As she walked toward the first tee Sunday before the final round of the LPGA Championship, Laura Davies anticipated disaster.
“It had been a great year, and I was just waiting for something to go wrong,” she said.
Not this week.
Davies won her second tournament in a row and the second major of her career, pulling away on the back nine en route to a three-under-par 68 and a three-stroke victory at Wilmington, Del.
Davies distanced herself from the field with birdies on Nos. 11, 12, 14 and 15 at the DuPont Country Club. The Englishwoman finished at five-under 279.
“I was dead nervous when I went out there today,” she said. “I was pretty calm in the middle of the round, and after I made the birdie on 15, the last three holes seemed to take forever.”
It was much worse for the rest of the field. After Davies’ torrid stretch, the only remaining question was who would finish second.
Alice Ritzman, bidding for her first victory in 402 events, bogeyed two of the first three holes but recovered to shoot a 70 for a 282. It was the eighth time she has finished second during her 17-year career.
Elaine Crosby, Pat Bradley, Liselotte Neumann and Hiromi Kobayashi were at 283.
Neal Lancaster won the largest sudden-death playoff in the history of the PGA Tour, beating five others for the title in the storm-shortened GTE Byron Nelson Classic at Dallas.
Lancaster won for the first time in his five years on the tour when he sank a four-foot birdie putt on the first extra hole at the TPC at Las Colinas.
He beat David Ogrin, Dave Edwards, rookie Yoshi Mizumaki, Tom Byrum and Mark Carnevale, all of whom completed one round on each of two rain-soaked courses in nine-under-par 132. The tournament was reduced to a 36-hole format after a series of rainstorms.
The six-man field for the playoff was the largest in PGA Tour history--five-man playoffs have been held seven times, the most recently last year--and capped one of the tour’s shortest tournaments.
It was the first since the 1986 Pensacola Open to be cut by weather to 36 holes, the minimum to be recognized as an official event.
Lee Trevino birdied the final hole to complete a four-under-par 68 and a one-shot victory over Jim Colbert and Jimmy Powell in the PaineWebber Invitational at Charlotte, N.C.
For two days, Trevino had labored over the final nine holes at the TPC at Piper Glen and managed even par. But he had two birdies there Sunday and finished with a three-day total of 13-under-par 203.
On the par-five 18th hole, Trevino hit a driver and a five-wood to reach the fringe, and he made a three-foot birdie putt for his third victory of the year.