Bob Tway accepted the gift of a ball that wouldn't stay in the hole yesterday in his playoff triumph over John Cook in the Las Vegas Invitational.
"Unlucky for John, lucky for me," Tway understated.
Cook hit a 95-yard sand wedge shot into the bottom of the cup on the first playoff hole and, for a second, appeared to have won the tournament in which they had finished 90 holes at 334, 26 under par.
But the ball somehow bounced out and spun back to the front of the green, 15 feet away. Tway went on to a routine two-putt par for his first victory of 1990.
"How can you be happy and disappointed at the same time?" Cook asked. His fifth-round 67 had caught Tway (70) only to set up his second playoff loss this year (the other to Tom Kite at Memphis).
"I'm disappointed that I played so well and didn't win. But I'm happy that I've come so far in such a short time," said Cook, who missed almost all of the 1989 season because of career-threatening hand surgery.
Playing together in the final group at Las Vegas Country Club, Tway and Cook birdied the par-5 finishing hole, Cook with a two-putt and Tway with a good up-and-down.
On the first playoff hole, par-4 No. 12, Cook pulled his tee shot behind a tree and had to play out. He did with the fateful sand wedge into, and out of, the cup.
Tway reached the green in two and two-putted for the par that became the winner when Cook missed a 15-footer from the front fringe.
The victory, the sixth of Tway's career, was worth $234,000 from the purse of $1.3 million.
LPGA: Cathy Gerring shot a 71 to edge Beth Daniel (68) by a stroke with 10-under-par 278 in the 16-player invitational LPGA World Championship in Cely, France.
Daniel, on her 34th birthday, needed a victory to clinch LPGA player of the year. She picked up four points for a total of 82, but Patty Sheehan, who tied for fourth and earned two points, kept in the running with one tournament left.
Sheehan can catch Daniel by winning the last official LPGA tour event, the Mazda-Japan Classic Nov. 1-4. If Sheehan wins and Daniel finishes outside the top five, they would end in a tie.
"If it was a tie it would be a precedent and the LPGA is looking into what to do," said Daniel, who has won seven events this season to Sheehan's five. "I've had a lot of pressure to clinch the player of the year and can't quite seem to do it."
Gerring, leader all the way, won her third title this year and $100,000.
Austrian Open: Bernhard Langer beat Lanny Wadkins on the third hole of sudden death on Salzburg's Gut Altentann course after erasing Wadkins's four-shot lead with eight regulation holes to go. Each had shot 68 -- 271.
Dunhill Cup: David Feherty made the best of his second chance of the day on the 17th hole at St. Andrews, Scotland, beating Howard Clark there on the third hole of sudden death to give Ireland a 3 1/2-2 1/2 title victory over England.
The triumph, Ireland's second in three years, was worth $100,000 apiece to Feherty, Ronan Rafferty and Philip Walton. Checks of $50,000 went to England's Clark, Mark James and Richard Boxall.
Seniors: Bruce Crampton's 3-under-par 69 for a 54-hole 204 gained a four-shot, $45,000 win over Lee Trevino in the Gatlin Brothers Southwest Senior Classic at gusty Fairway Oaks in Abilene, Tex.