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Buick Open
Warwick Hills & Country Club
Grand Blanc, Michigan
6th - 9th August 1998

Par 72 Prize Money $1.8 million

Final Round Report

Mayfair cruises to second title of the year

Associated Press

Grand Blanc, Michigan,  9th August, 1998 - Billy Mayfair took the lead with a scrambling birdie on the par-5 first hole and held it the rest of the way Sunday for a two-stroke victory over Scott Verplank at the Buick Open.

Mayfair, who started the day tied for the lead with Steve Stricker, pulled away from the field as he closed with a 5-under-par 67 for a 17-under 271 at rain-softened Warwick Hills Golf & Country Club.

At the first hole, Mayfair hooked his drive for a nasty lie in a fairway bunker, punched out and then put his third shot within 15 feet of the pin. He made the birdie for a one-stroke lead over his playing partner, Stricker, and led the rest of the way.

In a bogey-free round, Mayfair shot 33 on the front side to turn at 15-under, and birdies at the 12th and 14th got him to 17-under. Clearly, nobody was going to catch him -- and Mayfair certainly wasn't backing up.

It was the fifth PGA Tour win for Mayfair and made him the fourth multiple winner this season, joining David Duval, Fred Couples and Mark O'Meara. He beat Tiger Woods in a playoff at the Nissan Open in March.

Verplank, whose only PGA Tour win as a professional came at the 1988 Buick Open, shot 64 for 273.

Andrew Magee, who was third at the Bob Hope in January and second at the Memorial in May, also had 64, but it left him one back of Verplank at 274.

Woods, using Warwick Hills as a warmup for the PGA Championship at Redmond, Wash. next week, made a charge by reeling off four straight birdies on Nos. 12-15.

But Woods had to settle for a 68 for 275, tied with former Warwick Hills pro Eric Booker (66), a Nike Tour regular who got into the tournament on a sponsor's exemption.

Stricker, with an even-par 72, tied Joey Sindelar (64) at 276.

Mayfair's victory was worth $324,000 from a $1.8 million purse.

Verplank, who lost in a playoff to Trevor Dodds at Greensboro on April 26, drew a huge roar from the raucous crowd in the trees ringing the par-3 17th when he chipped in for birdie to reach 15-under. Still, that only matched Mayfair, who was just making the turn.

"This was just one of those deals where you start putting the ball in the hole, so I just went with it," said Verplank, whose only other Tour victory came as an amateur. "Maybe all the bad breaks I've had are evening themselves out now."

Sindelar eagled the par-5 13th by hitting driver, 1-iron to within 8 feet of the cup.

"I just went out thinking I didn't want to go out and shoot 77 and finish dead last," said Sindelar, who hit 17 greens, 12 of 14 fairways and needed 28 putts.

Defending champion Vijay Singh and second-round leader Brandel Chamblee both shot 72s for 277.

Divots: Fuzzy Zoeller, who was 4-under after two rounds, finished 77-77 for a 6-over 294.  Jeff Gallagher shot 66 for 277 to earn only his second top-10 finish of the year. His best in 20 previous starts had been a tie for sixth at the Nissan.  64 equals the best finishing round ever shot in the Buick Open. The record was set by John Fought in 1980 and matched by Doug Tewell in 1988. But three players -- Verplank, Magee and Sindelar matched it Sunday. Sindelar had a chance to break the mark, but missed a 6-foot putt on the final hole

 

Final Round Scores

Third Round

Second Round

First Round

 


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