Trevino putts finishing touch on title

April 20, 1992|By George White | George White,Orlando Sentinel

PALM BEACH GARDENS, FLORIDA — PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- Lee Trevino says this is his last year as a full-time golfer, and to commemorate his 32 years as a professional, he wants to win "everything I can." Motivated by the onrushing finish line, he added another Senior Tour major to his portfolio yesterday, holding off Mike Hill to win the PGA Seniors Championship.

He won it in the most dramatic of circumstances, saving par at the 17th hole with a 12-foot putt and at the 18th with an eight-footer. Both came after he had charged long first putts past the hole. A miss on either would have necessitated a playoff.

"I don't believe many players in all of golf could have gotten them in the cup twice like that," said Hill, whose 67 left him one shot behind Trevino. Trevino finished with 71, his 10-under-par total of 278 earning him $100,000.

"His putt at No. 17, after I had just made birdie, was extremely difficult," Hill said. "And then, at 18, he could see I had my par putt up there three feet from the hole. If he doesn't make his from eight to 10 feet, we go into a playoff. But guys who win majors, the great players, find a way to get those putts into the hole."

Trevino, 52, says he will curtail his schedule after this year "to become a family man. My daughter is starting kindergarten next year, and we have another on the way in October. This is my last year to try to be 'top gun' out here."

He had struggled most of the day yesterday in the gusty winds at PGA National, making bogey at the par-5 fifth hole and knocking it into the water for double bogey at No. 11 for the second consecutive day. At that

juncture, he lost the lead to Chi Chi Rodriguez, but Rodriguez promptly reciprocated by rinsing his tee ball in the pond fronting the par-3 15th.

Trevino's eventual winning shot came at No. 16, where he struck a 5-iron shot within three feet of the pin for birdie. That gave him a two-shot lead.

The 12-foot comeback putt at 17 was actually easier than the shorter putt at 18, Trevino said. "That one was straight down-grain; all I had to do was get it rolling on line.

"But the one on 18, it was going cross-grain, and I knew it was going to move some," he said.

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