"If that's what it sounds like," said Brunson.
Starting off in the finals with $20,000 at stake—that being the difference between the $50,000 first prize and the $30,000 second prize—Pearson, the favorite, didn't play like one. After nine holes, he was 3-down to Ashworth, who shot a steady par 36.
Many of the spectators who had been touring the course in a fleet of golf carts came into the clubhouse from the 9th green to get something to drink and assess the situation.
"I make the kid 4 to 1 now," said a squat little man in a sweater. Just then, word came over a walkie-talkie that Ashworth had conceded the 10th hole. He was only 2-up.
"What'd you say?" Brunson asked the man in the sweater.
"I said I make the kid 3� to 1."
Brunson got back into his golf cart and headed out on the course, arriving at the 13th as Pearson holed out for a par. Ashworth bogeyed the hole to narrow the gap to one-up. Then, after sinking a 12-foot birdie putt on the 14th while Ashworth was making par, Pearson drew even.
"I've got mixed emotions," Brunson said, revealing that he'd got some money down on Pearson after all. "I bet even on the kid, but it's better for the tournament if Bruce wins. More people know him."
"Uh-huh," Cherry said. "Your emotions are mixed all the way to your cash."
Ashworth and Pearson went through 18 dead even. On the first extra hole of sudden death, the par-four No. 1, both players drove in the fairway, and both reached the green with short irons. Ashworth was closer to the pin, about 20 feet out. Pearson was a difficult 40 feet away. The squat little man in the sweater addressed Brunson again, "I got the kid 4 to 1."