As he was waiting to putt, he leaned over to Rita and said, "You know, this is what it's all about, a 10-footer to win." O'Meara hitched up his belt, walked a full circle around the hole, consulted Rita, decided the line was left center of the cup, took two practice swings, stepped up to the ball, waited five seconds and stroked it into the hole. Oh me, oh my, O'Meara!
"I can't explain what this means to me," said O'Meara afterward. "This win is very dear to me. You go through so much uncertainty. You're thinking, Was that the last victory of my career?"
As for Kite, who was done in by those bogeys at 7, 8 and 9, couldn't we give him some kind of Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award for consistent high quality? He's third alltime on the money list with $4,342,413, but he's No. 1 in better luck next time, kid. He has never won a major, and he has come in second more often than the Washington Generals. Last year alone he was runner-up in three tournaments, one of which was the Nabisco at Pebble. "Finishing second the second time around is much tougher," said Kite. "God, it's disappointing."
But there's always next week on the PGA Tour, on which the winner's champagne goes flat in a hurry. Two hours after his victory, O'Meara was packing himself into his car, bracing for the seven-hour drive down the coast, through L.A. and on to Escondido. Did you think he would go to Disneyland?
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