Twenty years after Curtis Strange lost to Lanny Wadkins as Virginia amateurs, they go head-to-head today with a $180,000 winner's purse on the line.
Strange has some ground to make up. Yesterday, Wadkins used a trio of birdie surges to shoot a 67 that gave him a three-stroke lead over Strange going into the final round of the Anheuser-Busch Golf Classic in Williamsburg.
"He's a good front-runner, he's a tough competitor and he's got a lot of guts," Strange said. "But I've got my share too. It ought to be fun."
Wadkins, out of nearby Richmond, made consecutive birdies at three different stages of his round at Kingsmill Golf Club and stood at 15-under-par 198.
Strange, a Norfolk native now living at Kingsmill, chipped in from the fringe on the 18th for a birdie and 68 -- 201. Scott Verplank three-putted the 18th for bogey and a tie at 202 with Chris Perry, Bob Wolcott and Jerry Haas.
Because Wadkins is 40 and Strange is 35, they didn't meet often as amateurs in their younger days. But Strange recalled that Wadkins did beat him in the semifinals of the 1970 Virginia Amateur.
"I was always kind of right behind Lanny," Strange said of his friend.
Both played college golf at Wake Forest. But Wadkins tried to downplay the parallels between himself and Strange, whose 17 victories include a pair of U.S. Open titles.
"He's a tough competitor. He's capable of playing better than anyone," said Wadkins, seeking his 19th career title. "He and I are going to be paired together, that's all.
"We'll both go out and play our games and try to beat everyone else out there."
Mark O'Meara, who started the day one shot off Wadkins's lead, ran into early trouble and had 73 -- 205. On the 514-yard third hole, he plunked his second shot into a greenside pond. His next shot splashed at almost the exact same spot, and he took an 8.
Wadkins meanwhile was heading in the other direction. He rolled in birdie putts of four feet on each of the first two holes. He also paired birdies on the 365-yard sixth and 516-yard seventh, and again on the 506-yard 15th and the par-4 No. 16.
Seniors: George Archer, though bent over at times by arthritic miseries in his surgically repaired back, shot a 67 for a 136 total and a two-shot lead over Frank Beard, Homero Blancas and Charles Coody in the 54-hole Northville Long Island Classic. Archer is eight under par at Meadow Brook in Jericho, N.Y.
"I wasn't able to play in the pro-am on Wednesday," Archer said, "On Thursday, I was reminded that if I didn't play again, I would have had to withdraw. That's our rules. Somehow I struggled through it and was able to finish."
LPGA: Betsy King, who defends her U.S. Women's Open title next weekend, rolled in a 15-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole for a one-stroke lead over Chris Johnson and Tina Purtzer in the Jamie Farr Toledo Classic. King, last year's LPGA player of the year, shot 70 to stand at four-under 138 with one round to go at Highland Meadows in Sylvania, Ohio.
European Tour: Ian Woosnam of Wales shot nine-under-par 60 and took the $99,160 winner's check in the Monte Carlo Open in Monaco by five strokes with 18-under 258.
He set a record for the 6,197- yard Mont Agel course and missed equaling the world pro record of 59 by only a few inches with his approach putt on the final hole.