Facebook Twitter



At East Lansing, Mich., there was little doubt Beth Daniel would win the LPGA Oldsmobile Classic. The main question was: How many records would she break on the way.

Daniel closed with a 4-under 68 Sunday, and her 20-under total tied the LPGA record for 72 holes by Nancy Lopez in the 1985 Henredon Classic at the Willow Creek Golf Club in High Point, N.C., also a par 72 course."I wasn't aware of the record," Daniel said. "But I wanted to get to 20 under. I'd been kind of pushing all day to get to 20."

She was still "pushing" when she came to the 18th, a 364-yard, par-4 finishing hole.

Daniel's approach from the right side of the fairway landed about 2 feet in front of the pin, then rolled five feet past the cup.

With the crowd completely ringing the green, including those who came up the fairway behind the players, Daniel appeared to have rolled the ball wide.

But it turned at the last instant and curled in high on the left side for her her first birdie since the 10th hole.

"Maybe I've played too long. But I never relaxed until after I saw my drive land safely on No. 18," Daniel said. "Then I said, `OK, we're going to be all right here. Let's go see what we can make happen.'

"This is the best that I've played. Certainly, since it ties a record, I've never shot 20-under before."

It was the second straight win for Daniel, who won the LPGA Corning Classic a week earlier. Daniel has won consecutive tournaments six times in her career.

Her total of 268 was four strokes better than Lisa Kiggens and five better than Amy Benz, neither of whom has ever won.

Daniel also left other marks at Walnut Hills Country Club, breaking the tournament record of 276 by Barb Mucha in 1992.

Daniel had a 63 in the second round, besting Deb Richard's tournament record by a stroke. Her 36-hole 130 and 54-hole 200 totals also set tournament marks.

Daniel, 37, now can gain entry in the Hall of Fame with either one win in a major, or six more victories on the regular tour.

Forget the other 71 holes. The Kemper Open was decided on the sixth hole of the final round, when Bobby Wadkins lost his ball - and a chance to win his first tournament in 20 years on the PGA Tour.

Mark Brooks won the Kemper with a 72-hole total of 271, closing out the tournament with a 2-under-par 69 that gave him a three-stroke victory over Wadkins and D.A. Weibring.

Wadkins led Brooks by one stroke after five holes, but his triple-bogey on No. 6 dropped him two shots behind. Brooks never lost the lead, cruising to his fourth career victory and first since 1991.

"After the sixth hole I didn't focus on Bobby anymore," Brooks said. "Then it was just a matter of staying ahead."

Wadkins started the day with a two-shot lead over Brooks, but the margin was halved when Wadkins' 7-foot par putt on No. 2 lipped out. Both went par-birdie-par before heading to the pivotal 520-yard, par-5 6th.

Brooks put his second shot into a creek on the left side of the green. Wadkins, refusing to lay up on his shot from the fairway, attempted to reach the green from a tough angle and clipped a tree. His ball caromed into the woods to the right of the green and was never found by an extensive search party that included dozens of people from the gallery.

"It was an ugly shot, but I didn't get the best break. There were 500 people looking for it," Wadkins said. "I can pull that shot off 70 percent of the time. I've hit a whole lot worse than that and found them."

Wadkins took a one-stroke penalty and shot again from the same spot. He again hit the same tree, and this time the ball landed in a bunker. Wadkins barely escaped the sand, hitting onto a despression outside the green.

He chipped out, then two-putted for a disastrous 8.

"An 8 never entered my mind," he said. "Maybe I should go to Las Vegas tonight and play 8."

Brooks, meanwhile, took his stroke penalty for hitting in the water and salvaged par with a 12-foot putt.

"That was the biggest putt of the day, no question," he said.

Brooks had a steady round of 16 pars and two birdies to finish at 13 under. The $234,000 top prize was his biggest payday in 11 years on the tour.

Wadkins shot a 74 and Weibring had a 68. Lee Janzen shot a 66 for a 275, tied with Phil Mickelson, who had a 69.

Janzen, finishing in the top 10 for the first time since winning the 1993 U.S. Open, said, "I've been playing well. I just haven't scored well. It's been a lack of confidence, but I'm finally feeling well about my play."

After his triple-bogey, Wadkins fell three strokes back by bogeying No. 7 and finished the front nine at four over.

Wadkins bogeyed 12, then rebounded with birdies on 13 and 14. By then, however, he was merely playing for second place. He got it, albeit in a tie, and took home $114,400.

"Right now it doesn't mean anything except that my wife can buy more Power Rangers stuff for our son," Wadkins said. "I'd much rather donate the $114,000 back to the people here and have that trophy and have that win."

At Birmingham, Ala., Jim Dent added some deft putting to his long driving and overpowered the back nine Sunday on the way to a two-stroke victory at the Bruno's Memorial Classic.

Dent birdied Nos. 10, 11, 13, 15 and 16 for a stunning 31 over the final nine holes, finishing with a 5-under-par 67 and a 15-under 201 total. Second-round leader Bob Charles could muster only one birdie down the stretch to go with eight pars and came up short with a 71, tying for second at 203 with Larry Gilbert and Kermit Zarley.

Charles had 66s in the first two rounds at the Greystone Golf Club and he continued his steady play, but Dent was spectacular in rallying for his first PGA Senior Tour victory in nearly two years.

Charles had a chance to lengthen his lead when Dent bogeyed Nos. 1 and 4, but the New Zealander failed to capitalize with a rare bogey of his own at 2.

Dent, who never won on the regular PGA Tour, received $150,000 for winning his eighth victory among the 50-and-over group - the first since the Newport Cup in July 1992. Charles finished as the Bruno's runner-up for the second year in a row.

The 6-foot-3, 224-pound Dent has always been one of the longest drivers on the tour but it was his putting that pushed him to the front Sunday. He made a 20-footer at 10, a 10-footer on 13, another 20-footer on 15 and an 11-footer at 16.

Charles, who plays a conservative, precise game that relies on wedge shots and putting to make up his deficiency with the driver, missed a 21/2-foot birdie putt on 18 Saturday and never seemed to recover. His round was steady - one bogey, one birdie, the rest pars - but he kept missing the critical putts that Dent was making.

Gilbert, a former club pro who won his first tour event at the Dallas Reunion Pro-Am in April, entered the final round at 11 under, one shot off Charles' pace, and briefly surged into the lead with a birdie on 2. A double-bogey at 4 ended his run.

Gilbert did rebound for a spectacular eagle on 18, holing an 8-iron from 125 yards to move into a tie with Charles and Zarley, who was never in serious contention for the lead but made a big move with birdies on four of the last six holes.

Bob Murphy, the defending champion, appeared to be charging before his putter let him down. He missed short birdie attempts on 14 and 15 and settled for a 9-under 207.

Former amateur champion Jay Sigel moved to the front briefly with birdies on three of the first five holes, but he seemed to unravel after his group was warned for slow play. He bogeyed 6 and 7 and had a devastating double-bogey at No. 8 before rallying to finish at 10 under.