Armour III shoots PGA Tour record to win Texas Open

Monday, September 29, 2003

SAN ANTONIO -- Tommy Armour III went from off the radar into the PGA Tour record books.

Winless in his previous 366 starts, Armour ended 13 years and eight months of frustration Sunday in a huge way. Capping a dominant four days of golf, Armour won the Texas Open with a 26-under 254 to break the tour's 72-hole scoring record by two strokes.

Despite a bogey from the fairway bunker on the final hole at La Cantera Golf Club, Armour closed with a 5-under 65 to break the record set by Mark Calcavecchia in the 2001 Phoenix Open.

He wound up with a seven-shot victory over Loren Roberts and Bob Tway, his first since the 1990 Phoenix Open.

"I've always felt like I've underachieved for the talent I have," he said. "I take it serious but it's not the end-all."

Roberts closed with a 62 for a 19-under 261. Last year, that same score gave Roberts a three-stroke victory at the Texas Open. But with the way Armour played, that score wasn't even close.

"He's lapping the field here this week," Roberts said.

Armour, 43, didn't make his first bogey until No. 10 in the final round, ending a streak of 90 consecutive holes at par or better. He one-putted 35 holes and three-putted just once during the four rounds.

The victory was worth $630,000, more than double what Armour had earned on tour this year, and makes him exempt through the 2005 season. Armour was playing on conditional status the last two years.

It was the fourth consecutive week on the PGA Tour that a player in his 40s won, and Armour's victory was the 10th this year by the 40-and-over gang.

The only threat came from Waldorf, and it didn't last long.

Armour started the final round with a six-shot lead, but Duffy Waldorf cut the lead in half with birdies on the first three holes. Waldorf bogeyed the par-3 sixth by hitting into a bunker, and it wasn't long before Armour started piling up birdies -- as he had done all week.

"I'm telling you it was scaring me a little bit," Armour said. "Every putt went in the hole."

Tway, who won the Canadian Open in his last start, shot 64.

Waldorf had a 67 to finish fourth at 262, while Aaron Baddeley of Australia closed with a 62 -- the same score he shot in the first round -- to finish at 263.

Armour opened with a 64, took the lead with a 62 on Friday and never gave anyone else much hope.

The field average was 68.51, the lowest in at least 20 years at a PGA Tour event in which every round is played on the same course.

LPGA Tour

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Annika Sorenstam had back-to-back eagles and shot a final-round 66 at the LPGA Safeway Classic to defend her title and win her fifth event of the year.

Sorenstam finished at 15-under 201, edging Hall of Famer Beth Daniel by a stroke after starting the day in a three-way tie with Daniel and Cristie Kerr.

Champions Tour

CONOVER, N.C. -- Craig Stadler birdied his first four holes en route to a 6-under-par 66 Sunday, overtaking Larry Nelson to win the Greater Hickory Classic.

Stadler, who started the day two shots behind Nelson, joined Bruce Lietzke and Tom Watson as the only two-time winners on the Champions Tour this season.

Stadler finished at 15-under 201 with his stellar final round, while Nelson was two shots back after his 70. Jim Thorpe closed with a 66 for third, three shots behind Stadler.

-- From wire reports

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