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Shell Houston Open
TPC at The Woodlands
Houston, Texas
30th April - 3rd May 1998

Par 72 Prize Money $2.0 million

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Final round 64 gives Duval second victory of the year

Associated Press

The Woodlands, Houston, Texas, 3rd May 1998 - David Duval figured he needed an eagle on the back nine today to make a run at the Shell Houston Open championship.

The hottest player on the PGA Tour got two -- and won.

"How about that! Good stuff,'' Duval said after the pair of eagles vaulted him from five stroke back with eight holes to play to finish at 12-under-par 276, one shot better than Jeff Maggert.

"A lot of things went my way on that back nine,'' said Duval, who had an 8-under 64 for the final round. "I've made a few eagles to win events, but never two.''

Fred Couples, with birdies on three of the last four holes, had a 68 to wind up third at 10-under 278, one shot ahead of Lee Janzen and Dudley Hart. Dan Forsman, who shared the lead with Maggert after 54 holes, finished at 280, along with Jerry Kelly, Hal Sutton and Dave Stockton Jr.

With his victory in February at Tucson, the 26-year-old Duval becomes the PGA Tour's first multiple winner this year. It's also his fifth victory since October, which was capped by a win at the Tour Championship, also in Houston.

He's won five of his last 12 events and is now No. 1 on the PGA Tour money list with $1.24 million, passing Justin Leonard.

"It's just weird how it's all unfolded,'' he said. "I just do my best to stay out of my own way. Lately it's been all good.''.

Duval, idle since finishing second at The Masters last month, was six strokes behind third-round co-leaders Maggert and Forsman at the start of play today.

He got to the par-4 10th hole and buried his approach shot in a bunker for a bogey that put him at 7-under. Janzen was at 12-under.

"I was going to have to make an eagle,'' Duval said. "What can I say?''

At the par-5 No. 13, his drive left him 200 yards and his next shot was 25 feet to the right of the hole. The putt went in.

"That fired me up,'' he said.

At 15, another par-5, his second shot from 211 yards landed 14 feet from the hole. That putt went in, too.

He birdied No. 16 and parred the final two holes.

Maggert had a chance to force a playoff at this event for the fourth consecutive year, but his long birdie attempt from the back of the green at No. 18 was short by about 4 inches.

"I had a lot of putts around the hole,'' he said. "They just didn't go in. I felt if I could make three or four birdies I could win.''

It marked the third time Maggert has led here at his home course going into the final round, but failed to win. It's also the 12th time in his eight years on tour that he has finished second.

Janzen had four birdies on the front nine and got to 12-under at No. 10. But he had his first bogey of the day at No. 12 and faded with bogeys at Nos. 14 and 16 and a double bogey at 17.

Maggert had eight straight pars to begin the final round before a bogey at the ninth hole. He birdied No. 13 and 15 to get to 11-under, but parred the final three holes.

Forsman, who played steady golf all week while looking for his first win in six years, had five straight pars before a birdie at the par-5 No. 6 pulled him even with Janzen. He was two strokes off the lead with two holes to play, but bogeyed both.