Lanny Wadkins pulled away to a record-setting victory yesterday in the Anheuser-Busch Classic in Williamsburg as head-to-head rival Curtis Strange and a long line of challengers fell by the wayside.
Wadkins's three-under-par 68 put him at 266, 18 shots below par and five ahead of runner-up Larry Mize after four rounds over Kingsmill Golf Club's 6,790-yard layout.
And he had no apologies for running away with his home-state stop on the PGA Tour: "I'd rather win by five or six shots than by one any day. It's too hard on my ticker."
It was career victory No. 19 -- and $180,000 -- for Wadkins, but his first since the Colonial in May 1988.
"I'm glad it's over. My scores have gone up every day. It's time to quit," said Wadkins, who posted earlier rounds of 65, 66 and 67.
Strange, in second place and three shots behind Wadkins at the start of the round, slipped to a 73. Winless on the tour since collecting his second straight U.S. Open title in 1989, he failed again to get his first victory at Kingsmill, the sprawling resort where he lives.
LPGA: Tina Tombs Purtzer, no better than 15th in her 38 previous LPGA tournaments, birdied five of the first six holes and breezed past runners-up JoAnne Carner and Chris Johnson and second-round leader Betsy King to a four-stroke victory in the Jamie Farr Toledo Classic.
Purtzer's front-nine 29 set up a five-under-par 66 giving her a 54-hole 205, eight under Highland Meadows' par, in Sylvania, Ohio. With a previous bankroll of about $26,000 in a career twice interrupted by pregnancy, she pocketed $48,750. That vaulted her from 113th on the LPGA money list into the top 50 heading into this week's U.S. Women's Open at the Atlanta Athletic Club.
Seniors: George Archer got a lot more luck than he expected and won the Long Island Classic in Jericho, N.Y., when Frank Beard double-bogeyed the 17th hole. Archer, hampered by a bad back the last four months, collected $67,500 to bring his season total to $362,704, third on the Senior PGA Tour money list.
Archer, 50, began the day at Meadow Brook Club in the lead, fell behind three times through the first 16 holes, then took advantage of the two-shot swing to win with eight-under-par 208 after a third round of even-par 72. Beard and Charles Coody, both with 71s, tied at 209.