Federal Express St Jude Classic
Federal Express St Jude Classic
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Tryba wins rain-delayed St. Jude

A friend's advice may have been worth $450,000 to Ted Tryba.

Tryba, who won the St. Jude Classic by two strokes Monday, was in a group of six one shot off the lead heading into the final round, which had been delayed a day because of heavy rain Sunday.

He was practicing his putting before going onto the course when his friend grabbed him by the shoulders and told him: "Take your time out there -- any time I felt a little rushed or I felt uncomfortable to just take a step back."

Clinging to a one-stroke lead at the tee on the 528-yard, par-5 16th hole, Tryba recalled the advice and stepped back from the ball. He then stepped up and smacked a perfect drive.

"I think it really helped me there because I hit probably the best tee shot of the week there," Tryba said.

From 234 yards out he hit a 4-iron about 8 feet from the pin, then sank an eagle putt to go to 19-under. He stayed there and collected the $450,000 winner's check for his second PGA Tour victory.

"This was a nice one to win because you didn't just back in. You went out and shot 66 and just grabbed it. It felt great," Tryba said.

Tryba's 265 total was two shots better than Tim Herron and Tom Lehman. Jose Maria Olazabal, whose closing 62 was the best of the week, and Kevin Wentworth were three back at 16-under.

Hal Sutton, the third-round leader along with Tryba, Herron and Lehman, was alone in the lead at 17-under Monday after a birdie on No. 10, but double bogeyed No. 12 and bogeyed No. 13 to drop out of contention. His par-71 put him at 14-under, tied for sixth in a group that included Paul Azinger.

David Frost, who tied a PGA Tour and St. Jude record by shooting a 16-under 126 that gave him a four-stroke lead after two rounds, ballooned to a 74 on Saturday and shot a final-round 72 to finish at 12-under.

Defending champion Nick Price finished at 8-under.

Herron, who shot 68, said he couldn't make the shots he needed to get past Tryba, his playing partner.

"I didn't really let it happen like I did the first three rounds," he said. "I was starting to force it. I knew I had to make some birdies."

Lehman, weakened by a stuffy head and sore throat since Friday, was at 15-under at the turn but bogeyed No. 10 and never recovered.

"My round really got sidetracked on the 10th hole," he said. ``I hit a really good drive. I thought I hit a great 7-iron and it carried just over the bunker, bounced just short of the green and I ended up making a bogey. It was an uphill battle from there."

The Tournament Players Club at Southwind played significantly longer Monday than any of the previous four days, thanks to the rain that arrived about 1 p.m. Sunday and a steady breeze. The players agreed workers did a fantastic job getting the course in shape in less than 24 hours.

"It played tougher," Lehman said. ``You're talking a four- or five-club difference into some of those holes."

The 32-year-old Tryba is a three-time All-American at Ohio State whose first PGA Tour victory was the 1995 Anheuser-Busch Golf Classic. He has struggled since tying for second at the Nissan Open in February.

He finished 72nd at the next tournament, missed three cuts, then injured his ribs repairing an irrigation system at his home in Orlando, Fla. He missed three of the next four cuts and finished 74th at last week's Memorial Tournament.

Unsure of his game entering St. Jude, he now heads into the U.S. Open brimming with confidence.

"I've never gone into there playing well at all," said Tryba, who missed the cut at his last two Opens. "I feel confident that I can go in there and at least have a chance to compete."





Rain forces postponement of final round

Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal rocketed to the top of the FedEx St. Jude Classic leaderboard today, then torrential rain postponed completion of the final round.

Olazabal was 8-under par for the day through 14 holes and 15-under for the tournament, one shot ahead of Omar Uresti, Rick Fehr and the four third-round leaders -- Hal Sutton, Tom Lehman, Ted Tryba and Tim Herron. Brett Quigley is alone at 13-under.

Weather permitting, the final round is scheduled to resume at 8:30 a.m. EDT Monday.

"Today was a wonderful round," Olazabal said. "I really hit quite a lot of good shots, made a few good putts and that's why I managed to score 8-under par.''

When play was suspended, 24 of the 76 players had completed their rounds. Those still on the course will pick up where they left off.

Tryba and Herron, the last twosome of the day, had just teed off on No. 1 when play was halted. Sutton and Lehman were just ahead of them, Uresti was on No. 2 and Fehr had completed three holes.

Olazabal started the day seven shots behind the leaders after shooting a disappointing third-round 70. He played the front nine in 32 and made five consecutive birdies starting at the par-4 2nd.

He made a tricky 18-foot birdie putt after getting a fortuitous bounce onto the green at the 231-yard par-3 14th, then hit a perfect drive on the par-4 15th when the horn sounded indicating lightning was in the area.

Play was suspended, then a few minutes later the skies opened. Nearly 2 inches of rain fell in 30 minutes, flooding bunkers and turning the 18th fairway into a duck pond.

All the rain will leave the greens soft and allow players to shoot for the flags. Olazabal said he does not expect his score will be low enough to win, no matter what he does over the final four holes.

"I don't think I have any chance to win," he said. "... I mean, I will have to birdie maybe the last four holes but that's not being very realistic."

The delay caused problems for Olazabal and the other players entered in the U.S. Open later this week. Many had planned to fly out of Memphis tonight and practice on the course in Pinehurst, N.C., on Monday.

Olazabal said he does not react well to last-minute changes in his schedule.

"But those things happen and you have to take them," he said. "I have to find some way to feel comfortable."

Tryba, whose best finish this year was second at the Nissan Open in February, said the chance to win his second career PGA Tour event makes the delay worthwhile.

"I've played well for 54 holes," he said. "I want to play 72 and win a golf tournament."

Lots of players have an opportunity to win the St. Jude. When play was halted, 34 players -- nearly half the field -- were within five shots of the lead.

Sutton, who ended the third round with three bogeys over the final five holes, said he felt great after parring the first hole today.

Meantime, the woes continued for David Frost. He tied a PGA Tour and St. Jude record by shooting a 16-under 126 that gave him a four-stroke lead after two rounds, but ballooned to a 3-over 74 on Saturday. Today, he bogeyed No. 1 to fall to 12-under, three shots off the lead.

He's glad to have another day to try to find his game.

"I think it would have been a little unfair to send the guys back out under these conditions," he said. "The other guys (who played earlier) played under different conditions."

If more rain falls Monday, tournament officials say they may hold a playoff among the four third-round leaders. The last PGA Tour tournament that was delayed to the following Monday was the 1997 Memorial Tournament, which won by Vijay Singh.