Bob Hope Classic
Bob Hope Classic
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Durant wins in record style

Joe Durant returned a seven- under par 65 on Sunday to win the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic by four shots over Paul Stankowski. He set a tournament record with a five-day total of 36-under 324, breaking the previous mark of 325 set by Tom Kite in 1993.

The 36-under score is the lowest in relation to par in PGA Tour history. Kite held that record as well with his 35-under total in this 90-hole event in 1993.

"It was really a magical week," said Durant, who collected $630,000 for the win. "It seemed like every time I needed to make a crucial putt I did."

The win never seemed to be in doubt after Durant posted a six- under 66 on Saturday to take a five-shot lead with one round to go.

Durant carded three front nine birdies, including a five-footer at the second and a tap-in at six before he made his assault on the record book at the turn.

At 10, Durant hit a pitching wedge from 146 yards that landed 10 feet from the hole, where he converted the birdie effort. He played his second shot into a greenside bunker at the par-five 11th, but got up and down for his fifth birdie of the afternoon.

Stankowski had cut the lead to three after he birdied three holes in a row starting at the 14th, but Durant extended his advantage at 16 after he knocked a sand-wedge shot from the fairway to 10 feet. He added a birdie at the next hole, also from 10 feet and that putt gave Durant the record.

Durant could have gone lower at the 18th but his eight-foot birdie try fell short of dropping in the cup.

This marks the second victory on the PGA Tour for Durant, who at one point gave up the sport to sell insurance. He came back to the tour and won the Western Open in 1998.

"To win again means a lot," said Durant, who also set new records for this event after 36, 54 and 72 holes. "In fact, it almost means more to me than the first time. I feel like I've gone full circle and my game is where it should be."

Stankowski mounted the closest thing to opposition that Durant saw on Sunday. He fired a nine-under 63 in the final round, including four birdies in six holes while he made the turn. Stankowski made four birdies over his last five holes, but Durant had too much of a lead.

"I'm a little disappointed because I wanted it and I wanted it bad," said Stankowski, who is winless on the PGA Tour since the 1997 Hawaiian Open. "I wanted to go out and make a bunch of birdies early."

 

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