- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 28, 2001

Two days after winning the 34th PGA Club Professional Championship, Wayne DeFrancesco was back home on the range yesterday.
"I had to get back to work," said the 43-year-old DeFrancesco, who played college golf at Wake Forest with Curtis Strange, Scott Hoch and Jay Haas before becoming a career teaching pro at Woodholme Country Club in Pikesville, Md. "I have a full slate of lessons on the schedule."
But business as usual will likely never be quite the same for DeFrancesco. Not after his 10-under, 278 total at Crosswater Club in Sunriver, Ore., gave him a three-stroke victory over a quartet of challengers.
"It's by far the biggest thing I've ever won," said DeFrancesco, a three-time Middle Atlantic PGA player of the year. "This was a nationally televised [Golf Channel], national championship where you are basically competing against the best players in the world not on a tour."
DeFrancesco opened the CPC with a course-record 65 and followed with rounds of 69 and 72 to take a two-stroke lead into the final round. After opening his closing round with three straight birdies, DeFrancesco double-bogeyed the fourth hole and bogeyed the fifth before regaining his composure and reeling off a parade of nerve-wracking pars.
"Basically, I got away with a bogey that could have been a much bigger number on No. 5," he said. "I walked away from that hole thinking that I was fine, because I was still even. I told my caddie that there are plenty of ways to be even after five holes, and we just moved on.
"Hell, yeah, I was nervous. But after you play golf for 30 years, you hope you know what you're doing. It doesn't have to go well out there, but you're going to be finished sooner or later. I was somehow able to hold up under the pressure."
The victory earned DeFrancesco $48,500 in prize money, a Rolex, diamond ring, new computer and a slot in this year's PGA Championship, scheduled Aug. 13-19 at Atlanta Athletic Club. DeFrancesco has played in two previous PGA Championships, finishing tied for 71st in 1995 and missing the cut in 1999.
"I've played in PGA Championships before, so I know the drill," DeFrancesco said. "Hopefully, I can arrange some memorable practice rounds down there and make the cut."
Spanish steel With his second victory in as many months, 21-year-old Sergio Garcia became the youngest multiple PGA Tour winner since Gene Sarazen (1922) at last week's Buick Classic. Garcia has now finished 12th or better in his last five starts, averaging a Tour-best 68.2 strokes since mid-May. Perhaps, Tiger Woods finally has a serious rival on the horizon.
Hollow mark Speaking of Woods, folks should scoff at the fact that Tiger broke Greg Norman's streak of consecutive weeks ranked No. 1 with his 97th. For one thing, Woods' management team, IMG, came up with the ranking system and is responsible for publishing it each Monday. For another, the rankings have been kept only since April 1986.
In the fine print at the bottom of the weekly rankings release, IMG's London office admits it has used the current system to run the rankings back to a previous era. According to the small type, Jack Nicklaus would have become the world's top-ranked player (had such a system existed) with his victory at the 1962 U.S. Open and would have "remained No. 1 for about 15 years," a span of approximately 780 weeks. Wake us up in 2014, Tiger.
Grand dame Karrie Webb earned our player of the week award, persevering to win the LPGA Championship and complete the career Grand Slam though her grandfather was on his deathbed in Australia.
At 26, Webb became the youngest woman to win all four modern majors with her two-stroke victory at DuPont Country Club (Wilmington, Del.) last week, clipping the legendary Mickey Wright by one year.
Webb, often criticized for her aloof demeanor, broke down minutes after the victory, admitting that she almost withdrew before the final round to return home to be with her grandfather, who had a stroke on June 20.
"My dad didn't sleep very well, and he talked to the rest of my family and they all wanted me to play because Granddad would have wanted me to," Webb said. "The only thing I wanted to do was win for my granddad. That's all I kept thinking about."
Webb's grandfather, Mick Collinson, died late Tuesday night of complications stemming from the stroke, just three hours before Webb's plane touched down in Queensland.
State Farm commitments The State Farm Senior Classic, scheduled July 23-29 at Hayfields Country Club in Hunt Valley, Md., has received written commitments from 48 players, including seven of the top 10 on this season's Senior PGA Tour money list. Event organizers also expect legends Tom Kite, Larry Nelson and Gil Morgan, who have issued verbal commitments, to join the list in the coming days. Weekly badges ($75) and daily tickets ($25) for the tournament can be purchased through the tournament office at 410/584-9382.

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