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United Airlines Hawaiian Open
Waialae Country Club
Honolulu, Hawaii
12th February- 15th February 1998

Par 72 Prize Money $1.8 million

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Huston sets USPGA record with 28-under par

Honolulu, Hawaii, 15th February 1998 - John Huston shot a 6-under-par 66 today and set a new USPGA Tour record with the best four-round score ever in the $1.8 million Hawaiian Open at the Waialae Country Club in Honolulu, winning for the first time in nearly four years.

The 36-year-old Huston, who led the entire final round, birdied the par-5 18th hole to finish at 28-under 260 and pass the 43-year-old four-round record of 27-under set by Mike Souchak at the 1955 Texas Open.

Huston finished seven shots ahead of Tom Watson as he collected the $324,000 first prize in his first win since the Doral-Ryder Open in 1994. His previous best 72-hole score was 26-under in the 1992 Walt Disney World Classic.

Huston shattered the event record by five shots, surpassing the 23-unders of Hale Irwin in 1981 and John Cook in 1992. What really impressed Watson was Huston breaking Souchak's mark.

"If you look at it, it's almost a birdie every other hole," said Watson. "That's pretty great golf."

Huston also set a record for most birdies in a 72-hole event with 31. The previous record of 29 was shared by Chip Beck, Davis Love III and Steve Jones, who did it at last year's Phoenix Open.

As he did on Saturday, Huston birdied on back-to-back holes on two occasions. He used a 6-iron to set up a 15-foot putt on the par-3 seventh before knocking in a four-foot putt on the next hole.

Huston opened the back nine with consecutive birdies -- an eight-foot putt on the par-4 10th and a six-inch putt on the par-3 11th.

His only bogey came on the par-5 13th when he skulled a bunker shot. Ironically, the hole had been the easiest on the PGA Tour this year, played at an average of 4.21 shots.

"After bogey, I still felt pretty much in control," said Huston. "I kept trying to hit fairways and didn't get too concerned."

The 48-year-old Watson fired a 66 to finish second, one stroke better than Trevor Dodds, who carded a 68. Mike Reid, Brett Quigley and Greg Kraft finished tied for fourth at 19-under 269.

Watson has not finished any lower than second in any of the three tournaments in which he has entered this year. He was in a four-way tie for second at the Phoenix Open and was tied for first when the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am was postponed due to rain.

Dodds won $122,400, earning more money than he ever had won in a complete season.

The Waialae Country Club is a par-72 layout that measures 7,012 yards.