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Rub of the Green

August 12, 2006

Rub of the Green: Pavin finally gets a win

TERRE HAUTE — What’s going on in the world of professional golf? Taking Tiger Woods out of the equation, it appears that old-timers continue to make their marks on various PGA circuits these days.

Not to be outdone by old Allen Doyle’s win in the recent U.S. Senior Open, Corey Pavin stepped up to take his first victory in 10 years with a wire to wire win in the PGA’s U.S. Bank Championship played at Brown Deer Park Golf Club in Milwaukee. All Pavin did to kick start the first nine of his winning performance was play his front nine in one under — that’s one under threes to be specific. That totaled an amazing 26 to go with a cooled-down 35 on the back side for a smooth 61, a lead the gritty shotmaker would not relinquish.

You might recall Corey’s performance in the U.S. Open a decade ago when he won his only major title by outdueling Greg Norman at Shinnecock Hills. Pavin’s four wood to the green on the 72nd hole almost went into the cup in a dramatic, down to the wire finish. That shot has been shown on TV dozens of times since. What hasn’t been shown was Pavin missing the three-foot putt after authoring that historic approach. The miss really didn’t matter anyway since Pavin won by two shots.

It’s refreshing to see a short hitter who relies on a bull’s-eye short game to finish ahead of all the big blasters.

It also appears that distaff players who are getting along in years are still capable of some outstanding golf. Juli Inkster, at four years short of 50, had a three-shot lead at the halfway mark in the recent Women’s British Open. She ultimately finished in a tie for fourth, just four shots behind the winner, Sherri Steinhauer.

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