Birdie lifts Olazabal in International

August 19, 1991

CASTLE ROCK, Colo. -- Jose-Maria Olazabal took a page from Seve Ballesteros' book and a romp around the woods and hills on his way to a victory yesterday in The International.

Just as his more famous countryman did so often in establishing a worldwide reputation, Olazabal turned potential disaster into the birdie that made him a winner on the American tour for the second time in a year.

Olazabal, a 25-year-old Spaniard who will defend his title in the World Series of Golf next week in Akron, Ohio, won this one by three points under the modified Stableford scoring system used for this unique event.

Medal scores don't count. Instead, points are awarded for performance on each hole.

Olazabal won with 10 points. That's the lowest winning score in the six-year history of this tournament.

"To win in the States, it doesn't matter what tournament, it feels great," Olazabal said.

It was particularly gratifying in that it was secured with a birdie on the relatively easy, par-five 17th hole at the Castle Pines Golf Club. He lost this tournament on that hole a year ago.

Under attack from British Open champ Ian Baker-Finch and Tom Watson, Olazabal knew he needed to make a birdie. If he played the safe shot back to the fairway, he would leave himself with a pitch of more than 100 yards for his third shot.

So he scampered up the hill, over rocks and around bushes, hanging onto tree limbs for support, to survey his situation and find a line for a bold play over the hill.

"I was very, very lucky," Olazabal said. "The ball was sitting very, very good. I knew it would come out hot."

He played a 6-iron toward the hill, over a stand of pines on the right, around another grove on the left and to within a few yards of the green.

A little flip with a sand wedge put him to within nine feet, and he made the putt to go in front alone.

"That was the key," he said. "The 6-iron was the key."

Baker-Finch, playing well behind Olazabal, bogeyed the 16th after missing the green and was unable to birdie the 17th.

0&Jose-Maria Olazabal, $198,000.. .. 10

Ian Baker-Finch, $82,133. .. .. .. 7

Bob Lohr, $82,133.. .. .. .. .. .. 7

Scott Gump, $82,133 .. .. .. .. .. 7

Tom Watson, $38,637 .. .. .. .. .. 6

Larry Mize, $38,637 .. .. .. .. .. 6

Bobby Clampett, $38,637.. .. .. .. 6

Ted Schulz, $38,637 .. .. .. .. .. 6

Rocco Mediate, $30,800 .. .. .. .. 5

Keith Clearwater, $30,800 .. .. .. 5

Ricky Kawagishi, $27,500. .. .. .. 4

Peter Senior, $23,100. .. .. .. .. 3

Craig Stadler, $23,100 .. .. .. .. 3

Bob Estes, $23,100. .. .. .. .. .. 3

Duffy Waldorf, $19,800 .. .. .. .. 2

Howard Twitty, $18,150 .. .. .. .. 1

Ken Green, $18,150.. .. .. .. .. ..1

Dudley Hart, $15,950 .. .. .. .. ..0

Lee Janzen, $15,950 .. .. .. .. ..0

Mike Reid, $14,300.. .. .. .. .. ..-1

Lon Hinkle, $12,760. .. .. .. .. ..-2

Brad Faxon, $12,760. .. .. .. .. ..-2

Robert Wrenn, $11,440.. .. .. .. ..-3

Steve Pate, $10,560. .. .. .. .. ..-4

LPGA Northgate Computer

BROOKLYN PARK, Minn. -- Cindy Rarick rolled in a 7-foot birdie putt on the third playoff hole to edge Beth Daniel and Jody Anschutz and win the $400,000 tournament at Edinburgh USA Golf Course.

Rarick, Daniel and Anschutz finished at 5-under-par 211 after three rounds and went back to the 18th tee to begin a playoff. Daniel missed the best birdie opportunity on the first hole when her 6-foot putt rolled below the hole. Daniel and Rarick each parred, with Anschutz eliminated by taking a double bogey.

Seniors GTE Northwest Classic

KENMORE, Wash. -- Mike Hill, trailing Chi Chi Rodriguez by four shots entering the final day, shot an 8-under 64 to win the $400,000 tournament by two strokes and earn the $60,000 first prize.

GOLF

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