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Michelob Championship
Williamsburg, Va
8th - 11th October 1998

Par 71 Prize Money $1.9 million

Final Round Report

Duval becoming PGA Tour's 'Mr. October'

Associated Press

Williamsburg, Va, 11th October 1998 -  Make it seven victories in a year for David Duval, golf's newest Sunday superstar and its first Mr. October.

Duval shot a 3-under-par 68 today in the final round of the Michelob Championship for his seventh victory in the last 364 days. It was his fourth in his last five October events, and first as a defending champion.

"Everything worked out just like I wanted it to," Duval said of his 16-under 268 total, just three shy of Scott Hoch's tournament record.

"It just all comes together now and then," Duval said.

Once known as Mr. Runnerup because of his seven second-place finishes before his breakthrough playoff victory here last year, Duval has now won seven times in his last 24 events to become the first player since Tom Watson to win as many in a calendar year. Watson won eight times in 1979-80.

"I always thought I would win golf tournaments out here, but to have it happen seven times in 12 months was not reasonable to expect. If this is some type of dream, I certainly don't want to wake up anytime soon," he said.

Duval also became the first successful defender on the 6,853-yard River Course at Kingsmill since Calvin Peete in 1983, and he still has to defend titles at Walt Disney World and in the Tour championship later this month.

And his $342,000 winner's check boosted his earnings for the season to $2,464,408, extending his PGA Tour record. It's also nearly $700,000 more than No. 2 Vijay Singh, who has played 24 events to Duval's 21.

Phil Tataurangi finished alone in second after a closing 69, the best finish of his career. The $205,200 in prize money also moved him from No. 165 to No. 86 on the money list, meaning he'll retain his tour card for 1999.

"I dare say he played a better round of golf than me today with all that riding on his shoulders," Duval said of his 26-year-old playing partner.

"He showed great patience, fought all day," Duval said. "I'm sure there was a lot going on in his mind and he handled it well."

Tataurangi bounced back from a bogey on the second hole with consecutive birdies, and rebounded from three more bogeys with birdies in holding off a challenge from Payne Stewart and Barry Cheesman down the stretch.

"It was great. I had the time of my life out there," he said.

But the story, once again, was clearly Duval.

"We all knew when he did win it was going to be a landslide," Tataurangi said of Duval. "Winning gives you confidence you can't gain by finishing second."

And on a day when Tiger Woods blew a 4-stroke lead, then missed a 4-foot putt on the final hole as the United States lost in the semifinals of the Dunhill Cup, Duval sure looked like the best player in the world.

"Every time I looked at the leaderboard after making birdies, he's making birdies, too," said Stewart, who shot 69 and finished five back in a tie for fourth with Bradley Hughes.

"You can talk all you want to about Tiger Woods, but David's winning golf tournaments," Stewart said, listing Duval, Woods and Justin Leonard as the young stars of the future. "(Duval's) learned how to win."

Playing in the final threesome with 19-year tour veteran Gary Hallberg and Tataurangi, Duval started with a one-shot lead and never lost it, even after stumbling with an early bogey on the par-3 fifth hole.

He quickly made up for that with five birdies in the next eight holes, and by the time he made bogey at No. 17, the outcome was no longer in doubt.

By then, with Stewart and Cheesman also attacking par on the back nine, the only questions were who would finish second, and if Duval would break Scott Hoch's 19-under 265 tournament record, set in 1996.

He didn't, but did just about everything else right.

Cheesman shot a 66 to jump into third place, and Billy Mayfair made five birdies on six holes beginning at No. 12 to claim a share of sixth with John Huston, Hallberg and Frank Lickliter. Hallberg, one shot off the lead at the start, did not make a birdie all day and shot a 3-over 74.

DIVOTS: Besides Duval and Peete, Mark McCumber (1987, 1994) is the only other two-time winner of this event, which moved to Kingsmill from Silverado Country Club in Napa, Calif., in 1981. ... Duval won three straight starts, beginning with this event, last season and now owns two of the top three earnings totals in tour history. He made $1,885,308 last year, second only to Woods' then-record $2,066,833. ... Duffy Waldorf, who lost to Duval in last year's three-way playoff with a 13-under total, finished at even-par 284 after a closing 73. Waite finished at 290. ... Duval had at least a share of the lead all four days, but does not get credit for the first wire-to-wire victory on the tour this year because he shared the first-round lead with Tataurangi. Both opened with 6-under 65s.

Final Round Scores

Third Round

Second Round

First Round