Lanny Wadkins beat a strong wind with one of the finest rounds of his life yesterday, rallying from six shots back to score his 20th career victory.
"The wind did it for me," Wadkins said after a four-stroke triumph in the Hawaiian Open in Honolulu. "The wind gave me the chance."
The wind, gusting to 35-40 mph and creating whitecaps on the nearby Pacific surf, prohibited anyone else from making a major move. Wadkins, though, unleashed a 7-under-par 65 -- by three shots the best round of the day -- passed nine players and won going away.
"Taking everything into consideration, I'd say it's one of the four or five best rounds I've ever played," said Wadkins, a former PGA Championship titlist now in his 21st season on the PGA Tour.
Taking the Hawaiian for the second time, he had a 270 total for four rounds at Waialae Country Club. His $198,000 from the total purse of $1.1 million combined with his second place in the Tournament of Champions to give him $284,400 in two 1991 starts.
"I guess the wind got to me," said John Cook, leader by two starting the final round but author of a struggling 75 that left him a distant second. "I tried to force it," he said, and I got in trouble. I had no control over it."
Playing about 40 minutes behind Wadkins, Cook still had a chance until he missed the green on the par-3 No. 17, dumped his second shot into a bunker and scored a decisive double bogey.
Ed Dougherty shot 71 and was third alone at 275, a stroke behind Cook. Marylander Fred Funk closed 73 -- 277, in a multiple tie for ninth, and collected $25,457.