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Buick Invitational
Torrey Pines Country Club
San Diego, California
5th - 8th February 1998

Par 72 Prize Money $2.1 million

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Simpson wins in playoff rain-shortened Buick Invitational

La Jolla, California, 8th February 1998 - Former U.S. Open champion Scott Simpson sank a 13-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole to defeat Skip Kendall and post his first victory in four years today at the rain-shortened $2.1 million Buick Invitational in San Diego.

The 42-year-old Simpson blistered the Torrey Pines South course for a final-round 8-under-par 64, including birdies on the last three holes, to finish at 12-under 204. He earned $378,000 for the victory, his first since the 1993 Byron Nelson Classic.

Kendall, who missed an eight-foot birdie attempt on the par-5, 498-yard 18th hole in the playoff, carded a 70, but fell short in picking up his first PGA Tour victory.

Simpson won the 1987 U.S. Open at the Olympic Club. Last year, he fell out of the top 125 on the money list for the first time since joining the PGA Tour in 1978. He is playing this season on a one-year exemption for being among the top 50 in career earnings.

For the second straight week, a PGA tournament was shortened to 54 holes due to rain. Originally, the third round was to resume this morning, with the final round to follow. But heavy rain pushed back the start of play 2 1/2 hours, and tournament officials decided to shorten the event to 54 holes.

Rain also disrupted last week's Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, shortening it to 54 holes and eventually forcing officials to postpone the final round until August 17th.

Masters champion Tiger Woods fired a 68 today to finish at 11-under 205, along with 1996 champion Davis Love III and Kevin Sutherland. Love, the reigning PGA Championship winner, and Sutherland carded 70s.

Two-time champion Steve Pate, the second-round leader, struggled with a 74 to finish in a group of seven golfers -- Tommy Armour, Brent Geiberger, Russ Cochran, J.L. Lewis, Spike McRoy and Steve Jurgensen -- at 10-under 206.

Defending champion Mark O'Meara, who struggled uncharacteristically at Pebble Beach last week, posted a 72 to finish nine shots back at 3-under 213. He was trying to become just the second player to defend a title at Torrey Pines. J.C. Snead won in 1975-76.

The Torrey Pines South course is a par-72 layout that measures 7,022 yard