Lee Trevino, the golfer with the reputation for not giving up a lead, suffered three back-nine bogeys Sunday to shoot himself from Kemper Open leader to a tie for fourth place.
"How long does it take to get to National Airport?" asked Trevino, adding up his worst score in four rounds at Congessional, a two-over-par 72.
Fifteen minutes after missing his umpteenth makeable putt, Trevino had travel clothes over his shoulder and a cup of beer in his hand as he headed for a courtesy car that was to whisk him to an airplane bound for Montreal.
"Can we have your autograph?" said many in the throng greeting Trevino as he emerged from the clubhouse. "I've only got two hands," was the terse reply."
"I just putted poorly," Trevino said later. "It gets demoralizing when the putts don't drop. "I just didn't do any good."
Clearly, Congressional's greens perplexed Trevino. After shooting 69 in the opening round Thursday, he switched putters for Friday's round of 70. For the final two days he was back with his original putter, but with a new shaft and a different grip.
Trevino started yesterday one stroke behind eventual winner John Mahaffey.
He missed a 10-foot putt at the third hole for bogey and fell two behind Mahaffey.
"Okay Lee, let's press them," urged a spectator as the PGA Tour's second-leading money-winner strode down the sixth fairway.
Trevino obliged with pars on the sixth and seventh holes, then hit his approach shot within three feet of the cup on the par-4 eighth hole. He sank the putt and, when Mahaffey missed the green with his second shot and made bogey, Trevino was tied for the lead.
Trevino birdied the par-5 ninth by canning a 25-foot putt and took a one-shot advantage.
However, failing to master the sloping 12th green yeasterday was the beginning of the end for Trevino. Holding a one-shot lead over Mahaffey, he tried to hit one of his patented fades onto the par-3 green. But it did not fade. "Gluck," Trevino exclaimed, as the ball came to rest on the green, 50 feet left of the flagstick.
As soon as he struck the lag putt, everyone in the vicinity knew the ball was hit too firmly. "I had the line," quipped Trevino, as the ball zoomed past the hole and almost off the green. He missed the 12-foot putt coming back and took bogey. When Mahaffey rolled in his 16-foot birdie putt, he had made up two strokes on Trevino and owned a one-shot lead.
On the par-4 following hole, Trevino was in the rough next to the green in two shots and was left with what Mahaffey said later was "an impossible chip." tTrevino chipped the ball 12 feet from the hole but missed the putt to fall two behind Mahaffey and never threatened again.
"Lee knows when we play against each other, I'm not going to give up, and I know he's not going to give up," Mahaffey said. "We have a mutual admiration, no, a mutual respect for each other. His three putt at 12 really hurt him. I think those two straight bogeys kind of took a little bit out of him. This course does that to you."