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He’s just got a great demeanor and a great game for tough courses
So far as introductions went, there were some notable ones when THE PLAYERS Championship 1995 commenced. Tim Finchem was commissioner during THE PLAYERS for the first time, while the purse hit another milestone — $3 million.
What provided the sense of familiarity was the quality of the field (again the deepest and best) and the fourth-round pairing of old friends Lee Janzen and Payne Stewart.
Neighbors in Orlando, Fla., and frequent Sunday playing competitors over the years, Janzen and Stewart knew exactly what they’d see from one another when they teed it up at THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass. They trailed the leaders (Bernhard Langer and Corey Pavin) by one (Janzen) and two (Stewart), but the main ingredient in play was a Stadium Course at its most ferocious, thanks to firm and fast conditions and brisk winds.
“He’s just got a great demeanor and a great game for tough courses,” Stewart said.
Stewart was proven correct because against a backdrop of loose play by Langer (73) and Pavin (74), Janzen was brilliant down the stretch. He one-putted four of the last five greens — the one two-putt being for birdie at the par-5 16th.
Up by two, Janzen showed his heralded grit with up-and-downs from a bunker at the island-green 17th and greenside rough at 18 for 1-under 71 and 5-under 283, one clear of Langer.
That it matched the highest winning score at the Stadium Course likely made Janzen smile. Some like it tough.
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