front.

Price birdied the 26th from four feet, but drove into trees from the next tee, had to hit out sideways and lost the hole.

Ballesteros finished with four pars.

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