Wiebes Woes Make Leonard a Winner

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It was, perhaps, the biggest blow-up in anyones memory. Mark Wiebe was cruising, playing the 71st hole of the 1997 Kemper Open. Just a short putt on 17, then par in on No. 18, and the tournament would be over.
 
Justin Leonard had signed his scorecard and was about to clean out his locker and leave the course. But oh, what a startling series of developments was about to occur.
 
Wiebe was five strokes clear of Leonard when Sunday had begun. But suddenly, he was lipping out a two-foot putt, making bogey on the 17th.
 
Someone told Leonard and he suddenly begin fishing around the locker for a sleeve of balls. It looked like a playoff was going to ensue. What Leonard didnt know was that Wiebe had been having a terrible time with his putter of late, three-putting three of the last 10 holes, all of the misses coming from inside five feet.
 
Now to 18, where Wiebe hit a perfect drive, then caught a 9-iron solidly. By the time Leonard could get back to the course with the new ammo, Wiebe was on the green in two, only 20 feet above the hole.
 
But wait! Wiebes first putt was off-line from the get-go. Id been overplaying the break all week, he said. I wish I had overplayed that one because it broke twice as much as I thought.
 
Still, it wasnt a bad leave, only three feet away. Wiebe lined it up while Leonard waited to go to the first playoff hole. Then ' Wiebe missed! Leonard had won!
 
Im speechless. I dont know what to say, said Wiebe, who had now three-putted four times in the last 11 holes.
 
I didnt know which side my ball lipped out on (at the 17th hole), he said. I must have had my head down all the way.
 
Wiebe hadnt won since the Hardees Golf Classic 11 years in 1986. This could have been his special week, but it was not to be.
 
Leonard, on the other, would go on to win the British Open that summer, as well as four others for a total of seven.
 
Im not going to put an asterisk next to this tournament because of what happened on the last hole, he said. I went out there five strokes behind ' and won the golf tournament.