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Bob Hope Chrysler Classic
Bermuda Dunes Country Club
14th -18th January 1998

Prize Money $2.3 million

This is a five-round event (90 holes) is being played on four par-72 courses in Southern California -- the 6,478-yard Indian Wells Country Club, the 6,901-yard La Quinta Country Club, the 6,931-yard PGA West Course and the 6,927-yard Bermuda Dunes Country Club.

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Fred Couples wins playoff for victory over Lietzke

Bermuda Dunes, California, 18th January 1998 - Fred Couples sank a three-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole to capture his first victory in two years, outlasting Bruce Lietzke to secure the $2.3 million Bob Hope Chrysler Classic in Bermuda Dunes, California.

Couples and Lietzke finished the tournament at 28-under-par 332. On the first playoff hole, the 513-yard, par-5 18th, Couples hit a pair of 3-woods before setting up the short putt. He received a free drop because his ball went through the green and landed near television cables. Before making the putt, he watched Lietzke miss from roughly nine feet.

Couples claimed the $414,000 first prize for winning this 90-hole event played on four courses in the Southern California desert. Like all of the competitors that made the Saturday cut, he played the Bermuda Dunes course today, firing a 6-under 66 to close a three-shot gap and force the playoff. He shot 66 on the same course Friday.

Couples had gone winless since the Players Championship in 1996. The victory was the 13th of his career.

Lietzke, who won this event 17 years ago, started the final day tied with Andrew Magee with a three-stroke lead over Couples and Steve Jones. Magee finished third, one shot off the pace, and it was two strokes back to Jones and David Duval.

At 46 years, six months, Lietzke was trying to become the oldest winner on the PGA Tour since Hale Irwin won the MCI Classic in 1994 at the age of 48. Lietzke's last victory came at the 1994 Las Vegas Invitational.