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MasterCard Colonial
Colonial Country Club
Fort Worth, Texas
21st - 24th May 1998

Par 70 Prize Money $2.3 million

Final Round Report

Watson shoots 66 for his 34th PGA Tour victory

Associated Press.

Fort Worth Texas, 24th May 1998 -  Tom Watson didn't wait nearly as long to win again.

The 48-year-old pulled away with a smashing 4-under-par 66 today and won the MasterCard Colonial by two strokes.

Watson, who ended a nine-year victory drought when he won The Memorial in 1996, won his 34th PGA Tour event in his 27th full year on tour. He also has won five British Opens that are not included in that total.

"Anytime, at my age, that you get near the lead, it's fun,'' he had said Saturday. Well, he had a ball today.

His 66 at the hot, windswept Colonial Country Club came on the heels of rounds of 68, 66 and 65 for a 15-under 265 total, two strokes ahead of 28-year-old Jim Furyk, who closed with a 68.

Jeff Sluman, whom Watson was only spotting eight years, slipped into third at 269, closing with a 69. Harrison Frazar, 26, the rookie sensation from Dallas, lost his magic touch after holding no worse than a share of the lead since Thursday. He closed with a 71 for 270 and was fourth.

Tied at 11-under with Frazar and Furyk as the final round unfolded, Watson birdied Nos. 2 and 3, both par-4s, and probably won the title with a bold 130-yard fairway bunker shot at No. 9.

Working from an awkward stance, and with a pond guarding the green, Watson blasted to about 10 feet, drilled the birdie putt and took the lead for keeps at 14-under.

As Frazar's bubble sprang a leak, Watson matched Furyk's birdie at the par-5 11th to go 4-under for the day and 15-under for the tournament.

It was all over but the standing ovation as he strode smiling down the 18th fairway of the course immortalized by the late Ben Hogan, who won here five times.

Until today, Hogan was the oldest Colonial champion, winning his fifth title in 1959 at age 46.

The victory was Watson's second in 11 years as he struggled through a horrendous putting slump that threatened to end his career.

Asked earlier this week if he still finds golf fun, Watson replied with that trademark tight smile:

"When I'm not playing well, you don't enjoy it nearly as much. In fact, at one time in my career, it got to where I hated the game. I just hated it. Yet, you realize that this game does that to you.

"People who play this game understand that very clearly.''

He took the top prize of $414,000, hiking his 1998 earnings to $832,385 and his career winnings to $9,139,662.

The winning check was the largest check of his career and it probably was appropriate that it came in Texas, where he has won six times.

 

Final Round Scores

Third Round

 


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