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Bell Canadian Open
Glen Abbey Golf Club
Oakville, Ontario
10th - 13th September 1998

Par 72 Prize Money $2.2 million

Final Round Report

Andrade wins at first playoff hole over Bob Friend

Associated Press

Oakville, Ontario, 13th September 1998 - In a duel of bizarre bounces and heroic putts, Billy Andrade won the Bell Canadian Open on Sunday by purposely playing into the bunker and saving par to beat Bob Friend on the first playoff hole.

The victory -- which felt more like survival -- ended a seven-year victory drought for Andrade. He has won three times on the PGA Tour and has trailed going into the final round in all three.

"When you don't win for awhile, you don't know if you're ever going to win again," said Andrade, who finished at 13-under 275 and won $396,000. "But I had a funny feeling about this week."

He could have never dreamed how it would finish.

Andrade had a one-stroke lead over Friend going to the 508-yard closing hole at Glen Abbey Golf Club, the same hole where Andrade hit into the water in the third round for a double bogey that cost him the lead.

Friend, needing at least a birdie for a chance of a playoff, left his 3-wood short, but it somehow bounced over the bulkhead and skipped through the green into a back bunker.

Andrade, from 237 yards, also decided to go for the green but went in the water for the second straight day. He hit his fourth shot to 30 feet, then holed the putt for par, leaning over to watch it track to the cup and leaping into the air when it fell.

Friend, who earlier holed out a bunker shot for birdie on No. 9 and chipped from the front of the green to the back on the 17th to save par and stay in the game, blasted out of the bunker to 6 feet and rolled in the birdie to force the playoff.

"I don't think I ever shook as much as I did over that putt," said Friend, who earned $237,000 for the biggest paycheck of his career.

They returned to the 18th hole for the playoff and took the same route -- a drive to the fairway, and an approach shot that wound up in the amphitheater surrounding the 18th. Friend, playing first, trying to slip a 60-degree sand wedge to get over the bunker, but it came out hot and rolled through the green into the water.

"Whoa, whoa, whoa," Friend said, putting his hand up.

Andrade bumped his chip into the bunker, then blasted out to 5 feet and made the par-saving putt.

"If I had to hit first, I might have tried to drop it on the green," he said. "But I knew what I had to do, so I chipped it in the bunker."

Andrade was so shook up by the whirlwind finish that he nearly forgot to replace his ball mark before making the winning putt.

"That last hole probably aged me 10 years," he said.

Andrade, two strokes down to start the final round under sunny, mostly still conditions, closed with a 3-under 69. Friend shot a 71 and had few regrets.

"This was my first time under the gun," said the 34-year-old son of ex-Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Bob Friend. "I'm not disappointed in the way I played."

Mike Hulbert had a 68 to finish third and made it interesting with three straight birdies to finish one stroke out of the playoff.

Friend showed signs of playing in the final pairing on Sunday for the first time, missing two of the first three greens and constantly backing off putts. But he never trailed until Andrade made a 10-footer for birdie on the 17th, and it was a minor miracle the lead was not any bigger.

Friend left his approach to the horseshoe-shaped green on the front side, some 70 feet from the hole and separated by rough. He chipped from one end to the other, stopping it 4 feet away and making the par.

Earlier, he holed a 50-foot bunker shot on No. 9 to take a one-stroke lead into the turn. And when his ball hopped out of the hazard and safely into the back bunker on the regulation 18th, Friend was starting to wonder if this was his day.

"I had no idea how it got out of there," he said.

But he no such luck in the end. He took his penalty drop out of the water on the playoff hole, blew his chip 6 feet by and made it for bogey.

Andrade ended further suspense with his par, raising his playoff record to 2-1.

"The whole day, I kept saying I was going to win this tournament," Andrade said. "I'm thinking about winning the tournament and kissing that trophy."

One problem. It wasn't the same trophy he saw advertised on the promotional material. But he'll take it.

Divots: Andrade played this week with the new Titleist ball, which won't be available until next week. Jeff Sluman used the same ball in winning at Milwaukee last week. For the third straight round, Andrade took an unusual route on No. 5, a 527-yarder with a dogleg right. He played his drive about 40 yards right of the fairway, giving him a direct shot into the green. ... Frustrated by his putting, Bradley Hughes of Australia tried a crosshanded grip late in the third round and finished birdie-eagle. He stuck with it Sunday and shot a 6-under 66 and tied for fourth. Ashley Chinner closed with a 71 for 5-under 283 and was the low Canadian. Andrade was in the 60s all four rounds. Andrade and Friend were the only players to break par all four days.

Final Round Scores

Third Round

Second Round

First Round

 

 


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