PEBBLE BEACH, CALIF., FEB. 7 -- Steve Jones, twice teetering on the brink of collapse, scored the first victory of his career with a 15-18 foot birdie putt on the second playoff hole today in the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
Jones' winning putt blunted the comeback hopes of Bob Tway, who made up six shots over the last 18 holes to force the playoff.
Tway, seeking his first title since beating Greg Norman with a historic sand shot on the 72nd hole of the 1986 PGA, had a chance to prolong the playoff. But his birdie shot from 12-15 feet missed the cup on the 17th green at Pebble Beach and Jones, 29, at last was a winner.
Jones and Tway, the 1986 player of the year, finished the regulation 72 holes at 280, eight shots under par.
Tway, playing about one-half hour in front of Jones, came from six shots back with a 68.
Jones struggled in with a hard-won 2-over-par 74. He had a chance to win it in regulation, but missed an eight-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole, setting up the playoff that began on the 16th hole.
Both parred it. Jones missed a 12-footer that would have won it, and Tway dropped a six-footer that sent them to the tee on the par-3 17th, where the green juts into the frothy surf of Carmel Bay.
Both put tee shots on the green. Jones hit, and Tway missed.
Nancy Lopez overcame a 25-mph wind and three bogeys in the first seven holes of the final round for a two-stroke victory and the $30,000 first prize in the $200,000 Mazda Classic in Boca Raton, Fla.
Lopez has won 37 LPGA tournaments, but this victory was her first in a season opener.
Lopez, who finished with a 3-over-par 75, lost half of a four-shot lead on the front nine but outlasted her closest pursuers.
"I only felt threatened by myself," she said. "I knew if I did not make mistakes, I could win."
Lopez's four-round score was 283, 5 under par at the 6,368-yard Stonebridge Golf and Country Club course.
Marta Figueras-Dotti of Spain made birdie putts of 70 and 12 feet on the last two holes to finish second at 73-285.