Steve Stricker has all sorts of top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour this season. Now he has his best one, too.
Stricker birdied the second hole of a sudden-death playoff to beat Tim Clark and Steve Marino and win the Crowne Plaza Invitational yesterday at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas. It was his first title after being second, third, fourth, sixth and seventh at other tournaments this year.
When the winning putt fell, Stricker pumped his fist twice, then gave a little punch. It was pure relief.
"This means a lot," he told CBS from the green, his voice cracking and the gallery chanting his last name. "It's tough to win out there. Feel fortunate any time you get a chance to."
Clark came in having won the most money ($12.7 million) without winning a tournament in PGA Tour history. His 0-for-183 skid seemed likely to end when he held a two-stroke lead with five holes left to play. He was tied for the tournament record and was the most accurate driver of the week.
In other tournaments:
* At West Des Moines, Iowa, Mark McNulty of Zimbabwe won the Principal Charity Classic for his seventh Champions Tour victory, beating Fred Funk with a 30-foot birdie putt on the fourth hole of a playoff and closing with a 5-under 66.
* At Ash, England, Christian Cevaer of France won the European Open by a stroke, making only one birdie in a round of 74 after three bogeys on the front nine at London Golf Club course.
* At Raleigh, N.C., Kevin Johnson birdied the first playoff hole to defeat Jeff Gallagher and win the Nationwide Tour. Gallagher shot 7-under 64 and wound up in a playoff when Johnson made a 4-footer for birdie at the par-5 18th. *