Facebook Twitter



Somebody else's drink, a brushy barranca and a botched opportunity all figured into Steve Pate's one stroke victory in the Buick Invitational of California at San Diego.

"I was thinking playoff," Pate said Sunday after completing a 5-under-par 67 with a last-hole birdie. "I was hoping to win, but I thought I'd be tied."When his 16-foot putt dropped into the cup on the final hole at Torrey Pines, it put Pate at 16 under par. But that was good only for a share of the lead and his day's work was done.

Mike Springer, playing well behind Pate, made a pair of 25 foot putts on the 15th and 16th and also was at 16 under par when he went to the 17th tee.

But his push disappeared - along with Springer's golf ball - when the chunky young man yanked his tee shot deep into the brush and brambles.

It was unplayable, and he couldn't find a place for a drop that would not also be unplayable.

So Springer trudged back to the tee, his head down, and eventually took a triple-bogey 7 that dropped him out of contention.

The par-4 17th also served as the scene for Pate's skirmish with the suds, a spectator's 12-pack of beer.

His second shot came to rest on top of the cardboard carton containing the beer. After serious consultation with a rules official, he was allowed a drop, and got it up and down for a par.

It produced the biggest cheer of the day.

The fifth victory of his career was worth $180,000 from the total purse of $1 million and pushed his earnings for the season to $221,182.

Chip Beck came from four shots back with a 66 and claimed second at 201.

Robert Wrenn, rookie Chris Tucker and Australian Steve Elkington wre next at 202. Wrenn and Tucker each shot 70 and Elkington had a 69.

In Honolulu, Lisa Walters shot 7-under-par 65 for a one-stroke victory over Kristi Albers and Missie Berteotti in the Hawaiian Ladies Open on Saturday. Walters, who earned $60,000, finished with an 8-under 208 total on the 6,241-yard Ko Olina course. Albers closed with a 68 and Berteotti shot a 71. Dottie Mochrie and Michelle McGann tied for fourth at 210.