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Tucson Chrysler Classic
Omni Tucson National Resort
Tucson, Arizona
19th February - 22nd February 1998

Par 72 Prize Money $2 million

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Duval wins by four-shots

Tucson, Arizona, 22nd February 1998 - David Duval continued to stake his claim as one of golf's rising young stars, completing a 19-under-par 269 for a four-stroke victory today in the $2 million Tucson Chrysler Classic at the Omni Tucson National Resort in Arizona.

The 26-year-old Duval, who has won four of the last eight events he has entered, carded a 1-over 73 today (Sunday) but easily held off defending British Open champion Justin Leonard and David Toms. After capturing the last three events in 1997, Duval has three top-10 finishes in 1998.

Although he blew a seven-stroke lead, Duval recovered and captured the $360,000 first prize and vaulted to the top of the PGA Tour money list with $533,663. After going 86 starts without a victory, Duval has earned $1.8 million in his last eight events.

"Had I not won tournaments last year, I would not have won today," said Duval, who is enjoying the best stretch by a PGA pro since Nick Price won four times in six events in the summer of 1994. "I am proud of myself for what I did today."

Playing in the final pairing, Duval and Leonard actually were tied after 14 holes. Duval played the first 12 holes at 1-under while Leonard was 3-under through the same. The key momentum shift came at No. 13, where Duval hit his driver out of bounds and three-putted for triple bogey. Leonard made it a four-shot swing by sinking a birdie putt to move within a stroke of the lead.

That lead evaporated when Duval found a bunker at 14 and bogeyed the hole. After both golfers parred 15, Duval chipped in at No. 16 while Leonard bogeyed the hole. Duval rolled home a 35-foot birdie at 18 for good measure to finish at 1-over for the round.

"Being so far ahead is a position I'm not familiar with," said Duval. "After the triple I said to myself, 'At least I'm still leading.' After 14 I said, 'At least I'm still tied.'

"One of the things I have learned is to hang in there. I tried to draw from my wins last year and concentrated on hitting solid shots."

Leonard, who hadn't finished higher than 25th in any of the three tournaments he had entered this year, more than quadrupled his 1998 earnings with the $176,000 second-place cheque.

"I'm sure a lot of people gave him the golf tournament yesterday," Leonard said. "There were times that I did. But it shows you how golf can be."

The 25-year-old Leonard, who carded four rounds of 70 or lower, saw a number of putts lip out and was left to wonder.

"Today I was hitting good putts and they were not dropping -- that's frustrating," he said. "I had plenty of opportunities. It just wasn't my day. I wasn't playing for second place."

Tim Herron and Steve Lowery were six strokes off the pace at 11-under 277. Bob Tway, Andrew Magee and 1996 Player of the Year Tom Lehman were seven shots back.


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