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Duffy Does Disney

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James Joseph Waldorf, Jr. was anything but a duffer Sunday at the National Car Rental Classic at Walt Disney World. Waldorf fired a flawless 10-under-par 62 to better 54-hole leader Steve Flesch by one shot.
 
Waldorf began the day six shots back of Flesch, but birdied six of his first seven holes on the Magnolia course en route to his career-low round on the PGA Tour, and the lowest final round to win a Tour event since David Duval carded a 59 at the 1999 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic.
 
Waldorf finished the tournament at 26-under-par, one shot clear of Flesch, who shot 69 on Sunday. Tiger Woods, who played in the final group with Flesch, also shot 3-under-par 69 to finish in solo third place at 23-under-par.
 
It appeared as if Sunday's final round would be a two-man race between Flesch and Woods. However, neither man was focused solely on the other. After closing to within two of Flesch following the third round, Woods said he wouldn't be surprised if someone shot a superb sub-par round on Sunday to contend for the title.
 
'Anyone can shoot 62 out here without batting an eye,' Woods said on Saturday.
 
He was right.
 
Playing in the group in front of Woods and Flesch, Waldorf birdied his first three holes, parred the 4th, and then birdied three more holes beginning at the 5th. Duffy went out in 6-under-par 30 to make the turn at 22-under.
 
Woods and Flesch each played the front-nine steadily, if not spectacularly. Both men carded 1-under-par 35s, with each man posting two birdies and one bogey. Tiger's bogey at the par-3 6th broke a string of 110 consecutive holes at par or better.
 
A birdie at the par-5 10th gave Duffy a share of the lead with Flesch at 23-under. Woods also birdied the 10th to move to 22-under, one shot off the lead.
 
For Tiger, it was series of missed opportunities on the back nine. The defending champion recorded only one birdie over his final eight holes to finish the tournament at 23-under, three shots back of the eventual champion.
 
'It was one of those days where I didn't have much,' Woods said. 'But I hung in there and gave myself a chance.'
 
Waldorf posted a pair of birdies at the 12th and 15th holes, both par-3s, to move to 25-under, a number that was reached by Flesch following a birdie at the par-4 17th.
 
With a playoff looming, Waldorf stuck his approach shot on the home hole to 10 feet. Last year, Duffy won twice on the PGA Tour - both coming in sudden death. However, this Sunday, no extra holes were needed. Waldorf converted the birdie putt, his 10th of the day, to enter the clubhouse at 26-under.
 
Flesch, in search of his first Tour victory, kept his hopes alive by also placing his second shot on the 18th to ten feet. But unlike his 38-year-old predecessor, the 33-year-old left-hander was unable to coax in his birdie effort.
 
'I knew what I had to do,' Flesch said. 'I just couldn't get it to go. I figured somebody might come from behind because Tiger and I weren't playing that good.'
 
This is Waldorf's fourth career PGA Tour victory, and his third over the last two seasons. The $540,000 first-place check moved the 14-year Tour veteran to 39th on the money list, not enough to qualify him for next week's Tour Championship, but good enough for a trip to the 2001 season-opening Mercedes Championships.
 
'Obviously, it's a surprise to me,' Waldorf said of his come-from-behind victory. 'Today, I got everything I could out of the round.'
 
Chris Perry will be making the northward trek to the East Lake Country Club in Atlanta, Ga., for the $5-million Tour Championship. Perry began the week in 32nd place on the money list, but moved to 30th with a tie for 13th this week. Perry surpassed Rocco Mediate for the final spot in the limited field. Mediate was 30th in earnings as the week began, but missed the cut in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
 
There are three official tournaments remaining on the 2000 PGA Tour schedule, yet only one of those is a full-field event. Next week's Southern Farm Bureau Classic at the Annandale Golf Club in Madison, Miss., is the final opportunity for players to earn their 2001 PGA Tour playing privileges.
 

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