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Tampa Bay Classic factsNotes:

By Times staff writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 23, 2000

Hole of the day:

No. 14, par 5

590 yards

This turned out to be John Huston's worst on the back nine, but the result was his best. Trailing Carl Paulson by one stroke, he was in position to birdie despite a badly pulled drive. But he pulled his second shot into a bunker, leaving a difficult 50-yard shot from the sand. He managed to get the ball 50 feet past the pin, leaving a difficult downhill chip. He got to 3 feet and saved par. He then birdied three of the last four holes.

Paulson failed to take advantage of the par 5. His second shot came to rest in a sand-filled divot, from where he could get his wedge shot on only the front of the green. He two-putted from 100 feet for par.

The 14th was the third-easiest hole Sunday, yielding 23 birdies.

Quote of the day

"I felt better about the fact it was on this golf course. The guys who were up there are really good players. It's going to happen for all of them sooner or later. If I hadn't had a good run down the stretch, Carl (Paulson) would have won his first tournament. Certainly he played good enough to. It was my day. Sometimes that happens."

-- John Huston

Shot of the day

It's hard to pick one for Huston, who hit several down the stretch. But his 7-iron to the 460-yard par-4 16th stands out. It came to rest 18 feet from the cup, and Huston drained it for a one-shot advantage over Paulson. Seven other players birdied the 16th Sunday.

Did you know?

John Huston probably will be unable to defend his Tampa Bay Classic title. Next year's tournament will be played opposite the American Express Invitational, a World Golf Championship event with a $5-million purse. PGA Tour rules stipulate that if a golfer is eligible for a higher-paying tournament, he is not allowed to skip it for a lower-paying event. As the 20th-ranked player in the world, Huston almost assuredly will be eligible for the Invitational.

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