Elkington Soars With an Eagle, Captures Doral-Ryder Open

MIAMI, Florida -- Steve Elkington took the lead with an eagle from 136 meters on the third hole in Sunday's final round of the Doral-Ryder Open, then survived the sand-filled back nine to win by two strokes over Nick Price and Larry Nelson.


Elkington, who closed with a 69 for a 13-under-par 275, let Price and third-round leader David Duval back into the tournament when he hit three bunkers in two holes, bogeying Nos. 13 and 14.


But he steadied himself with a series of conservative pars and closed out the victory with a gutsy par on the dangerous 18th hole when he drove into the bunker near the water, pitched out and hit a 9-iron from 123 meters to 180 centimeters and made the putt to save par.


"I played super golf today," Elkington said. "I got off with the eagle at three, and from then on I just rode the momentum in."


The victory was Elkington's first on the PGA Tour since his playoff win over Colin Montgomerie in the 1995 PGA Championship. "I told my caddie on Friday after I shot the 66 that I could win this week because my putting was so solid," Elkington said.


Price, trying to win on the PGA Tour for the first time since the 1994 Canadian Open, never really got his putter going in the final round, making one birdie, one bogey and 16 pars to finish at 11-under-par 277.


The hard-luck story of the day was certainly Duval, still looking for his first tour victory despite six second-place finishes in a little over two years. He stumbled early with three bogeys in four holes starting at No. 3, then hit six bunkers on the back nine as he closed with a 74 and finished fourth at 278.


"I'm there a lot," said the 25-year-old Duval. "One little bit of credit that I can get is that I'm playing well every week. I haven't won a golf tournament, but if you keep plugging along, it's going to happen."