Gary McCord, CBS Sports's irreverent analyst, yesterday played the role he loves most--golf champion.
McCord joked and hacked his way around the first two rounds at the Dunes Golf & Beach Club in Myrtle Beach, S.C., but rallied to cap a comeback on the course where he earned his PGA Tour card in 1974 with a one-stroke victory at the Senior Tour Championship.
As McCord held up the trophy at the 18th green, it was easy to see where the victory ranks with his fame as TV analyst and author.
"This is at the top of the pyramid," said McCord, who shot a 67 to finish at 12-under 276. "Everything else is below it."
McCord had the tournament's low round (64) on Saturday and tracked Bruce Fleisher for most of the final round. But Fleisher lost a one-stroke lead by missing two short par putts on the 16th and 17th holes. All McCord had to do was roll in a tricky 3 1/2-foot par putt on the 18th hole for the second--and biggest--victory of his career.
McCord, who never won on the PGA Tour, played the first 36 holes in 1 over and the last 36 in 13 under. He earned $347,000 and finished the year with $993,291, about $300,000 more than he made in 25 seasons on the PGA Tour.
"This whole week has been such a Dow Jones ride," McCord said. "On Thursday and Friday, I didn't know what to expect. Then that last 36, I don't know if I could have played much better."
Fleisher and Larry Nelson, who fired a 65, tied for second at 11 under. Bruce Summerhays was next at 8 under after a 74. George Archer and Dana Quigley tied for fifth at 7 under. . . .
Sweden's Maria Hjorth won the $800,000 Mizuno Classic in Otsu, Japan, by shooting a 5-under 67 to clinch the penultimate tournament of the LPGA season by five strokes. Hjorth, who had to play with borrowed clubs because her luggage was misdirected, earned $120,000 with a 54-hole total of 15-under 201.
Agassi Takes Paris Open
Andre Agassi outwitted Russian teenager Marat Safin to win the Paris Open, 7-6 (7-1), 6-2, 4-6, 6-4. Agassi, who became the first player to win the French and Paris opens in the same year, raised his game when it mattered by winning five of seven break points, compared with only three of 13 for Safin. . . .
Jennifer Capriati, who is slowly making a comeback after personal problems forced her off the WTA Tour for two years, defeated Chanda Rubin, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, to win the Bell Challenge.
After Knockout, a Fight
Two people were arrested and a boxing official was injured late Saturday night when a chair-throwing melee broke out at the end of a heavyweight match in Atlantic City.
More than 50 people were involved in the fight, which erupted after Baltimore's Hasim Rahman was knocked out--and out of the ring--by Oleg Maskaev in the eighth round.
Steve Smoger, an alternate referee for the fight who was sitting ringside, was struck in the back of the head by a thrown chair. He was treated at the scene but did not require stitches. There were no other injuries, police said.
Robertson Pulls In Bass, Cash
Darrel Robertson caught two fish at just under six pounds during the final 15 minutes of competition in Winter Haven, Fla., to win the Ranger M1 Millennium bass tournament and take home the largest first-place prize in bass fishing history.
Robertson, whose total catch yesterday was five fish weighing 10 pounds 6 ounces, earned $600,000. Jerry Tice, of Chipley, Fla., took the co-angler division and won $150,000 in prize money.
Pound Ready for Challenge
International Olympic Committee Vice President Richard Pound said the Olympic governing body is recommending he head the new worldwide anti-doping agency.
The unnamed drug-testing watchdog is due to start its work on Wednesday, but Pound said it likely won't be operating much before the IOC board meeting Dec. 10-11 in Lausanne, Switzerland.
"I'm prepared to do it for a year or so to get it up and running," Pound said.