Straight shooter Calvin Peete came from six shots off the pace with a final-round 69 today and overtook faltering Hal Sutton to win the $350,000 Anheuser-Busch Classic for the second consecutive year at Kingsmill. Peete finished with an eight-under-par total of 276 and won $63,000.
Tim Norris, who was briefly tied for the lead with Peete, finished second at 68--277. Sutton, with a birdieless final-round 77, finished tied for third at 278 with Lanny Wadkins (68), who challenged for the lead until he failed to get out of a greenside bunker at the 15th hole with his first shot and bogeyed.
Sutton, who also tied for third here last year, won $20,300 and remained atop the PGA money list at $297,684.
"I never really thought I had it won. I just wasn't hitting the ball well enough, and I knew I wasn't hitting it well enough to make things happen," Sutton said of his collapse. "It's not anybody's fault but my own. It was a learning experience for me . . . It's the first time that's happened, but it probably won't be the last."
For Peete, it was his second victory this season. He was seven strokes behind entering the last day of the Atlanta Classic, but shot a 63 for victory.
Of today's victory, he said, "Needless to say, you don't think about winning the golf tournament when you start six shots back. I was trying to keep my patience, not be overly aggressive. I shot a very steady front nine. After nine holes, I had a one-shot lead and said to myself, 'It's not his (Sutton's) golf tournament; it's mine.' "
Peete took the lead on the ninth hole, when he made a birdie for 33 and Sutton a bogey for an outgoing 40. Peete bogeyed the next hole to fall back into a tie with Sutton. But Sutton lost that share of the lead with a bogey at 11. Peete birdied the 14th hole from 15 feet, breaking a tie with Norris, who had birdied the same hole playing ahead of him.
Peete briefly held a two-shot lead after Norris bogeyed No. 17. But Peete then missed the 16th green with his second shot and made a two-putt bogey from 10 feet.
On the 408-yard 18th hole. Peete hit the green with his second shot, but the ball was 40 feet from the hole, on the lower tier of the two-level green and the cup was on the upper level. Peete hit his first putt three feet from the hole and tapped it in for par and victory.
Sutton appeared tentative from the outset. Sutton said he started thinking negatively after he hit his approach shot short of the green on the first hole, and took the first of his four bogeys on the front nine.
Peete, from a poor family of 19 children who once sold jewelry to migrant farm workers, has earned $966,518 since starting on the PGA Tour in 1976. Peete, 40, who was introduced to golf at age 23, leads the tour in driving accuracy for the third straight year. He finished fourth on the money list last year with $318,470, after winning four times.
Ralph Landrum, a club pro from Florence, Ky., who tied for eighth place in the recent U.S. Open, shot 67--279 and finished tied for fifth with Scott Simpson (71). Landrum's $13,300 payday made him eligible for the remaining PGA tournaments this season.
Washington's Lee Elder finished with 71--295 and won $703.50.