Curtis Strange, who held off Jack Nicklaus and Greg Norman to win the Canadian Open last weekend, will be playing his home Kingsmill course in hopes of becoming the PGA Tour's all-time single-season money winner when the Anheuser-Busch Golf Classic begins today in Williamsburg.
Strange, who represents the Kingsmill Golf Club on tour, fended off Nicklaus -- who finished second in the Canadian for the seventh time -- and Norman, head to head to head, down the stretch for victory in Oakville, Ontario. That increased his earnings this season to $520,081, and Strange needs $10,727 this week to surpass Tom Watson's 1980 record of $530,808.
Strange has won the Honda Classic, Panasonic-Las Vegas and the Canadian this year to raise his number of career victories to eight and his career earnings to $1,929,608. In April, Strange held the Masters lead late in the final round but found problems on the closing par-5 holes, which allowed Bernhard Langer to win.
Strange was born in Norfolk and learned the game in Virginia Beach at White Sands, a course owned by his father, Tom, a talented and popular golfer. After his father died when Curtis was 14, renowned Virginia pro Chandler Harper became his teacher.
Calvin Peete also is entered in the Busch, along with Kemper Open champion Bill Glasson, U.S. Open champion Andy North, Fuzzy Zoeller, Lanny Wadkins, Ray Floyd, Hale Irwin, Hal Sutton, John Mahaffey, Ben Crenshaw and defending champion Ronnie Black.
Peete, winner of the Busch in 1982 and '83, won the rich Tournament Players Championship this March, but withdrew from the U.S. Open in June because of a chronically bad back.
The tournament has increased its purse to $500,000 from $350,000, with the winner to receive $90,000, up from $63,000. The event will be televised in the Washington area on WRC-TV-4 at 4 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.