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One week changes Andrade


© St. Petersburg Times, published October 19, 2000

PALM HARBOR -- Billy Andrade was having the worst year of his career entering last week's PGA Tour event in Las Vegas. It's amazing how different his disposition was Wednesday on the eve of the Tampa Bay Classic.

After winning the Invensys Classic, Andrade went from 159th on the money list to 43rd.

He faced the prospect of having to play in the PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament for the first time in his career.

Now he is in position to challenge for a spot in the Tour Championship, reserved for the top 30 money winners.

"What can I say? I'm still a little bit on cloud nine," Andrade said. "I'm waking up the last few mornings asking myself, "Did I win the tournament or not?' It's been a little overwhelming."

A month ago, Andrade was writing a check to the PGA Tour for $3,500 because he was expecting to go to the qualifying tournament. "That was a real low point, a real slap in the face," he said.

So was what he kept hearing from his 6-year-old son, Cameron, who kept asking if Dad missed another cut. "That meant we were leaving on Fridays and he didn't get to hang around with his buddies on the weekend at day care," Andrade said.

Andrade earned $765,000 for the victory. "But I think the money is the last thing you think about," he said. "You think about coming out on top, the satisfaction of winning, you're the champion. Your name is on that trophy, and they can't take that away from you."

SOME GOOD, SOME BAD: Although he spends most of the year at his Lake Nona home near Orlando, Nick Faldo still yearns for some things back home in England.

"Bread. You haven't mastered how to make a croissant," Faldo said. "I'm afraid British beer is still best. I'm afraid our beer is still better down at the pub, whether it's warm or not."

Faldo doesn't mind putting up with a few inconveniences, however.

"I enjoy it here," said the six-time major-championship winner. "It's a totally different way of life. The weather is awesome. It's great to be here through the winter. I've been back to England, and the last three weeks, we've had a really good rain for two weeks. It's a pain. It makes a major difference to prepare yourself."

WITHDRAWALS: Two players withdrew Wednesday. Steve Flesch was replaced by Perry Moss, and David Frost was replaced by Dana Quigley.

NO WORRIES: At this time last year, Blaine McCallister should have been a nervous wreck. He was 125th on the money list with a handful of official tournaments left. A missed putt here or there and McCallister would have to play in the dreaded qualifying tournament. McCallister did miss some putts and ended up 126th on the list. He went to Q-school and was the top finisher in the grueling five-round event. He earned his 2000 card the hard way.

A year later, McCallister comes to the Tampa Bay Classic with no worries. He's 46th on the money list with $911,174. His tour card is secure for another year.

But McCallister insists he wasn't nervous last year.

"I've been out here 18 years, so it's not like I haven't seen something," McCallister said. "The first couple years out here, I can see how it could get to you. But you have to be like a horse. You have to put the blinders on.

"I've been asked a lot about what the difference (between this year and last year) is, and I wish I could put my finger on it. I honestly haven't done anything different. If I knew what it was, I could make a lot of money out here. I think the difference has been my focus."

PRO-AM WINNERS: Andrew Magee and Dennis Paulson had the winning teams in the pro-am. Each team shot 18 under par. Magee's team members: Steve Lyerly, John Tipton, Roger Hruby and Ron Olson. Paulson's team: Vance Holland, Bob Moses, Dennis Murphy and Ray Glazebrook Jr.

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