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Woods 29th, matching worst finish in major as pro

By BOB HARIG

© St. Petersburg Times,
published August 20, 2001


DULUTH, Ga. -- For the fifth straight tournament, Tiger Woods failed to finish among the top 10, shooting a final-round 70 at the PGA Championship.

His tie for 29th matched his worst finish in a major as a pro, dating to the 1997 PGA Championship. Woods has been out of the top 10 in the last three majors.

"It is very disappointing," said Woods, who finished at 279, 1-under par, at Atlanta Athletic Club. "I wasn't able to play at all week the way I wanted to. But (Sunday) I really hit the ball well. I showed some signs of how I was hitting the ball earlier in the year. I didn't make anything. If I could have made a few putts I could have posted something in the mid 60s."

Woods took the philosophical approach, explaining that it was no surprise he was going through a "down" time. He refused to put stock in the theory that he was due for a letdown.

"I don't play that much," he said. "When I do play, I give it everything I've got. ... You can't play well all the time. You can't have things go your way all the time. There are a lot of things you need to have happen in order to win. I've been blessed the last few years and I've got a lot of good breaks."

CALCAVECCHIA CHARGES: Mark Calcavecchia won the Phoenix Open in January, and all but secured a U.S. Ryder Cup spot with three more top-five finishes in the spring. But since a tie for fourth at the Masters, Calcavecchia had done little -- until Sunday.

Calcavecchia, the 1989 British Open champion, shot 65 to tie for fourth.

"To shoot 66-65 on the weekend out here was really some great golf," he said. "I played well. I finally got something going with my putter, which was my only problem the first two days."

Although Calcavecchia felt secure about making the Ryder Cup team, he wanted to perform well.

"(Captain) Curtis (Strange) told me I better start making some putts or I would be riding the pine, and he said it kind of seriously," he said. "I don't want to ride the pine, so I better get my butt in gear. It's great to finish well this week."

KATAYAMA HAPPY: The good luck finally ended at the 18th hole for Japan's Shingo Katayama.

He bounced one across the water there Saturday, then got a couple of more good hops Sunday, including off the rocks at the 12th hole, where he made bogey. But at the 18th, Katayama's approach found the water, leading to bogey 5.

Katayama still was smiling. He finished tied for fourth. And although he didn't earn an automatic spot in next year's Masters, he should qualify by virtue of his standing among the top 50 in the world ranking.

"I love it when all the supporters call me 'Shingo! Shingo!' I enjoy being over here," he said. "It was my dream when I was small. It's really great to be here."

CLUB PRO SHINES: It was a memorable week for Rick Schuller, the only club pro in the field to make the cut. Schuller, an assistant pro at Willow Oaks Country Club in Richmond, Va., shot 68-70-72-71 for 281 -- the third-lowest 72-hole score by a PGA club pro in tournament history. Sam Snead (1974) and Jimmy Wright (1979) shot 279.

"The whole week was a dream come true for me, making the cut first of all," Schuller said. "The people I got to play with this week in the practice rounds, starting with Lanny Wadkins, Steve Lowery, John Huston, Paul Azinger, Olin Browne. ... I just had a great time. I wish I could keep playing.

"I proved to myself that at least I could be somewhat competitive. I learned from them how they managed their games and their creativity around the greens. That was a big lesson to learn for me."

Schuller, 38, has no plans to play on the tour. "I'm content being a club professional," he said. "I know where my place is."

NOTES: British Open champ David Duval began the day five shots out of the lead, but shot 74 to tie for 10th. It was his third top 10 in the majors this year. ... Colin Montgomerie shot 71, then was disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard. Montgomerie signed for 3 at the par-3 seventh hole, where he made 4. Countryman Andrew Oldcorn of Scotland was playing with Montgomerie and keeping his card. ... Clearwater's Huston got his revenge on the 17th hole, making 2 Sunday after 7 on Saturday. But he followed with triple-bogey 7 at the 18th. Huston shot 77 to finish at 287 and in 73rd place. ... Scott Hoch had a hole-in-one at the 17th, hitting a 4-iron. "It's always something special," he said. "A hole-in-one is perfection. Sometimes it's not a perfect shot, but it's a perfect result. This time it was good to hit a really good shot and pull it off." Hoch's ace was the third of the tournament, following those by Nick Faldo and David Toms.

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