Fuzzy Zoeller sat on his golf bag and watched as Denis Watson missed a 15-foot putt yesterday, giving Zoeller the last final-round berth at the International in Castle Rock, Colo.
Watson's miss eliminated him from a seven-man playoff for the final six positions in the 18-man field that will compete for a $180,000 first prize today.
Zoeller made bogey 5 on the playoff hole. Had Watson made his bogey putt, he and Zoeller would have gone another extra hole. They finished their round tied with Scott Simpson, John Cook, Steve Pate, Mike Hulbert and Nick Price, all with four points. The other five had par or better on the playoff hole.
Chip Beck was tops ($10,000 bonus) for the second time on the Castle Pines course with 13 points under the modified Stableford scoring system used in this event: five for eagle, two for birdie, zero for par, minus one for bogey, minus three for double bogey or up. All survivors start from zero each day. The medal score has no bearing, but Beck had a 66.
Under this unusual format, said defending champion Ken Green, "making the final round is kind of like making the Final Four in basketball. If you don't make it, you haven't done what you wanted to do."
Green made it, as the field for the final day was narrowed from 54.
Tom Watson birdied three of the last five holes to end with six points. Ben Crenshaw qualified with six, too.
Senior PGA: Orville Moody shot 5-under-par 67 for a 36-hole 136 and a two-stroke lead over Butch Baird (66) in the Rancho Murieta (Calif.) Senior Gold Rush.
Baird, who eagled the 18th hole, would have shared the lead but was assessed a two-stroke penalty for picking up and cleaning his ball on the 10th hole Friday in a mixup over a set of playing rules issued for a practice round earlier in the week. Bob Charles was similarly penalized.
LPGA: Val Skinner, playing "conservatively aggressive" golf, shot 2-under-par 70 to retain the lead after 36 holes of the 54-hole, $225,000 International in White Plains, N.Y. At 137, she was two shots ahead of Shelley Hamlin.