Tournament No. 4, the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am, will be played at the TPC of Tampa Bay in the Tampa, Fla., area. Chi Chi Rodriguez holds the over-all win record of four, which occurred in 1987. But three to start the season was a Roberts goal, and when he finally achieved that record, he couldnt help but let out a big sigh.
For some reason, in my mind, talking about four is not as important as talking about this three thing,' Roberts said. 'This was the big one, to do something that hadn't been done before.'
Roberts parred the final 12 holes Sunday and Hale Irwin put his approach shot in the water on the closing hole at 18 to get Roberts the win at The ACE Group Classic in Naples, Fla. Number 3 wasnt a thing of beauty, granted, but it was a win nonetheless. And ' it was a record for most consecutive wins to start a season.
'The three wins this year, they've all come different ways,' Roberts said. 'This one was definitely done with an ugly stick. It was a pretty ugly back nine today, but I holed a couple of putts when I had to.'
The first win, at the MasterCard Championships, Roberts just devoured the field with his excellence. Number 2, also in Hawaii, was achieved with a brilliant putt on the final hole. Number 3 was very workmanlike with the long skein of pars.
And Roberts admitted that he had a little something extra to play for Sunday.
I wanted to put a little mark somewhere in the record books,' Roberts said. 'I did think about that a little bit on the back nine.'
Brad Bryant was in the mix almost all the way last week before tailing off at the very end.
I finished second to a great player who right now is playing the way he did when he won on the regular tour,' Bryant said. 'Loren did all the things today that mattered to win a tournament;
Everyone talks about his putting, but part of what's going on with him is his confidence. He's hitting great shots when he needs to.'