Lietzke finally adds a "major" to his CV
BY Bruce Young | Champions Tour | 2003 US Senior Open | Wrap | 30 Jun 2003
Despite winning thirteen events in his USPGA Tour career, Bruce Lietzke never won a PGA Tour major. Although a US Senior Open win might not match the significance of the real thing, his win today in the most prestigious event on the Champions Tour, further enhances one of the more underrated careers in the game.
Lietzke joined the Champions Tour in 2001 and made almost immediate impact winning in just his third start and adding five more titles until the big one this week. His stats for the 2003 season tell the story. He is number one in greens in regulation, 2nd in putting and, while not so accurate from the tee, he hits it long enough (7th) to get out of any real trouble.
It was, however, his putting this week that proved the key factor in his success. He ranked number one and a long way ahead in that category of those on the leaderboard that threatened his lead at any stage.
His win this week over emotional favourite, Tom Watson, takes Lietzke to the top of this season’s money list with $US1,370,000 some $400,000 ahead of Hale Irwin who was unable to play this week due to injury.
On a tough test of golf at the Inverness Golf Club in Toledo, Lietzke was one of only three players to break par for the seventy two holes. The others being Watson and second round leader, Argentine’s Vicente Fernandez. Fuzzy Zoeller and Allen Doyle were tied in fourth at one over par.
Starting his last round with a four shot lead, Lietzke started slowly but so also did his nearest chasers. Watson bogied the fourth and Fernandez double-bogied the very first hole of the day to allow Lietzke the luxury of a generous lead as he made the turn. Two late bogies by the winner probably flattered those behind, as he cruised to a two shot win after bogies at the two finishing holes.
Stewart Ginn, who played beautifully from tee to green all week, only to be let down badly by a wayward putter, finished in 19th place tied with Rodger Davis. They ended up as the leading Australians after Graham Marsh, who had been in contention for much of the week, fell away with a last round of 78 for 28th.